Saskatchewan

School boards, health districts not getting WCB rebates

The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board had a surplus of $281.5 million last year and it's sharing the money with employers — but not all employers.

School boards' association upset its members will lose out on $4M

The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board provides income support to injured workers in the province. (Taylor Wiebe/Flickr)

The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board had a surplus of $281.5 million last year and it's sharing the money with employers — but not all employers, as it turns out.

The rebates are being given out because employers made premium payments that exceeded the cost of their claims.

According to WCB, which provides income support to injured workers, 37,969 firms that made premium payments receive money from the distribution. One payment went out in July and another is scheduled for December.

However, school divisions and health regions aren't getting anything.

Schools were earmarked to get a little more than $4 million, but won't get it.

Don Morgan, the minister responsible for the WCB, said the province is running a big deficit and it can't afford to give schools and health regions the money.

Technically, the process for schools is this: the WCB will send boards the money, but then an equal amount will be deducted from operating grants.

The province argues schools and health regions are 100 per cent funded by government so government can redirect the money as it sees fit.

Officials also say this would have been extra money, not budgeted in school plans, so it won't disrupt their spending plans.

However, Connie Bailey, president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, said she's still disappointed that the province is not investing in education and students.

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