It is Pink Shirt Day next Friday, 26 May. TEU will be working with Massey University to mark the day at each of their campuses.
Pink Shirt Day is a recognised international day established in Canada, in 2007. A group of school pupils decided to defend a boy who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, many other pupils wore pink shirts to school.
By wearing a pink shirt, people identify themselves as an ally. It is a way of showing those being bullied that there are many people around who care.
Taking a collective stand is the most effective way to stop workplace bullying and create healthy, respectful workplaces.
“Pink Shirt Day is the ideal opportunity to show colleagues bullying will not be tolerated in your workplace,” Suzanne McNabb, the TEU’s national women’s officer, said.
Tertiary education institutions should mark the day with a clear statement to all staff and students that everyone will be treated with respect and dignity, and workplace bullying will not be tolerated.
“Workplaces should have up-to-date, easy to follow, easy to find, comprehensive policies and procedures about what constitutes bullying and harassment and procedures for dealing with any incidents and they should pro-actively monitor for any signs that bullying may be happening,” McNabb added.
Workplace stress and bullying are major causes of lost time, ill-health, absenteeism, and reduced morale and productivity.
“Bullying can lead to stress and that is a reportable health and safety risk for employers. Bosses have legal duty to stop it happening,” McNabb said.
Examples of bullying included being humiliated or ridiculed, being ignored or excluded, being shouted at and being persistently criticised.