|Today's post is authored by Julius Young of the California Bar and shared from workerscompzone.com|
This past Friday the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) met in Oakland.
If there was little policy drama in the policy presentations, other aspects of the meeting had drama.
Apparently concerned that protesters or rowdy commenters would disrupt the meeting, CHSWC staffers or members arranged for a watchful presence from 2 CHP officers. A flyer outlining a conduct code for public comment was distributed. Public comments were limited to 2 minutes.
The public was allowed to express opinions, but not to ask questions of the various think tank consultants and DWC staff giving updates on various topics.
When loud and spirited comments by Berkeley labor activist Steve Zeltzer went overtime, CHP staff moved in closer, leading to charges from Zeltzer that dissent was being locked down.
One frustrated interpreter was cut off at two minutes and forced to file another request to speak form to get more speaking time. I think she was from Southern California, meaning that she traveled a long way if she was only allowed to speak for 2 minutes.
Later, an injured worker in the audience seemed bewildered that she could not direct questions to the CHSWC commissioners, half of whom are appointees from labor unions and half from employers. CHSWC member Christy Bouma of the California Professional Firefighters tried to...