Where we’re at in getting co-sponsors to end workplace bullying

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Here’s where we’re at so far with co-sponsors to the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, now in its pre-bill stage as Senate Docket 768:
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)

Our goal: to surpass 58 co-sponsors

What this information means

With eight days left in the window to gather co-sponsors and only two days into the window, this list simply means if your State Rep has co-sponsored already, you don’t have to nudge them anymore (though still nudge your State Senator next week if your State Rep is already on the list and you’ve already called both).

Most co-sponsors won’t have signed on yet, but we encourage you to call them again next week if you’ve already called them this week.

The great news

Compared to last session, we have signs of major progress:

We’re encouraging calls more than emails, and we have an easy tool to make calls. Calls are more effective than emails, since emails tend to just sit in an inbox, but calls are live voices forcing someone to stop what they’re doing and see a more obvious pattern. Though we have easy tools for both phone (see below) and email, we’ve made calling simpler and easier to understand. (We had a glitch with email earlier this week, so if you tried it before and ran into problems, try it again — it’s fixed now. Ideally, calling AND emailing is the way to go. But email if you’re not able to call.)

Many more likes and shares. Off the heels of thousands of people marching, people are now looking for what they can do to change this bully culture. They want to stop abuse of power. In addition to the work we’ve done to build our masses since the last session, our social media graphics are simply getting much more traction — and we still have eight days left in the window to get co-sponsors. Last session, our most popular graphic had 127 likes and 74 shares on Facebook. So far on this post alone, we’ve trounced those numbers: we’ve had 407 likes and 194 shares. Click on the graphic below to share and like to get others to spread the word.

Keep spreading the word

We’ll post more graphics on social media. Share them again in case other people missed them last time. In the meantime, we’ll continue to update you with the list of co-sponsors so you can call your state legislators again in the final days to get them to sign on to support this bill.

Thank you for calling and emailing. Every call and email is the equivalent of 15 constituents to them. So know you’re making a difference in the lives of employees across Massachusetts by advocating for them.

Understand your personal power and act to end workplace bullying

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We’ve encountered many people in this journey who don’t realize their personal power. We can spot them quickly because they see a problem or opportunity and instead of just doing, they say things like:

  • “You should….”
  • “This needs to be done….”
  • “I don’t have time….”
  • “I’m busy….”

We’re ALL busy, we all have the same amount of time in the day (it’s a matter of priority), and if we see an opportunity, it’s not someone else’s job to do it. It’s yours.

With these ideas in mind, here are tips to follow so we can all move forward together — with respect and dignity (since that’s what we ultimately aim to promote):

  • Use the term “we,” not “you.” People like to use the term “you” when they don’t feel ownership. But changing the culture is everyone’s responsibility. We’re a team. Use the term “we” instead of “you” to show you want to move forward together and that you understand ending workplace bullying is as much your responsibility as anyone else’s.
  • Pitch in. I’ve spent years blogging, posting, sign-holding, making connections, organizing meetings, building and updating a website, creating petitions, getting videos created, talking with reporters…. Yet some people ask me to do more. I always ask “can you do it?” That’s when the excuses begin. This movement can’t progress without everyone who’s healed pitching in. If you see a need, don’t ask for permission. Do what you think needs to be done (enlisting help if you need it, of course). It’s no one else’s job but yours (and no one owns this movement).
  • If you don’t have a skill, go find it. We all have ideas we don’t have the skills to execute. But this movement is built on planting seeds and building our base. Have an idea? Go out and find someone who has the skills to execute it. Get them on our team.
  • Educate yourself. Don’t know what we’re already doing but have an idea? It’s your responsibility to find out. Ask questions. Do your homework on our website and Facebook page. Understand what’s already happening and why before offering suggestions. It’s your responsibility. Never dictate with “you should.” A campaign to uphold dignity and respect gets built on dignity and respect.
  • Make time. A lot of us have full-time jobs (including looking for a job, which is a full-time job), families, friends, groups we’re involved with, and plans. We are ALL stretched thin. Never use being busy as an excuse. What you’re really saying is “I have the same amount of time as you in the day, but it’s not a priority for me.” It’s not a fair approach. Granted some have more time than others, but most people have some time to do something (if you don’t, devote time to taking care of yourself or your other priorities instead of getting involved). Always offer what you’re doing rather than what others can do out of respect for them.
  • Let go of the fear. Fear is likely at the root of holding you back. Some of it’s perfectly valid (like being in a job with a bully and not wanting to get retaliated against for working on this bill). But most fear is rooted in thinking you can’t do. We’re here to tell you you can. Your bully boss lied to you about what you’re capable of because he or she was intimidated by your competence. Don’t tolerate it, but take it as a compliment that you’re more than capable. Don’t believe the lies. Need proof? Start doing. Start taking action on this bill. You’ll see how fast your confidence comes back.

Let’s move forward together and build momentum that’s already rapidly increasing — with respect and dignity. You have that power.

URGENT ACTION: End workplace bullying by asking your state legislators to co-sponsor the bill

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We need your help. Getting legislators to request to co-sponsor the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill shows support behind the bill. Now is the time in the two-year legislative session when we sign on co-sponsors. We need you to ask your State Rep and State Senator to request to co-sponsor the bill.

In the past three full sessions, we’ve gone from 13 to 39 to 58 co-sponsors. We aim to sail past those numbers this session with thousands more supporters.

Here’s what we need you to do in the next week:

  1. Call your State Rep AND State Senator. Calling is much more effective than emailing. Legislators can’t ignore phone calls but can ignore emails in their inboxes. We’ll make it incredibly easy:

    Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223. Within a few minutes, you’ll get a text back with your legislators’ phone numbers. Call the two bottom numbers and ask the person who answers to request that the Rep or Senator co-sponsor Senate Docket 768. It’s that simple!

    We’ll be in close contact with Senator Jennifer Flanagan’s office in the upcoming week to find out who’s signed on and who we need to nudge, so the sooner you can make these calls, the more co-sponsors we can sign on to end workplace bullying in Massachusetts. Email this post onto your contacts so we can flood our legislators with phone calls.

  2. Email your State Rep AND State Senator. If you absolutely can’t call because you can’t get away from work during business hours or if you want to back up your phone call, email both of your legislators. We’ve made that process simple, too:Visit our easy tool to find your legislators and a form letter or write your own. The message will come from your email box.

    If you get a return email saying your message couldn’t go through, go to the Massachusetts Legislature website, find your State Rep’s and State Senator’s email addresses, and email them the old-fashioned way.

We have until Friday, February 3 to make urge our legislators to end workplace bullying, but the sooner you call or email, the more legislators we can ultimately reach.

Thank you for your part in helping to end workplace bullying.

Planting seeds about ending workplace bullying

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You never know what will happen when you educate others about workplace bullying. We held signs at the inspiring Affordable Care Act (ACA) rally today at Faneuil Hall, where Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, Mayor Marty Walsh, and numerous reps from Congress spoke about why everyone deserves access to affordable health care, and hundreds of Massachusetts progressives could see our message.

As soon as we arrived, a few people stopped to take a photo of our sign and took information on the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill. Then we spoke at length with someone who has great contacts and received information on progressive groups in Massachusetts we’ll reach out to.

Just one person seeing our message can:

  • Break through to a larger group getting on board and sponsoring the bill.
  • Reach out to a go-getter who will push our cause along.
  • Help that person learn the term “workplace bullying” so he or she can learn more about it and start healing.

Don’t underestimate the effects of one action.

What ripple effects have you had when educating others about workplace bullying?

Photos by Paul Lohr.

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What to expect by the end of January for ending workplace bullying in Massachusetts

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It’s the beginning of the two-year legislative session, so within the next two weeks, we’ll introduce the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in the State House again. Every session, we start from the beginning of the process but with more backing in the State House each session. Here’s how the process works:

  1. We’ll get a docket number.
  2. We’ll have a week to flood our state legislators (reps and senators) with requests to contact the lead sponsors to sign onto that docket number. Data shows that calling your legislators versus emailing them is the most effective way to get them to sign onto the bill since emails often just sit in an inbox. Once we have a docket number, we’ll send out information that will make it incredibly easy for you to do both. Look out for it on or around Monday, January 23rd.
  3. We’ll update you during the week of January 23-27 with who’s on board and who needs a nudge so you can ask colleagues, friends, and family to join in. We’ll try to beat our numbers last session, when we got 58 sponsors on board. That’s nearly one third of the entire State Legislature, growing from 39 sponsors the previous session and 13 the one before that.
  4. We’ll have a brand-new bill number to promote the bill with.

What to remember about this legislative session

If you’re exhausted by how long it’s taking to pass this bill, we get it. But don’t be. It’s a typical timeframe to pass a bill at the state level, and we’ve just about reached that point when bills gain enough momentum to pass. It’s how school bullying legislation passed, and it can happen with workplace bullying legislation, too. But there’s more:

We’re taking advantage of the national political climate to get in front of political activists who can help us build momentum even faster. There are more political rallies going on now than in my lifetime. And they’re full of people who want to create change —and know they have the power to do it. Help us reach out to them by sign holding at a major Boston event in the next week so we can get as many people as possible to contact their legislators to sponsor the bill.

We’re fine-tuning strategy in the State House. We’re getting a new House lead sponsor to replace our champion, retired Rep. Ellen Story. And we’re figuring out the best path for the bill to go through to pass this session.

We have the ears of the media. We’re working on some major media breakthroughs involving the workplace bullying connection with suicide that we hope will put some urgency behind this bill. This story has the potential to be huge. We’ll keep you looped in.
It’s a long process, but we’re not backing down.

No one deserves to go through what we went through. Help us be the voice for those who are suffering and still healing.

Help end workplace bullying at two Boston events in the next week

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The national political scene is causing quite a stir right now. Citizens across the nation are flexing their political muscles to uphold their values. There are two key Boston events in the next week alone where an anti-workplace bullying presence through sign holding would do wonders for our cause. And you have the power to take simple action:

Elizabeth Warren’s Health Care Rally

Sunday, January 15, 12-3pm
Faneuil Hall, Boston

What better place to talk about healthy workplaces than a health care rally full of legislators in Boston? All you need is you and a poster that says “end workplace bullying” or a similar phrase.
Sign up to join us.

Boston Women’s March

Saturday, January 21, 11am-3pm
Boston Common
Eighty percent of workplace bullying targets are women. Help us sign hold in front of more than 22,000 female political activists to get the word out about workplace bullying. It’s as simple as grabbing a poster and a marker and showing up.
Sign up to join us.

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. You can make a difference in passing this bill.

One company could save more than the entire budget of Jurassic Park just by treating their employees with respect

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As far back as 1991, Researcher C. Brady Wilson estimated that “five to six billion dollars are lost every year in the United States economy because of real or perceived abuse of employees by employers, and this may be a conservative figure.”

In their Employee Rights and Employee Policy Journal article, Loraleigh Keashly and Joel H. Neuman point to a study of 146 VA hospitals and their levels of high involvement: trust, fair treatment, cooperation, and teamwork. Researchers found that a better level of high involvement meant lower costs (in this case, a savings of $51.50 per patient served).

“For the average size VA Healthcare facility serving 23,360 unique patients per year, such an improvement would represent an annual cost savings of $1,203,040. Generalized to the national level, this would amount to an annual savings of over $175.6 million throughout the VHA healthcare network,” they explained. In 1990s money, $175.6 million is more than the entire budget of Jurassic Park.

Imagine what your organization could accomplish with that kind of money.