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June 2002

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World waking up to cost of bullying
Workplace bullying's high cost: $180M in lost time, productivity, Liz Urbanski Farrell writes in the Orlando Business Journal: http://orlando.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2002/03/18/focus1.html
Workplace bullying costs employers up to $36 billion per year, reports Michael Sheehan from Griffith University's School of Management in Queensland, Australia: http://www.gu.edu.au/er/news/bully.html
The cost of violence and bullying at work, a report commissioned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO): http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/violence/costof.htm

UK Dignity at Work Bill progress
Around a hundred targets of bullying and interested parties attended a meeting organised by the Amicus (formerly MSF Union) Campaign Against Bullying At Work at the House of Lords at the end of May to discuss the Report Stage of the Dignity at Work Bill (successunlimited/action/dignity.htm). Many people made written submissions (successunlimited/action/hol1.htm) and a record of the meeting is on the Amicus web site (http://www.msf.org.uk/cgi-bin/news/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=200&view_records=1&ww=1). A related article Change law to make bullying bosses pay appeared in the Independent on Sunday: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=299077

DAWN support group established in West Midlands, UK
Dignity At Work Now (DAWN) is now established as a workplace bullying support and campaign group in the West Midlands, England. Membership is open to anyone in the area with experience of or interest in bullying including targets, their families, professionals, etc. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information and membership details email cath@mckerracher69.freeserve.co.uk

Record award
In a rare successful bullying case, former Hull City Council Health and Safety / Environmental Health Officer Chris Dunnachie was awarded £123,000 (reduced to the maximum allowable £51,000) for constructive unfair dismissal for having been bullied out of his job: successunlimited/action/caselaw.htm#Dunnachie

Canada commissioner resigns
BC's police complaints commissioner has resigned after allegations of bullying: http://www.canada.com/vancouver/story.asp?id=D6F404DC-993D-4D47-A91E-9A6CB6DFC026

No Fear at Work in America
Things are moving in the USA with the NoFEAR (Notification of Federal Employees Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation) Act: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0302/030602t1.htm

California Senate committee passes whistleblower legislation
In the wake of Enron a new law, SB 1452 (Escutia), passes its first hurdle: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/pr/pr002463.php3

Queensland task force
The Queensland Government Department of Industrial Relations workplace bullying taskforce report: http://www.whs.qld.gov.au/taskforces/bullying/

Report from Ireland's Ministry of Defence
A study of issues of harassment, bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment in the Irish Defence Forces: http://www.military.ie/images/ExternalAdvisoryCommitteeReport.pdf

Amicus highlights rampant bullying within UK postal services
A survey by Amicus (formerly the MSF union) of Consignia (formerly Royal Mail) reveals that Consignia's anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies are largely ineffective. A survey of managers showed that most had experienced problems in the last year: workbully/news.htm#Consignia1

Bullying rife in the NHS
A nationwide study of staff in the UK National Health Service by psychologist Noreen Tehrani has again found high levels of bullying with one in ten sufferers showing symptoms similar to PTSD. See http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,714188,00.html

10% of UK casualty doctors suicidal
An article in the Emergency Medicine Journal on occupational stress reveals that 10% of senior casualty doctors feel suicidal because of the workload and stress of the job whilst around half report severe stress and 20% suffer depression: http://emj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/19/3/234?maxtoshow=?eaf

Stress judgement online
The judgement of the recent cases of Hatton, Barber, Jones and Bishop is now online and includes a 16-point list of practical propositions to consider in personal injury stress cases: successunlimited/action/hatton.htm

HSE advice contradicts Hatton Barber judgement
A new stress pack from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) seems to contradict the Hatton Barber judgement by describing (on page 4) the myth that "all you need to do to stop work-related stress is to go for counselling " as "wrong" and as being "unlikely to tackle the source of the problem": http://www.hse.gov.uk/events/euro_week/pdf/newsletter.pdf

Family friendly
Businesses see benefits of family-friendly policies: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_2010000/2010192.stm

Gulf War Syndrome receives recognition
Despite repeated and vehement denials of its existence by Ministry of Defence doctors - no doubt aware of the likely cost of admission - an appeal court has ruled that Gulf War syndrome does exist and is caused by active service: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_2004000/2004490.stm

Seminars on PTSD
David Kinchin is running his popular PTSD seminars in September, one on supporting children and adults with PTSD, and one for emergency services staff and their families: successunlimited/stress/workshop.htm


SCHOOL BULLYING

Canada takes lead in fight against bullying
Canada has launched of a multi-year, multi-media anti-bullying public education campaign: http://www.newswire.ca/releases/May2002/23/c8407.html

Canada's MuchMusic radio hosts public debate on bullying
Tuesday 4 June 2002 at 8pm: a unique perspective on bullying as some of todayís biggest names in music, including Michelle Wiliams of Destinyís Child, Wyclef Jean, Matthew Good and S Club, discuss their personal experiences and offer advice in a series of exclusive taped interviews: http://www.muchmusic.com/listings/index.asp?date=6-4-2002

Sentencing circle
Dawn-Marie Wesley's killer gets ... 18 months probation: http://cbc.ca/stories/2002/05/15/sentence_circle020515

Figure skater bullied
12-year-old potential Olympic skating champion Aaron Vays endured physical and verbal abuse from fellow students. When he stood up for himself at school in the absence of the school taking effective action, he was further victimised by the school principal (in schools where bullying is rife it's usually because the principal does not have control of discipline): http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA020506Bullied_skater.html

School violence
A school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne suspends 13 children amidst violence and claims of bullying: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_2002000/2002880.stm

Government takes notice of bullying
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education is sponsoring a forum to deal with the problem of bullying in schools: http://www.gov.nf.ca/releases/2002/edu/0509n08.htm

Abuse in a great church
Bullying of adults is bad enough but bullying of children by abusive and psychopathic adults is unacceptable by anybody's standards. One of the most moving case histories I've come across (and I've come across thousands) has been added at workbully/case40.htm

Words sharper than a knife, apparently
The boy who fatally stabbed headmaster Philip Lawrence felt so hurt by a comment that he "lacked remorse" that he got his social worker to demand an apology from Mr Lawrence's widow: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_2010000/2010064.stm

Hells Angel bullied
Lifelong biker Alan Fisher will be leading a calvalcade of motorbikes in the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations this weekend. Both he and his son suffered terrible bullying at school: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_2013000/2013067.stm. Do you know anyone who didn't?


MEDIA CORNER

UK ITV documentary on anger
Annette McDwyer is assistant producer on a one hour documentary for ITV about men who suffer from anger in their lives, anger and rage which they find can't manage or control. The programme forms a series of six programmes about people in Britain and is directed by Nicholas O'Dwyer (BBC Modern Times and Inside Story, Channel Four Cutting Edge and ITV Real Lives). Annette is particularly interested in bullying in the workplace and individuals who are seething with anger. She's looking to interview the person and do some actuality filming of their anger unfolding. Sensitivity and confidentiality is guaranteed. Anyone who chooses to get in contact is not obliged to take part in the film itself. The documentary is already in production and filming will begin shortly. If you're in the UK and you'd like to contribute or take part, contact Annette on 07960 585 206 (mobile) or 01865 427301 (office) or email annette@landmarkfilms.com

Radio guest interviewees required
Barry Nixon hosts the radio show Workplace Violence Today which airs live on Friday evenings from 8:00-9:00pm out of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The program is also carried on the Internet. Barry is looking for guests to speak on the topics of Bullying/Mobbing in the Workplace, Crisis Management, Employment Selection, Union/Labor Perspectives, and Domestic Violence. For previous guest list see www.Workplaceviolence911.com. If you fit the bill email Barry at wbnixon@aol.com


New links this month

Buddybear
We support child victims of violent crime and sudden loss of family. Most of the cases we fund are victims of 'bullying' within their own family: http://www.buddybear.com.au

New Zealand page on legal aspects of school bullying
Education Law Newsletter June 2001: Tackling the Bullies: schools' liability from lawyers Minter Ellison Rudd Watts: http://www.ruddwatts.com/newsroom/publications/education/june2001/education.asp

Bullies roam the workplace, too
An article in canada.com: http://www.canada.com/search/site/story.asp?id=1E61B503-E4B8-4417-8601-5F9F923F5446

Labour Research Department
LRD is an independent research organisation publishing news and information for trade unionists: http://www.lrd.org.uk

Stress and heart disease
Chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system [as in bullying?] increases risk of heart attack: http://www.iht.com/articles/58687.html


June 2002 - supplemental

Friday 21 June 2002

Three cosmic events coincide: the summer solstice, England play Brazil, and a feature article I've written on workplace bullying in the education sector covers four pages (15-18) in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Friday Magazine.

A condensed version of the article is online at http://www.tes.co.uk/this_weeks_edition/friday/story.asp?id=13795

Earthquakes are not anticipated but those of you in the education sector might like to make waves by responding with a letter (eg max 300 words) to the TES:

The Editor, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email letters@tes.co.uk

and a copy to:

Estelle Morris MP, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

David Bell, Chief Inspector, OFSTED, Alexandra House, 33 Kingsway, London WC2B 6SE

Your MP (who you can fax via www.faxyourmp.com)


June 2002 - supplemental

Have you been bullied for being short or tall?

RDF Television, one of the UKís leading independent television production companies (http://www.rdfmedia.com), are making a documentary for ITVís flagship documentary series, Real Life, about what itís like to be shorter or taller than the average.

The fifty-minute film will be broadcast this winter and will explore peopleís experiences of being short and tall, as well as challenging societyís prejudices about height.

If you have experienced or are experiencing bullying because of your height, we would be grateful if you could contact us for a confidential chat. At this stage, we are researching the subject and contacting us in no way commits you to taking part.


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