News from NSGEU Bully- Free Workplaces Program

News from Trade Union in Canada-NSGEU      

The NSGEU Working Toward Bully-Free Workplaces Program continues to expand.

Several events have happened since the last update in November 2012. Notably Susan Coldwell and several other participants at the Copenhagen conference were invited to Japan in February to participate in the Japan Institute for labour Policy and Training Symposium in February.  This required writing a country paper on workplace bullying legislation in Canada.

At the same time, January 2013, Canada became the first country to adopt a National Standard focused on promoting employees’ psychological health and preventing psychological harm at work. This National Standard was the work of the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Mental Health Association. This new information influenced the presentation to the symposium and a copy of the paper may be obtained by emailing

We are eager to see how legislators and policy makers incorporate these standards and the impact on workplaces. Keen interest continues to be expressed from other provinces on the work being done by the NSGEU in the field of workplace bullying, especially in view of the new national standards.

While in Japan I was asked to make a presentation to Ua Zensen, Japan’s largest union representing 1.4 million members. We were happy to make our program format and materials available to this group.

In February we launched the Working Toward Bully-Free Workplaces Program in Newfoundland and Labrador through the Atlantic Safety Centre.  With a strong reputation for promoting physical health and safety they were keen to embrace and promote the guidelines of the national standards.

The Union of Public Sector Employees of Prince Edward Island (UPSE/PEI) in partnership with the provinces Public Service Commission has also adopted the NSGEU program through delivery of the Train-the Trainer Program. We continue to evaluate the program with ongoing research available to us to ensure program content and materials remain current and relevant.

As an alternative intervention strategy to tougher sanctions and punishment, the NSGEU is promoting restorative workplace practices as a strategy to repair the harm which occurs in work settings with high incivility and bullying behaviour.

Prepared by: Susan J. Coldwell (

Coordinator, Bully Free Workplace Program

Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU)

Dartmouth, NS,  Canada


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