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WSIB costs rising for Durham police

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express 

WSIB expenses have more than doubled in the past five years for the Durham Regional Police Service according to a recent report.

In 2013, the total WSIB costs for the service was $983,322.59, with most of that being in direct costs.

The amount spent stayed steady until 2016, when it jumped from $968,604.78 in 2015 to approximately $1.533 million for 2016, and then it got even steeper in 2017 when it reached approximately $2.446 million for the year.

In 2018, between January and July, the total cost of WSIB was approximately $2.298 million.

The total costs are broken down into three categories. The first, WSIB direct costs, was $763,930 in the first half of 2018.

The second, WSIB wage replacement, was $849,366.87 during this time period.

Wage replacement has seen a significant increase since 2013, when it was $199,416.64. In 2018, between January and July, it was $849,366.87. That is an increase of $650,000 over the past five years.

The final category was wage top up as per the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was $684,972.28.

Wage top ups have also increased drastically, approximately $572,000 since 2013. Overall, the service has spent $684,972.28 on wage top ups in 2018.

The report notes that these numbers do not include “the costs to replace members who are not at work.” It also says that in 2017, this would have equated to approximately 15 full-time positions.

The current number of police officers around Durham Region that are considered ‘not deployable’ due to WISB claims is 155 (101 sworn and 54 civilian) officers at the end of July. This respects 11.5 per cent of all sworn staff, and 17.8 per cent of all civilian staff, respectively.

Fourty-four of the sworn officers are currently not working, while 23 members of the civilian staff are not at work as well.

The numbers in the report also included those that are on maternity and paternity leave, suspension and personal leaves of absence.

WSIB helps those who are on leave with health costs, such as doctors visits, and various other medical needs.