Anti-Bullying Toolkit

Anti-Bullying Toolkit

MAPE is offering these resources in order to assist our members who are experiencing or witnessing bullying in the workplace. Our union has led the charge in understanding and combating this serious and harmful work environment. Together, we work to ensure a happy, healthy and safe work environment for all. Below you will find tools to guide you in navigating a bullying atmosphere or helping others who you see as victims of bullying.

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:33am

Videos: Intro, experiences, training

Videos: Intro, experiences, training Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:18am

Member advice

Member advice

Where do I begin?

When our members are facing abusive behaviors, we know firsthand that these behaviors create a lot of stress and anxiety. We've seen some successful tips shared with members - both by the EAP and by Dr. Gary Namie's WBI bullying website in dealing with a bullying environment. We'd like to share these with you.

If you've determined that the abusive behavior you are facing is bullying, here are some best practices learned over our last four years and shared with us by members who have lived it.

First steps graphic

Understanding abusive behavior

Many times the question is raised, "What is bullying?" We offer definitions of bullying from a number of sources, including MAPE, and identify commonalities between the definitions. We also identify which behaviors would not be considered bullying. The definitions shared from the Respectful Workplace Policy include the word bullying, and go beyond that to include definitions of disrespectful and unprofessional behaviors.

Definitions

Currently there are no laws in Minnesota that clearly define workplace bullying. Click above for several definitions to consider.

Examples of bullying behaviors

This link (above) includes definitions of bullying as well as examples that are not bullying behaviors on their own, but may be accompanied by bullying behavior.

Health effects

In MAPE's work addressing hostile work environments, we have many times seen serious health effects on our members, resulting in time away from work, financial stress and personal distress. Aside from that, there are clear costs to employers resulting from this type of work environment.

Respectful Workplace Policy

On April 10, 2015, Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) adopted the Respectful Workplace Policy. This policy applies to all state agencies and all state employees at every level. The policy does not define bullying per se, but includes the term “bullying” as a form of disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior.

Disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior

The Respectful Workplace Policy offers descriptions of disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior. We've also included examples of retaliatory behaviors.

Protected classes under the law regarding discrimination

Under the laws enforced by EEOC, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40+), disability or genetic information. If you are facing this illegal discrimination, please contact the EEOC. The Respectful Workplace Policy excludes protected class status complaints.

What to do when a policy violation occurs

If you've experienced behavior that violates the Respectful Workplace Policy, there are four key actions to take.

Ways to document the behaviors

In order to prove unprofessional, disrespectful or bullying behavior, it is imperative to document and create a pattern log of that behavior. Management will need documentation to prove the behavior exists. MAPE offers you this form to help put the pieces together.

Complete MAPE's formal complaint

As a member utilizing The Respectful Workplace Policy you will see there's both an informal and a formal process for complaints. If what the member is experiencing has been defined as bullying, MAPE believes in using the formal complaint process. The policy itself features a sample form for such a complaint, but MAPE has engineered our own form for your use if you should choose.

Tips for writing a successful formal complaint

This is the first in a series of member videos produced by MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force to help members navigate the policy. Go here to watch the video: https://youtu.be/hvIF7i5oIKQ

 

Tips for filing a successful complaint

Workplace Bullying Institute

In April 2013, leadership from MAPE attended a seminar on workplace bullying put on by Gary Namie, PhD. The seminar opened our eyes to the reality of the harmful effects of bullying - both to employees and to the employer. Namie spoke to us about the ideal responses for unions. From that point on, we have learned many valuable lessons from Gary's Workplace Bullying Institute and continue learning. We are sharing the initial document received at the seminar, and encourage you to go to Namie's website for your own education.

 

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:19am

Definitions

Definitions

As you read the definitions below, notice each suggest that bullying generally requires repeated behavior, targeting and health-related harm.

MAPE

MAPE has an anti-bullying section in its Code of Conduct Policy affecting its Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, stewards, local and statewide officers, and local and statewide committee members. The union opposes workplace bullying and will work to eliminate its occurrences both within the workplace and MAPE. Bullying is defined as:

  • Repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed toward an employee (or group of employees), which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine; or which creates a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s).

Workplace Bullying Institute

Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is:

  • Threatening, humiliating or intimidating, or
  • Work interference – sabotage – which prevents work from getting done, or
  • Verbal abuse

Hennepin County Non-Discrimination and Respectful Workplace Policy

Workplace bullying is persistent behavior by a person or group that is threatening, humiliating and/or intimidating.

State of Washington – Department of Labor and Industry

Workplace bullying refers to repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed towards an employee (or a group of employees), which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine; or which create a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s).

Murray Cody Thu, 08/09/2018 - 3:28pm

Examples of bullying behaviors

Examples of bullying behaviors

Examples of bullying behavior:

  • Badgering
  • Intimidation
  • Yelling
  • Minimizing
  • Silent treatment
  • Excluding and separating from others
  • Embarrassment
  • Ridiculing
  • Sarcasm
  • Humiliation
  • Labeling or name calling
  • Shaming
  • Isolation

Examples that are not bullying behaviors on their own (may be accompanied by bullying behaviors):

  • Management decisions you don’t agree with
  • Having valid performance issues pointed out
  • Getting turned down for a vacancy
  • Work directives you dislike
  • Not being selected for a special project
  • Another employee receives favorable treatment
  • Your idea is dismissed
Murray Cody Thu, 08/09/2018 - 2:56pm

Health effects

Health effects

In MAPE's work addressing hostile work environments, we have many times seen serious health effects on our members, resulting in time away from work, financial stress and personal distress. Aside from that, there are clear costs to employers due to this type of work environment.

Workplace bullying is harmful

Victims of bullying often experience significant physical and mental health problems. These can include:

  • High stress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Financial problems due to absence
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Phobias
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased depression/self-blame or
  • Digestive problems

Because of this, bullied employees often use more sick leave than others or more than they used prior to being bullied. They are also more likely to experience problems at home, transfer to a different job or even quit their jobs. Emotional distress is almost always a resulting experience.

Workplace bullying also harms employers through increased costs and lower productivity. Increasingly, employers are recognizing these costs and have implemented anti-bullying policies.

Workplace bullying is costly

Workplace bullies can cost companies millions of dollars. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry, the costs of bullying generally fall into four categories:

  1. Replacing staff members that leave as a result of being bullied, cost of training new employees and loss of experience.
  2. Work effort being displaced as staff cope with bullying incidents (i.e., effort being directed away from work productivity and toward coping).
  3. Costs associated with investigations of ill treatment, potential legal action and loss of employer reputation.
  4. Increased health, sick leave and workers compensation costs.

Ways bullying can affect you

Longstanding bullying has been proven to be extremely harmful to an employee’s health. For more information in regard to this, please visit the Workplace Bullying Institute.

... At work

  • You constantly feel agitated and anxious.
  • You wait in your car feeling ill, finally forcing yourself to go into work.
  • You are always waiting for bad things to happen.
  • Others at work have been told to stop. talking with you.
  • You are being undermined by someone else’s personal agenda.
  • Criticism are constant and unwarranted.

... Outside of work

  • You obsess about work at home.
  • Your doctor notices skyrocketing blood pressure and recent health problems.
  • You feel ashamed of being controlled by another person at work.
  • Your desire to do anything is gone on your days off from work.
  • Your favorite activities are no longer enjoyable.
  • You feel like throwing up the night before the start of your work week.
Murray Cody Thu, 08/09/2018 - 3:01pm

Disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior

Disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior

The Respectful Workplace Policy offers descriptions of disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior:

  • Shouting
  • Abusive language
  • Threats of violence
  • Use of obscenities or other non-verbal expression of aggression
  • Behavior that a reasonable person would find to be demeaning, humiliating or bullying
  • Deliberately destroying, damaging or obstructing someone’s work performance, work product, tools or materials
  • Use of this policy and procedure to make knowingly false complaints

When using the Respectful Workplace Policy, you will have the option to use the informal complaint process or the formal complaint process. The informal process creates a path for resolution of disrespectful and/or unprofessional behavior at the early stages. If you are experiencing legitimate bullying or working in an abusive environment, the task force encourages you to use the formal complaint process. The task force also urges you to contact a steward to help you along the process and document how it works for our members. The policy includes a sample complaint form, and MAPE has also developed our own complaint form (below) to ensure important data is documented and shared.

The Respectful Workplace Policy prohibits retaliation and MAPE recognizes if retaliation occurs, members feel too afraid to complain or assert their rights. Because of this, MAPE advocated for a strong anti-retaliation provision within the policy, which includes prohibiting retaliation any employee who:

  • Initiates a complaint
  • Reports an incident that may violate the policy
  • Participates in an investigation related to a complaint
  • Is associated or perceived to be associated with a person who initiates a complaint or participates in an investigation under the policy

Examples of retaliation behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Excluding employees from work activity;
  • Refusing to meet with or be near the employee (giving them the “cold shoulder”);
  • Isolating the employee;
  • Verbal abuse;
  • Changing of work duties or work schedules without justification;
  • Denying leave requests without justification;
  • Continued harassment/escalated hostility; and
  • Threats to job security and income.
Murray Cody Thu, 08/09/2018 - 3:10pm

What to do when a policy violation occurs

What to do when a policy violation occurs

What to do when facing a violation of the Respectful Workplace Policy, including bullying:

  1. Contact your union
    When our members are facing bullying and/or abusive behaviors, they should reach out to a union steward, who can offer support and advice. As the new Respectful Workplace Policy is new, MAPE has developed a tracking system to gauge the experiences our members experience in utilizing the policy. Part of the reason for this is we expect to share with MMB what the policy is working well and what may need to be changed. To find your steward, click here. Please recognize that if you are going through this, you should not do so alone.
     
  2. Determine if there are others who are affected?
    We know that many times even though it's an individual being bullied, there are coworkers who have been under the behaviors, have witnessed the behaviors or who know of members who have left because of the behaviors. Start a conversation with coworkers if possible, to get any shared experiences that may need to be brought to light.
     
  3. Document the abusive behavior
    It is critical that you as a member have factual documented evidence of the behaviors that are negatively affecting you. Not only should you explain what happened in each situation, but also include dates, times and places the problematic behavior occurred. You should also provide the names of any witnesses, as well as names of past employees who you know left because they experienced the same behaviors. Document the impact the behaviors have on you work, health and personal life and provide any medical statements that may be relevant regarding the harmful effects these behaviors have had on you. To help you do this, MAPE offers this incident log.
     
  4. ​​Utilize the Respectful Workplace Policy
    Take a look at the specific feature of this toolkit regarding The Respectful Workplace Policy, where you will find a copy of the policy and advice for its use.

     

        

Murray Cody Fri, 08/10/2018 - 9:08am

Respectful Workplace Policy

Respectful Workplace Policy

For the first time in history, Minnesota state employees are now guaranteed a professional and respectful workplace. Following a three-year anti-bullying campaign by the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), the Respectful Workplace Policy was announced by Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) on April 10, 2015.

Minnesota is a national leader in recognizing the importance of healthy and respectful classrooms and work environments, and is one of only a handful of states to tackle workplace bullying head-on with a law or policy affecting state employees.

In 2012, after hearing some truly egregious stories about the health and employment impact on members who had been bullied on the job, we knew we had to take action. MAPE began developing a plan to protect our members. We had some success when a number of managers were eventually removed from their positions due to their abusive managerial style but more work was needed. As part of our legislative strategy, MAPE met with then-state Rep. Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley) who, in turn, asked MMB and MAPE to create a policy addressing acceptable and unacceptable behaviors necessary for a professional workplace.

This new statewide policy will be an important step forward in creating healthy work environments.

The policy can be found here: https://mn.gov/doc/assets/Respectful-Workplace-Policy_tcm1089-275509.pdf

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:19am

Contract language

Contract language

The collective bargaining agreement does have language that references your work environment. The state has made commitments to healthy work environments and in fact, references bullying specifically in the contract and the Respectful Workplace Policy.

Contract language

Article 4
Non-discrimination
Section 4: General Policy
Section 4 is modified to include reference to the Respectful Workplace policy, as follows: In order to provide and maintain a productive work environment, it shall be the policy of the Employer and the Association to encourage bargaining unit employees, Association Stewards, supervisors, and managers to interact with each other with mutual respect and dignity, recognizing that legitimate differences will arise. Refer to letter dated Aug. 3, 2005 and Feb. 29, 2012, located in the Letters section of this contract and HR/LR Policy #1432 Respectful Workplace issued April 10, 2015.

Additional contract language tied to work environment

Article 22
Health and Job Safety
Section 1: General Policy
It shall be the policy of the employer to provide for the health and safety of its employees by providing safe and healthful working conditions, safe work areas and safe and healthful work methods.

Contract letters

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:19am

Steward resources

Steward resources

Creating healthy work environments can only happen when we have the help of our representational teams including stewards, chief stewards and regional leads. The anti-bullying task force has developed a number of resources for our stewards that follow this goal.

Representation tips

We've compiled a list of best practices for stewards representing members as they come forward with a formal complaint under the Respectful Workplace Policy.

Steward videos

Prior to the development of the policy, we were already learning lessons about representing members in a bullying work environment. The stewards involved share their experiences through these steward videos.

Checklist

An essential pieces of the guidebook we'd like to focus on is the checklist for stewards that will provide a path for best representation.

Help members document behaviors

In order to prove bullying behavior, it is imperative to document and create a pattern log of that behavior. Many times when a member is being bullied, it is hard for them to focus on the most important pieces to bring together as evidence of the behaviors. Management won't take any steps to curb bullying, unless there is clear evidence to show it exists. MAPE offers you this form to help put the pieces together. In your representational guidebook, you will find a bullying incident log for members. This tool will help focus the behaviors and facts.

Complete MAPE's formal complaint

As a member utilize The Respectful Workplace Policy you will see there's both an informal and a formal process for complaints. If what the member is experiencing has been defined as bullying, MAPE believes in using the formal complaint process. The policy itself features a sample form for such a complaint, but MAPE has engineered our own form for your use if you should choose.

Guidebook video

We've also created a video that highlights key components and resources within the Guidebook. Narrated by members of MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force, this four-minute video will give you a great overview of the tools available in the Guidebook.

Member survey template

Use this survey to collect information regarding work environment from all employees in a work group. Ask employees in the affected work area to complete the survey and return to their steward or MAPE Central.

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:20am

Our journey

Our journey

Leading the way to respectful workplaces

For the first time in history, Minnesota state employees are now guaranteed a professional and respectful workplace. Following a three-year anti-bullying campaign by the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), the Respectful Workplace Policy was announced by Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) on April 10, 2015.

The hard work put in by stewards and the abusive environments that our members faced shaped our dedication and commitment to eradicating bullying and creating healthy work environments.

Anti-bullying Task Force 2016

MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force learns from the best

Following the Oct. 19 anti-bullying training for stewards and regional leads, the task force spent a day with Dr. Gary Namie to advance the task force's work on combating bullying in the workplace. The task force worked on strategic planning and next steps for active leaders and regional leads working with the policy in their agencies.

Tina Smith at anti-bullying training

MAPE leaders, lieutenant governor reaffirm commitment to combat bullying at work

MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force made sure October 2016 would go down in history as the union's most active month of bullying prevention work to date. The task force worked to secure a proclamation from Governor Mark Dayton and hosted a daylong training with Dr. Gary Namie where more than 100 members were trained and heard from Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, who reaffirmed her commitment to combating bullying in the workplace.

Racing against bullying in the workplace

Nearly 500 people participated PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying, on Oct. 1, 2016, which kicked off a month of activities across the country and at MAPE. More than 50 MAPE members participated in the two-mile walk and four-mile run, helping MAPE succeed in its goal to be the event’s largest team this year, winning the grand prize.

MAPE, MMB join forces to address workplace bullying

On March 18, 2014 MAPE’s Richard Kolodziejski and Dan Holub met with Rep. Ryan Winkler and senior staff at Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) to discuss HF 2157, which required workplace bullying policies for state government agencies. The legislation was a result of numerous MAPE members coming forward to relay situations where they experienced workplace bullying. The legislation would require action by state agencies, in collaboration with labor groups, to create and implement policies for a bully-free workplace.

Anti-bullying DA award

MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force

In June 2014, in order to move a strategic plan to eradicate bullying, MAPE developed our anti-bullying task force. MAPE leaders who had direct experience working with members regarding work site bullying were asked to participate and lend their expertise to our mission.

Respectful workplaces: MAPE leads the way

More than 50 MAPE members stepped up to the call for leaders willing to accept the regional lead position, bringing consistency to MAPE’s role in Minnesota Management & Budget’s (MMB's) new respectful workplace policy.

Anti-bullying regional leads training

To celebrate MAPE’s three-year journey to address workplace bullying and to train new regional leads in how to utilize the policy, MAPE hosted a daylong event on June 10 for regional leads, members of the Board of Directors and chief stewards. Outside organizations included OutFront, Labor Education Service, Education Minnesota and State Residential Schools Education Association.

MMB, MAPE announce respectful workplace policy

Near the one year anniversary of Representative Ryan Winkler passing MAPE’s anti-bullying bill through committee, and his urging MMB to work with MAPE to develop a statewide policy aimed at ensuring healthier work environments for state employees, MMB released its Respectful Workplace Policy. Though MMB is the creator of the document, MAPE members, leaders and staff have provided input and edit suggestions along the way.

MAPE leads charge to maintain healthy work environments

Working conditions at Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) could soon be improving.

Thanks to coordinating efforts by MAPE members and staff, the eagerness of fellow labor leaders to join, and DHS top officials’ commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe work environment, a pledge against workplace harassment and bullying has officially been signed and adopted at DHS.

Steward videos

Steward videos

Prior to the development of the policy, we were already learning lessons about representing members in a bullying work environment. The stewards involved share their experiences through these steward videos.

 

 

Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:20am

MAPE leaders increase commitment to combat workplace bullying

MAPE leaders increase commitment to combat workplace bullying

When MAPE’s Anti-Bullying Task Force started brainstorming ideas for a month-long slate of activities that tied into October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, the task force had no idea how big its little idea would soon become. PACER and MAPE worked together to secure a proclamation from Gov. Mark Dayton that proclaimed October as National Bullying Prevention Month in Minnesota. But the group didn’t stop collaborating there.

Anti-bullying training crowd

The momentum continued Oct. 19, Unity Day, a day dedicated by PACER every year to “join together against bullying – united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.” On Unity Day, the task force hosted another anti-bullying training with national workplace bullying expert Gary Namie. The task force hoped 50 MAPE leaders might be interested in the event. More than 100 registered.

Namie with MAPE members at anti-bullying training

The interactive, daylong training featured best practices in utilizing the policy to combat bullying in the workplace as well as a special visit from Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring the policy’s effectiveness.

“Policies are not worth the paper they're printed on unless we find a way to successfully implement them,” Smith said, before opening up the discussion to member questions.

Lt. Gov. Smith anti-bullying training

Many members shared their thoughts, suggestions and stories with Smith, who listened intently and offered feedback. She also said that the following day she and Governor Dayton were scheduled to meet with agency commissioners and she would discuss some of our members’ suggestions with them. Smith agreed with members who said there needs to be a culture change from the top down regarding bullying and retaliation in the workplace.

MAPE will continue to keep Smith in the loop, since she’s promised to be our advocate for the policy in the Governor’s Office.

Attendees also heard three success stories from members across the state who were successful in filing complaints against their agencies under the policy. Namie conducted both a morning and afternoon training on the psychology of bullying and how to utilize the policy. Todd Kohl from the Employee Assistance Program also spoke and attendees had a chance to break into small groups and work through real-life scenarios that we’ve seen in dealing with bullying situations.

The day closed with a call to action for members to volunteer to serve as regional leads, a role developed by the task force to be the eyes and the ears on the ground and the lead in assisting members through the complaint process. More than 20 MAPE members stood up and committed to joining the ranks of regional leads at MAPE.

We’re always looking for more regional leads, so if you’re interested, please email Kathy Fodness or Ashley Erickson. More info about what a regional lead is, as well as all the resources MAPE provides for anti-bullying efforts, can be found in MAPE's Anti-Bullying Toolkit.

Murray Cody Thu, 08/16/2018 - 8:39am

Racing against bullying in the workplace

Racing against bullying in the workplace
Racing against bullying in the workplace

Though hunting season is upon us, nearly 500 people were decked out in orange for a different reason on Saturday, Oct. 1. Orange is PACER’s dedicated color for all things anti-bullying and October marks the 10th annual National Bullying Prevention Month.

PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying

While PACER leads the nation in preventing and combating bullying in schools, MAPE leads the nation in combating bullying in state government. With a common goal to make sure no one has to suffer disrespectful, unprofessional or bullying behavior, PACER and MAPE teamed up to secure Governor Mark Dayton’s proclamation of October to be Bullying Prevention Month in Minnesota.

MAPE’s Board of Directors also voted unanimously to be this year’s Presenting Sponsor of PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying, which took place on Saturday in Bloomington.

Pacer race prize

Saturday’s event kicked off a month of activities across the country and at MAPE. More than 50 MAPE members partook in the two-mile walk and four-mile run, helping MAPE succeed in its goal to be the event’s largest team this year. In honor of the accomplishment, MAPE took home the grand prize of two gift certificates to Run N Fun, which were raffled to MAPE participants, and a 25-lb Salted Nut Roll, which will be shared at MAPE’s Oct. 19 Anti-Bullying Training with Dr. Gary Namie.

Pacer raffle winners

“We’re looking forward to a month of activities and events at MAPE to further raise awareness about bullying in the workplace, including a day-long training with national workplace bullying expert Dr. Gary Namie,” Alice Percy told Run, Walk, Roll attendees. Percy is a member of MAPE’s Anti-Bullying Task Force.

The Oct. 19 training continues MAPE’s effort to honor October’s National Bullying Prevention month here in Minnesota. MAPE stewards, chief stewards and regional leads were invited to the day-long training, which will focus on representing members using the policy. Dr. Namie, Director of Workplace Bullying Institute, will return to train our leaders to work toward ensuring every member has a healthy work environment.

Pacer race Alice speaking

Oct. 19 is also Unity Day, which is PACER’s designated day to “come together against bullying – united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion,” marked by wearing orange.

“Orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center. “When hundreds of individuals in a school or organization wear orange, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the unified message … that you are not alone, and that our society supports bullying prevention in our schools, communities and online.”

Anti-bullying race crowd

MAPE members attending Oct. 19’s event are encouraged to wear orange in honor of Unity Day.

“We’re honored to partner with PACER in this cause, and excited to celebrate October as National Bullying Prevention Month,” Percy added. “Because everyone deserves to live a life free of disrespectful, unprofessional and bullying behavior.”

Murray Cody Thu, 08/16/2018 - 8:45am

MAPE, MMB join forces to address workplace bullying

MAPE, MMB join forces to address workplace bullying

On March 18, MAPE’s Richard Kolodziejski and Dan Holub met with Rep. Ryan Winkler and senior staff at Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) to discuss HF 2157, which required workplace bullying policies for state government agencies. The legislation was a result of numerous MAPE members coming forward to relay situations where they experienced workplace bullying. The legislation would require action by state agencies, in collaboration with labor groups, to create and implement policies for a bully-free workplace.

Addressing workplace bullying at MAPE

MAPE’s involvement to tackle the problem of workplace bullying started when MAPE Business Agent Kathy Fodness recognized toxic workplace conditions at a southern Minnesota state agency.

Fodness worked with MAPE Steward Michael Moriarity to get to the bottom of the problem. They held meetings, investigated and partnered with EAP and DHS to resolve the workplace abuse. Unfortunately, it took six long months to resolve. But, the upshot was that DHS placed new management in the facility. Within a short period of time MAPE members, who had left, began returning to their former positions.

Flood gates open to bullying awareness

Kathy Fodness described the next stage as if the “flood gates opened” on bullying awareness. Stewards who fought the good fight were profiled in MAPE videos, bullying was discussed at local meetings and then more MAPE members started to speak up. Abusive behavior was identified at Revenue in St. Paul, DEED and numerous DHS departments.

In fact, the bullying issue was so pervasive at DHS, MAPE stewards Alice Percy and Nancy Witten courageously led the movement to get an agency-wide anti-bullying pledge, which was signed by Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. Credit is due to Commissioner Jesson’s commitment to zero tolerance on bullying as well as the dedication and hard work by Percy and Witten who made that pledge a reality.

Awareness of the possible size of the bullying problem was starting to take shape.

Around the same time, MAPE leadership sent out a survey to members to better understand what issues were priorities to our members in preparation for strategic planning meetings. The survey findings about bullying reflected what was catching fire at local meetings – 25 percent of those surveyed claimed they were bullied. It was clear to leadership that the growing problem of workplace bullying needed to be studied, addressed and resolved throughout the state employee workforce.

Due to the statewide scope of the problem, MAPE leaders decided to draft legislation to bring all responsible parties together and hold then all equally accountable for a practical and effective solution. HF 2157 was drafted to create statewide workplace bullying policies. Authors in both legislative chambers were found and hearings on the bill commenced. Then, a development occurred that seldom occurs during the legislative session.

MAPE and MMB will create statewide policies on workplace bullying

Legislative remedies, like state contract language, are often tried and true ways of solving problems for state employees. They often are the result of negotiations and compromise by both sides on a particular issue. But, what if both sides are in agreement? That was the situation that Rep. Ryan Winkler faced after hearing testimony on HF 2157 by representatives from MAPE and MMB on March 13 at the House Government Operations Committee. He decided a meeting was in order to discuss his bill.

Because both MMB and MAPE believed it was important to establish policies to address workplace bullying, everyone involved in the meeting concluded that it would be beneficial to put HF 2157 on hold to pursue and fast track a more comprehensive administrative solution to workplace bullying in state agencies.

All parties committed to work together to find meaningful strategies to eradicate workplace bullying while simultaneously promote positive professional behaviors in the workplace. These strategies would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Developing and implementing a policy addressing professional behavior, including the issue of workplace bullying. This would include:
    1. Procedures to address employee complaints of bullying.
    2. Clear examples of unacceptable/acceptable professional behaviors.
    3. Non-reprisal assurances/protections.
    4. Mediation options or EAP, and association notice and involvement.
  2. Providing appropriate training to supervisory staff, as well as developing and offering joint training for management and labor representatives.
  3. Jointly reviewing the effectiveness of each implemented strategy.

MAPE and MMB agreed to work on these approaches over the course of the next 12 months. MAPE and MMB also agreed to meet with Rep. Winkler prior to the 2015 legislative session to review progress and revisit the need for legislation.

Murray Cody Thu, 08/16/2018 - 8:46am

MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force

MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force
Anti-bullying Task Force 2016
MAPE's current Anti-Bullying Task Force pictured above, October 2016

From left to right, Lynn Lenz, Anne Moore, Randy Wills, Kathy Fodness, Cindy Kolodziejski, Julie Sullivan, Ashley Erickson and Alice Percy.


Anti-bullying Task Force wins award at 2015 Delegate Assembly
Anti-bullying DA award

The Anti-Bullying Task Force was named the 2015 recipient of the Neil Farnsworth award. Task force members, left to right, are: Ashley Erickson (staff), Kathy Fodness (staff), Randy Wills, Alice Percy, Julie Sullivan, Anne Moore, Richard Kolodziejski (staff), Mike Moriarty, Cindy Kolodziejski and Jorgenson, who presented the award. Not pictured are: Teresa Chapman, Lynn Lenz and Mike Landers (retired).


The origination of MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force
Anti-bullying Task Force 2014

In June 2014, in order to move a strategic plan to eradicate bullying, MAPE developed our anti-bullying task force. MAPE leaders who had direct experience working with members regarding work site bullying were asked to participate and lend their expertise to our mission.

AT RIGHT: MAPE's original Anti-Bullying Task Force from left to right Cindy Kolodziejski, Julie Sullivan, Mike Moriarty, Anne Moore, Kathy Fodness, Alice Percy, Randy Wills, Mike Landers (retired) and Lynn Lenz. Not pictured: Teresa Chapman.

During the task force’s first year, we looked at specific experiences our members were having, steps that were taken that were successful and steps that were not successful. We strategized about how to force the state to sit up and take notice to work environments they were responsible for. We knew that to continue to move forward, we needed more parties committing to our goal. Task force members provided testimony that led the way to the creation by MMB of the Respectful Workplace Policy, the first statewide policy of its kind in the nation. The task force also created a new statewide role, regional lead, to monitor compliance with the new policy.

In year two, the task force focused on tracking the policy through our regional leads, training initiatives by both the state and MAPE.

Murray Cody Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:05am

Respectful workplaces: MAPE leads the way

Respectful workplaces: MAPE leads the way
Anti-bullying regional leads training

Anti-bullying training event attendees packed the room at the St. Paul's Union Depot.

More than 50 MAPE members stepped up to the call for leaders willing to accept the regional lead position, bringing consistency to MAPE’s role in Minnesota Management & Budget’s (MMB's) new respectful workplace policy.

To celebrate MAPE’s three-year journey to address workplace bullying and to train new regional leads in how to utilize the policy, MAPE hosted a daylong event on June 10 for regional leads, members of the Board of Directors and chief stewards. Outside organizations included OutFront, Labor Education Service, Education Minnesota and State Residential Schools Education Association.

Tina Smith anti-bullying celebration

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (in the photo on the right) thanked MAPE activists and leadership for bringing the bullying issue to the forefront. She said she is proud that MAPE is leading the nation and is committed to holding bullies accountable.

The anti-bullying training event featured Gary Namie, North America’s leading authority on workplace bullying, and Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.

Gary Naime anti-bullying training

Featured speaker Gary Namie (photo on the right) talked about bullying and answered questions from MAPE regional leads and other attendees.

“Because of the work we’ve all done together over the past three years, Minnesota state employees are now guaranteed a professional and respectful workplace,” MAPE Statewide President Chet Jorgenson told event attendees. “And today, because of your commitment and hard work, the respectful workplace policy is the first anti-bullying policy for state workers in the nation.”

Anti-bullying award winners

MAPE's Anti-Bullying Task Force hosted the training event. Task force members, in the photo on the right from left to right, are: front row, Julie Sullivan and Mike Landers; second row, Cindy Kolodziejski, Anne Moore and Mike Moriarity; and back row, Lynn Lenz, Randy Wills and Alice Percy.

The ultimate goal of the new policy is to create a professional workplace focused on delivering superior results for Minnesotans. Much of MAPE’s work has concentrated on the supervisor/manager and employee relationship, but the new policy covers every state employee at every level.

Sen Dahle honored

State Sen. Kevin Dahle (on the left in the photo on the right) was honored for his work in the state Senate to help make the new respectful workplace policy a reality. Task force member Randy Wills presented the award.

“We all become stronger and have a better collective voice as we unite to ensure respectful workplaces for all,” Jorgenson said.

The day began with three members telling their personal stories of working in horrific bullying environments. Day in and day out, these members endured personal suffering due to supervisors who bullied them at work. But through vigilance and, with the help of their union, all three members were empowered and willing to share their stories at the training.

Rep. Ryan Winkler anti-bullying award

State Rep. Ryan Winkler (on the left in the photo on the right) was honored for his work in the state House to help make the new respectful workplace policy a reality. Task force member Randy Wills presented the award.

Even Lt. Gov. Tina Smith admitted to having memories of being bullied as a little girl, and thanked MAPE for the progress made in ensuring healthier work environments for state employees.

“Thank you to the people in this room and the leadership you’ve shown to put this at the forefront,” Smith said. “I hate bullying. I hate it. It’s perpetrated by people who probably in their own selves have a sense of shame and powerlessness, and then they pass that on to other people.”

Fodness anti-bullying award

MAPE Business Agent Kathy Fodness (on the right in the photo on the right) was honored for spearheading the creation and the work of the Anti-Bullying Task Force. MAPE Executive Director Dan Holub presented the award.

Smith said she’s proud that Minnesota is leading the nation and is committed to holding perpetrators accountable. She added that she has spoken to MMB Commissioner Myron Franz about how important this policy is to her and Gov. Mark Dayton. She also promised quarterly check-ins with MAPE and MMB during the year to ensure “we’re taking the steps we need to take to make sure the policy is baked into the organization.

“I want Minnesota government to be the best place to work in the state,” she said. “The work you all do every day to make Minnesota better, to help Minnesota when we need it most … is really honorable work and I want it to be a place that feels respectful to everyone.”

Richard Kolodziejski anti-bullying award

Public Affairs and Communications Director Richard Kolodziejski (on the left in the photo on the right) was honored for working on the respectful workplace policy with the state Legislature. MAPE Executive Director Dan Holub presented the award.

Along with Smith, MAPE also recognized the work of two key Minnesota legislators who helped make the new workplace policy a reality. Rep. Ryan Winkler and Sen. Kevin Dahle attended the evening’s reception and were presented plaques “with appreciation for their efforts to make Minnesota a leader in guaranteeing healthy and bully-free workplaces for state employees through the respectful workplace policy.”

Todd Kohl from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) Commissioner Josh Tilsen shared their insights on how to best utilize their organizations to eradicate workplace bullying. EAP and BMS are named in the policy as resources for stewards and supervisors to use when dealing with a hostile work environment.

Todd Kohl EAP anti-bullying training

Todd Kohl of the Employee Assistance Program, in the photo on the right, informed the group how state employees can utilize EAP's services to help eradicate workplace bullying.

The day centered on keynote speaker Gary Namie, whose presentation was titled, “Workplace bullying: A toxic, violent and unhealthy culture at work.” Throughout the day, one thing was made clear: Combating bullying is hard work and it takes an army, one MAPE is ready to deploy.

“If we stand together, if we use our resources – stewards, the union, BMS and EAP – we can successfully combat workplace bullying,” said Mike Landers, MAPE regional director and Anti-Bullying Task Force member.

Member Wendy Breault with Lt. Gov. Tina Smith

Namie echoed Landers’ sentiment, but acknowledged the road will not be easy.

“This is not work for the timid or faint of heart,” Namie told the regional leads. “But, it will give you purpose and you will feel more committed to your union work than ever before.”

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (on the right in the photo on the right) posed for a photo with MAPE member Wendy Breault of Local 1301. They briefly chatted beforehand.

 

 

Murray Cody Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:11am

MMB, MAPE announce respectful workplace policy

MMB, MAPE announce respectful workplace policy

Related links:
New MN policy unveiled to address workplace bullying -- Public News Service
Audio recording of new anti-bullying policy -- Public News Service

Last month marked the one year anniversary of Representative Ryan Winkler passing MAPE’s anti-bullying bill through committee, and his urging MMB to work with MAPE to develop a statewide policy aimed at ensuring healthier work environments for state employees.

Today MMB released its Respectful Workplace Policy. Though MMB is the creator of the document, MAPE members, leaders and staff have provided input and edit suggestions along the way.

MAPE has led the way in combatting bullying in the work place. MAPE’s anti-bullying taskforce, which was instrumental in bringing stories about bullying to MMB, will now focus on making sure the policy is enforced. The task force will conduct training on the policy and combating bullying in May for stewards from each region.

“MAPE is pleased to have worked with state leaders who developed this Respectful Workplace Policy. Harmful work environments contribute to lower productivity and employee turnover, and affect the health and overall well-being of not only state employees but workers across Minnesota,” MAPE President Chet Jorgenson said. “We are proud to live and work in a state that says ‘no bullies allowed’ in either the classroom or the workplace.”

MAPE’s proposed legislation in 2014 came after a statewide survey of its members in September 2013 revealed 1 out of 4 MAPE members have either been a victim of bullying or have seen bullying in the workplace; and staff learned of serious incidences of bullying and harmful work environments at various state agencies.

In his letter introducing the policy, MMB Commissioner Myron Frans said the policy is a resource to support employee success.

“… State agencies value employees and want and need them to be successful,” Frans said. “We believe this policy will be a very positive addition to the statewide policy infrastructure.”

The policy applies to all levels of employees from agency heads, managers and supervisors to classified employees, volunteers and contractors. Disrespectful and/or unprofessional behaviors outlined in the policy include aggressive behavior, demeaning, humiliating, bullying, sabotaging work performance and making false complaints.

Procedures related to investigating complaints about violations are also in the document, including informal resolution and filing complaints processes.

Murray Cody Fri, 08/17/2018 - 8:28am

MAPE leads charge to maintain healthy work environments

MAPE leads charge to maintain healthy work environments
Anti-bullying Human Services

Working conditions at Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) could soon be improving.

Thanks to coordinating efforts by MAPE members and staff, the eagerness of fellow labor leaders to join, and DHS top officials’ commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe work environment, a pledge against workplace harassment and bullying has officially been signed and adopted at DHS.

“While responding to reports of bullying in the workplace, it became apparent that fear existed in both the employees reporting the issues and even more so in those who were too scared to speak out,” said MAPE Region 2 Chief Steward Alice Percy. “Employees experiencing this harmful work environment were also afraid of retaliation.”

MAPE members and staff are committed to changing this culture. To help spur a movement toward a more positive work environment, communications and business agent staff from MAPE drafted a pledge aimed to curb bullying in the workplace.

Anti-bullying Task Force Human Services Pledge

In the photo on the right from left to right, SRSEA President Chad Schmidt, MNA RN Sr. Tammy Hughes, DHS Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry, DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, MAPE Local 201 Chief Steward Alice Percy, DHS Deputy Commissioner Chuck Johnson, AFSCME Local 2181 President Pamela LeMay witness MAPE Local 2101 Chief Steward Nancy Wittern signing the pledge.

After creating the pledge, MAPE encouraged other public sector unions to join in the stand against workplace bullying. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), State Residential Schools Education Association (SRSEA) and Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) joined MAPE in the pledge. The MAPE staff that created the pledge then successfully persuaded DHS to sign the pledge, too.

“This idea, which we totally embrace, is really our policy; but we need to get the word out there about this,” DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said before the pledge signing. “One of the things that drove us to think we need to do a better job … is that in some parts of the department, I think things are working really well, but there are some that aren’t.”

Jesson said the agency is also working toward launching employee engagement initiatives this year. MAPE chief stewards at DHS said they hope these initiatives will complement the goals of the pledge.

“Our hope was to start with agency leadership at the highest level, asking for a written commitment that ensures a safe means of communication for employees reporting such behavior and to make a clear statement against retaliation,” MAPE Region 21 Chief Steward Nancy Wittern said. “This pledge is a first step in the process toward eradicating workplace bullying.”

DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson anti-bullying

On the right, DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson signs the pledge.

Jesson said it’s important for the unions and DHS to “work to make sure that this isn’t just a written policy, but that it informs and changes the work environment. So we’re getting the word out that we shouldn’t condone (bullying) and we need to open our eyes and see bullying and other non-respectful attitudes and actions in the workplace,” Jesson said. “That’s just so important, so I’m just really delighted that you all brought this to us and to be doing this all together.”

Both chief stewards felt that although the development process of the document was not easy, MAPE maintained the vision and goal of what needed to be addressed.

“It took several go-arounds with DHS officials exchanging ideas for the pledge language before we had a final document,” Wittern said. “We are very happy with the end product.” Labor leaders from MAPE, AFSCME, SRSEA and MNA were joined by Jesson and DHS deputy commissioners Chuck Johnson and Anne Barry at DHS’ Lafayette building on Friday, Jan. 3, to sign the pledge.

“By signing this document, the commissioner, we believe, is showing a clear recognition that bullying cannot be tolerated,” Percy added. “We expect to work closely with DHS as we continue to eradicate this type of hostile work environment.”

 

Murray Cody Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:17am