HEU marks Pink Shirt Day to raise awareness about bullying and harassment – February 24

HEU members have participated in Pink Shirt Day, since its inception nearly a decade ago, by wearing items of pink clothing as part of a national solidarity protest against harassment and bullying in all its devastating forms, including cyberbullying.

This year’s Pink Shirt Day – Wednesday, February 24 – is an opportunity for us to join with allies to raise awareness, spread an anti-bullying message, and make a continued commitment to support initiatives that eradicate bullying in schools and workplaces.

In recent years, HEU and other unions successfully lobbied to have workplace bullying and harassment included as a compensable mental health claim through WorkSafeBC.

On May 31, 2012, Bill 14 was passed, changing the Workers Compensation Act to include: “a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment, or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors, arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.”

Then, in November 2013, after province-wide consultation with unions and employers, WorkSafeBC introduced amendments to sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Workers Compensation Act – to clearly outline the responsibilities of employers, supervisors and workers to create respectful workplaces.

In Canada, pink became a national symbol of anti-bullying after two Nova Scotia teenagers stood up for a classmate who was bullied at school for wearing a pink shirt. They bought and distributed 50 pink tank tops to male students, and they all wore them in a day of solidarity against bullying.