BURNABY—A pink wave hit our province yesterday and from the North to the Kootenays, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and the Island, CUPE members were proud to be part of it.
Decked out in a pink shirt with the words “Stop Bullying” embroidered on his shirt-sleeve, CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill made a presentation to Nelson politicians and residents on local investment.
CUPE local 748, Kootenay Lake Schools, unpacked a large box of pink “Bullying Stops Here” t-shirts and handed them out to a crowd eager to support “bully-free” workplaces, schools and communities.
At Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, CUPE 3338 members including Vice-president Joann Field and office assistant Jan Gunn, held a rally against bullying and marched around the SFU administration building. Afterwards, participants went to the union office for coffee.
In the Fraser Valley, civic workers gathered together for group shots of members in pink. CUPE 458 president Louise Piper reports the City of Chilliwack administration joined in the campaign with the local and allowed the use of office printers to distribute posters produced by CUPE calling on members to take a stand against bullying.
Text on the poster reads: Bullying is increasingly being recognized as a serious problem in our schools, workplaces and in society. At work, personal harassment, bullying and mobbing undermine the self-esteem and dignity of individuals and creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
Pictures of participating CUPE members and representatives, including community social service workers in Vancouver (CUPE 1936), university workers in Victoria (CUPE 951), civic workers in Burnaby (CUPE 23) and CUPE staff and support staff representatives in the BC regional office (CSU & COPE) are posted to CUPE BC’s February 27th photo gallery.
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The idea of wearing pink to take a stand against bullying came from two Nova Scotia teenagers that came to the defence of a classmate who had been bullied for wearing pink to school. They did this by convincing other students to join them in wearing pink t-shirts, wristbands, hats, face-paint, bags, etc. to school. This eventually spread province wide and is now a story that has gained international attention.
As part of a radio series on bullying, CKNW named February 27th a day of pink and it is reported that over 100,000 British Columbians participated yesterday including many public figures such as the federal NDP leader Jack Layton, singer/actor Michael Buble and renowned environmentalist David Suzuki.
For more information and resources, please visit CUPE BC’s Bullying Stops Here!
Media inquires: Diane Kalen, National communications representative 778-229-0258