Tagged: advocates

The more we’re silenced, the louder we get

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The more we’re silenced, the louder we get. More advocates than ever came to Harvard Square this weekend to help make “workplace bullying” a household term and to courageously speak out against it, even with tape over their mouths. The big takeaway: it’s a growing movement, with more advocates protesting and more response from the public.

With less than three months left in this two-year legislative session, we’re making an impact by urging the public to take note and sending a message to legislators that we’re not backing down, even if passing the bill means they’re held accountable for bullying.

Awareness turns into action:

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Spend just 30 minutes spreading the word about urgent action for anti-workplace bullying legislation on Wednesday, February 3

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Take a half hour anytime on Wednesday, February 3 to spread the word about the Healthy Workplace Bill using this brand-new flyer. This flyer asks for urgent action in contacting Speaker DeLeo’s office and State Reps to get the Healthy Workplace Bill passed this session, which ends this summer.

1. Make copies of the flyer.
2. Flyer at an easy location:
– Leave on cars in commuter rail lots, employee lots at hospitals, supermarkets, or another location close to you.
– Hand out flyers outside a T stop at rush hour, hospital when employees get out of work, or another spot where you’ll likely reach out to employees.

Sign up on Facebook.
Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same.

We beat our goal!

What an impressive list of co-sponsors we have thanks to the work you put in. We had a goal of 50 co-sponsors, and we have 58, up 19 from last session and nearly 1/3 of the entire State Legislature. Congratulations for making this list happen!

Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
Senator Sal N. DiDomenico (D-Everett)
Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)
Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester)
Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Rep. Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow)
Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy)
Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton)
Rep. Christine Barber (D-Somerville)
Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)
Rep. Gailanne Cariddi (D-North Adams)
Rep. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn)
Rep. Angelo D’Emilia (D-Bridgewater)
Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Stephen L. DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield)
Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester)
Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)
Rep. Denise Garlick (D-Needham)
Rep. Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield)
Rep. Kenneth Gordon (D-Bedford)
Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset)
Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester)
Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton)
Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton)
Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)
Rep. Kevin Kuros (R-Uxbridge)
Rep. John Mahoney (D-Worcester)
Rep. Brian Mannal (D-Barnstable)
Rep. Paul Mark (D-Peru)
Rep. Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth)
Rep. Harold P. Naughton, Jr. (D-Clinton)
Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch (D-Wellesley)
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. David Rogers (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston)
Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Alan Silvia (D-Fall River)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. Todd Smola (R-Warren)
Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst)
Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield)
Rep. Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton)
Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke)
Rep. David Vieira (R-East Falmouth)
Rep. Chris Walsh (D-Framingham)

Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Advocates
http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com

We’re getting co-sponsors in the new 2-year legislative session

We’re up to 14 co-sponsors for the Healthy Workplace Bill, House Docket 2072 sponsored by Rep. Ellen Story, and the deadline to co-sponsor has been extended to Monday, February 2. Our goal: 50 co-sponsors.

Here’s who co-sponsors the bill this session so far:

Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)
Rep. Gailanne Cariddi (D-North Adams)
Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester)
Rep. Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth)
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. David Rogers (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst)
Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield)
Rep. Chris Walsh (D-Framingham)

How to get your legislators on board
If you haven’t yet asked your State Rep. and State Senator to co-sponsor the bill, it’s not too late. Email them one of these two template emails or call them asking them to ask Rep. Ellen Story for an invite to co-sponsor House Docket 2072.

Find your legislators.

Thank you
We give a big thank you to those of you who already emailed or called your state legislators and spread the word about the bill. All advocacy helps push this bill forward.

What 2,737 means

2,737 is the number of contacts we’ve worked to build in the past two years — people both directly and indirectly affected by workplace abuse. It’s the ripple in the pond effect that happens when you’ve told one person about the bill, and he or she goes out and tells a few more people about the bill, and then those people tell more people about the bill. It’s also the number of people we’ll contact when we need a push to our legislators in the next two months.

The graph above shows how this ripple effect looks in website visits. Our daily visits have steadily increased over the past two years because you’ve helped spread the word.

The graph below shows where people in Massachusetts live who visited MAHealthyWorkplace.com. The larger circles represent a few hundred people. The Boston circle represents more than 1,000 people.

Thank you for helping us reach these big numbers, and never underestimate the ripple effect that telling one person about the bill can have.

Current Strategy

On May 30, we moved from a second reading to a third reading in the House. We now have two months — until July 31 — to complete the rest of the steps to turn the bill into law during this legislative session. What does having two months left mean for advocates? And why haven’t we had a strong push recently for contacting legislators?

Lobbyists push the Healthy Workplace Bill at the State House daily. They have strong insight into the politics that play a role into turning the bill into law. They’ll let us know the most effective strategy — a rally or push with calls and meetings with legislators, for example — and the best timing for that strategy in the next two months.

While we’re waiting for the best timing to act at the State House, we can act now to increase awareness in Massachusetts. In the next two months, we’ll continue to increase our contact lists to prepare to rally our volunteers. You can:

While bills generally take multiple two-year legislative sessions to become law, we’re hopeful that 2012 is the year that we’ll have a law in Massachusetts. We know that many bills become law at the end of the session. But we also know that we need to do everything we can now to turn the bill into law.

Grow A Thick Skin and Get A New Job

As advocates of the Healthy Workplace Bill in Massachusetts, we’ve all read comments on online workplace bullying articles telling targets to just get a tough skin or a new job — that life is just hard, and bullying on the job is just another problem that we have to deal with.

Workplace abuse experts compare workplace bullying with domestic violence. In the recent past, it was perfectly legal for a husband to beat his wife. Imagine telling a battered wife to “just leave” or to “toughen up” as her self-esteem worsens but yet she needs to rebuild her life. Doesn’t sound simple, does it?

A workplace abuse target faces a similar problem. As bullies encourage targets who care about their work and organizations to question their abilities, targets feel beaten down and lose confidence to find another job. Even if they do have the strength to find another job, they generally need months to find other work — and endure more abuse during those months.

And those who’ve experienced workplace abuse know that the only way to “solve” the problem is to leave the organization. Speaking up is ineffective according to a study by the Workplace Bullying Institute.

This tough skin that some speak of — tolerating often months of abuse before leaving an organization — leaves many targets with health problems and many businesses with more costs (absenteeism, training new employees, lawsuits) than if they had addressed the problem to begin with and disciplined the bully.

“Get a tough skin” and “just find a new job” aren’t smart or realistic answers when it comes to addressing workplace bullying.