International Day of Pink celebrates diversity in workplaces, schools and communities – April 12

HEU’s membership – like many workplaces – has become increasingly diverse. And with that diversity, bullying has become a major concern in health care work settings.

That’s why tomorrow, April 12 – International Day of Pink, HEU members are encouraged to wear an item of pink clothing as a symbol that we can each play a critical role in ending harassment and bullying in all its devastating forms.

For nearly a decade, HEU members have participated in February’s Pink Shirt Day to spread an anti-bullying message and make a continued commitment to support initiatives that eradicate bullying in schools and workplaces.

And on International Day of Pink, the anti-bullying message – which emphasizes homophobic and transphobic bullying – extends beyond that to also celebrate diversity in our communities, schools and workplaces.

“As a large and diverse union, we’re acutely aware that workplace bullying and harassment are an unfortunate reality for many of our members,” says HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside.

“And now, more than ever, it’s a time for social justice, trade union and human rights activists to use our collective power to defend our rights. Together, we can strive for – and achieve – more inclusive and respectful work environments and communities.”

According to a June 2016 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ISLA), there are still nearly 80 countries (including states within countries) where being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is illegal, and it’s punishable by death in more than 10 countries.

That’s why there’s still tremendous work to be done to protect and defend the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including those discriminated against for their gender identity and gender expression.

International Day of Pink is an opportunity for the union to recognize our members’ uniqueness, raise awareness, and educate ourselves on equity issues, as we strive for respectful, harassment-free work environments.

After all, it’s every worker’s right to be, and feel, safe on the job.

For more information, visit the International Day of Pink website.