WSIB freezes trucking rates

TORONTO — General trucking fleets will not see their Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rates increase in 2010, but the same can’t be said for couriers or warehousing companies.

Although there was speculation that WSIB would raise rates to soften the impact of the recession and make up for the fact it cannot achieve its original target of 2014 for full funding of the workplace safety and insurance system, the General Trucking (rate group 570) will remain unchanged ($5.79/$100 of insurable earnings). 

However, the bad news is that Warehousing (rate group 560) will see an increase of 5 percent — from $2.64 to $2.77 — and Courier Services (rate group 577) will experience a 1.2 percent hike, from $2.43 to $2.46.

"While we are disappointed that the warehousing and courier rates jumped up we’re obviously pleased that on the whole the Board has been able to keep rates stable," said Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley. "Though warehousing and courier rates still remains relatively low, less than half the trucking rate, we will be looking into the reasons why these rate groups saw increases this year."

OTA’s efforts to work other employer groups to explain that the middle of a recession is no time to be hitting employers with a hike in payroll taxes seems to have paid off.

But the lobbying battle to keep rates down is far from over, said Bradley. "The fact that the WSIB’s unfunded liability continues to grow at an alarming rate means that the pressure for rate hikes has in no way diminished and we will have to fight this battle again and again every year."

The OTA boss said a long term strategy is needed for managing the WSIB’s funding system.

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