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VICTORIA — An important theme emerging from the Creating Respectful Workplace Conference is a focus on taking personal responsibility for effecting positive change in our workplaces.

During the evening panel session entitled “Creative Ideas for Changing Workplace Cultures,” Equality Representative Conni Kilfoil told a story about a positive working environment she enjoyed early in her law career. Central to Conni’s story was the respect her firm’s managing partner showed to all his colleagues. Conni told participants how her colleagues responded to being welcomed each morning, thanked for a good day’s work on a regular basis and given a real understanding of how their day-to-day contributions fit into the firm’s goals - regardless of what their work was. A simple concept that delivered exceptional workplace results!

Panelists were asked: What is the one thing participants can do to start making a difference when they go back to their worksites after the conference. The answer was emphatic: stop being silent bystanders when witnessing bullying or harassment.

As union activists: we must lead through action. The only behavior we truly have control over is our own. Until we make changes within ourselves, it will always be difficult to create a culture of respect and acceptance in our workplaces.

Participants are looking forward to this evening’s key note speaker, Dr. Gary Namie who will examine the topic of “Workplace Bullying: Health Hazard, Moral Quagmire.”