After initially floating the idea of raising average workers’ comp rates 5-9 percent in 2012 L&I officially proposed an average rate increase of 2.5 percent. AGC continues to urge Labor and Industries to not raise rates at all next year given economic conditions and the fact that the system still has reserves.
A few weeks ago L&I asked its Workers’ Comp Advisory Committee to consider increases ranging from five to nine percent. After protests by business groups including AGC’s call for a zero percent increase L&I came back and officially proposed the 2.5 percent increase. Rates would vary by business type and risk class. Some examples for construction: 13% increase for excavation road construction landclearing; 8% for masonry; 1% for elevator installation
“The best news in all of this is that workers’ comp reform is having its intended effect” said AGC’s Government Affairs Director Rick Slunaker. “Without the reforms that the construction industry fought for such as structured settlement agreements the average increase would certainly have been in the double digits. Nevertheless now is not the time to increase rates at all as the construction industry has shed 35 percent of its workforce in recent years with little to no growth expected in 2012.”
The final rates will be adopted in early December and go into effect Jan. 1 2012.
AGC will work with its members to make its case at upcoming hearings. Public hearings on the proposed rates will be held in:
• Vancouver Oct. 25 9 a.m. Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay
• Tukwila Oct. 26 1 p.m. L&I Office
• Bellingham Oct. 26 1 p.m. Bellingham Public Library
• Richland Oct. 27 1 p.m. Red Lion Hotel Richland Hanford House
• Spokane Valley Oct. 28 10 a.m. Spokane CenterPlace Event Center
• Tumwater Oct. 28 10 a.m. L&I Headquarters
AGC members who are willing to participate in these hearings or who have questions about the rate increase proposal should contact Rick Slunaker 360-352-5000.