rd I received this Proclamation making the third week of October 2012 Freedom From Workplace Bullying Week in the Kenai Peninsula Borough from Mayor Mike Navarre. I have to commend him for having the courage to take this first step against psychological injury of employees which also leads to physical health problems. This is an extraordinary step considering the problems many health care facilities in Alaska have with workplace bullying of nurses and others. At this borough meeting the local hospital gave a presentation about their status and at least three people who have been affected severely by the effects of workplace bullying were present. This is the hospital where the shooting which was directed at supervisors took place. This is progress. Other types of bullying were also discussed at that meeting, A proclamation against domestic violence was issued, people who are working to get help for abused animals on the Kenai Peninsula were very outspoken about it and a man who donated land for roads many years ago wanted to know why the original names based on his family are being renamed for a family who had nothing to do with the donation.
I stayed until the end of the meeting because I loved hearing from the public and I enjoy seeing people have the freedom to speak out about issues. There was someone speaking about issues with fishing and Old Believers who gently prodded for their new school to be built. It has been a long time since I experienced any democracy since my experiences with workplace bullying, injustice, attempts to intimidate me at a poling place, abuse while wrongfully imprisoned, police harassment, medical bullying, landlord bullying, hell even bullying at women’s shelters which are supposed to be a safe place for victims of domestic violence and much more that indicates lack of democracy and many other problems. It was especially wonderful to see the Old Believers who came to Alaska seeking freedom of religion participating in the borough meeting.
I am still surprised that not only a proclamation was issued here on the Kenai Peninsula, but that Tony Wilkerson got the first one in Anchorage. His actions prompted me to ask here, but I expected nothing to happen except some kind of retaliatory behavior as that has been my experience for years in Alaska. The Workplace Bullying Institute has done work for years getting the word out and also consulted at the local hospital owned and run by the borough about their issues with this problem which has helped to educate the borough and others in the community. Workplace bullying like other issues such as addiction, domestic violence and homelessness are difficult to understand because the systems they happen in are complex, the thinking of the individuals is difficult to understand and in many ways counter to logic until there is information and understanding. It is very hard for those who would not seek to harm others to understand someone would intentionally hurt someone because they feel they have good qualities that threaten them. A normal person would be happy their coworker was a good employee and hope to learn from them. If we care about what we do we know quality people produce quality results.
Twenty states have had someone introduce the healthy workplace bill, but so far none have been passed. It is time for Alaska to start working on a Healthy Workplace Bill.
Alaskans for a Healthy Workplace can be found on Facebook.
Posted by Celia Harrison at 10/31/2012