NSGEU hosting international conference on workplace bullying in June | National Union of Public and General Employees

NSGEU hosting international conference on workplace bullying in June

NSGEU/NUPGE is establishing itself as a world leader on how to identify and prevent on-the-job bullying and psychological harassment

Halifax (17 Jan. 2014) – The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) has established itself as a leading organization in research about and prevention of bullying and harassment on the job. This summer, the union is hosting an international conference that will attract labour, business, and academic leaders to continue, as the conference is titled, “Shifting Workplace Culture: Prevention, Promotion, Protection.”

NSGEU/NUPGE leads the way in education on anti-bullying practices

Those attending the conference – from June 11 to 14 in Dartmouth, NS - will hear about some of the most successful anti-bullying programs and practices, including the NSGEU/NUPGE innovative Bully-Free Workplaces Program. Since 2010, NSGEU/NUPGE has trained almost 50 members as program facilitators who have together researched, designed, and presented the program to 10,000 employees, managers, and business owners in hundreds of workplaces across the Maritimes.

During the conference, participants will learn more about the union's program and will have a chance to discuss the challenges – and success stories – they've experienced addressing harassment in their own workplaces or their members' workplaces.

Workers and managers need practical tools to disarm bullies

The idea of the conference, says NSGEU Bully-Free Workpaces Co-ordinator Susan Coldwell, is to give the 200 to 300 people expected to attend the practical tools they'll need to establish or improve upon the bully-free practices in their own workplaces.

On a more global level, Coldwell says she hopes the conference will help galvanize union members and leaders in a concerted push for bully-free environments. “We have national standards on psychological health and safety in the workplace,” says Coldwell, “but if unions don't take up the promotion and enforcement of them, who will?”

Anti-bullying education is more important than ever during difficult economic times

It's a crucial issue, especially in this era of cutbacks and massive organizational change.

“So many workplaces are in such a flux,” she explains. “Here in Nova Scotia, we're moving from 10 health boards down to two health boards. What will be the impact of that on the thousands of people who work for these health boards? People will be hanging on by the skin of their teeth, jockeying for favour.

“So how can we make that a more humane process?” asks Coldwell. “If personnel decisions seems arbitrary or haphazard, there's going to be a real rise in bullying behaviour. When the perception that the process isn't fair, so does bullying behaviour. People can accept a difficult outcome if they see it was arrived at fairly.”

More informaton:

NSGEU conference: Shifting Workplace Culture: Prevention, Promotion, Protection


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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