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Local WCAB Merges with Ventura
updated: Sep 28, 2013, 10:00 AM

By Frederick Peterson

I'm a disabled injured worker who resides in Santa Barbara County. I recently learned the Dept. of Industrial Relations (DIR) plans to close the Goleta WCAB here and merge with the Oxnard WCAB in Ventura County which is 50 miles south of the Goleta WCAB in Santa Barbara County.

For the Injured Worker's who live in Lompoc or Santa Maria (north county) it will be a 100 mile journey for them get to the Oxnard WCAB. Additionally for many IW's including myself who rely of public transportation it will now take 3 hours or more on multiple buses to get to the Oxnard WCAB! If one has to appear in court at 8:30AM it will require them to catch a bus at 5:39AM from Goleta and they will not get to the Oxnard WCAB until 8:40AM! Of course for IW's who live in the north county cities it will take much longer to reach the Oxnard WCAB using multiple buses or train.

Obviously it's a terrible hardship on not only those who rely on public transportation but also for those who must now spend a considerable amount of money on gas driving RT to the Oxnard WCAB and lose more time from work. I'm not sure why the DIR decided it was necessary to close the WCAB in Santa Barbara County that has been serving IW's in the county for over 50 years and serves not only Santa Barbara but Goleta, Carpinteria, Lompoc, and Santa Maria also.

I believe the only way to prevent this planned WCAB closure is if concerned citizens and Injured Worker's make it known to the Director of DIR, Christine Baker: (510) 622-3965 and Gov. Jerry Brown: (916) 445-2841 this was a very ill conceived idea which creates an extreme hardship on IW's and must be seriously reconsidered.

Thank you!


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