Archive for the ‘WBI Education’ Category


10th anniversary of Japanese train disaster caused by workplace bullying

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

On April 25, 2005 at 9:19 am, a 7-car Japanese commuter rapid train 5418M derailed at high speed on a curved stretch of track and slammed into a parking garage of an apartment building. The train was operated by 11 month veteran driver 23-year old Ryūjirō Takami in front car. A second rail employee, the conductor, was in the rear car.

It was the second worst rail disaster in the country’s history. 562 people were injured and 107 died, including Takami. 99 of the fatalities were in the front car. In all, four cars derailed.

Click here for the full story and details.

National Geographic recreated the events in an episode of Seconds from Disaster.

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Posted in Bullying & Health, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Minnesota Union and State collaboratively create Workplace Bullying policy

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Minnesota leap frogs Tennessee with respect to having a state policy to thwart workplace bullying. First a bit of background. In 2014, Tennessee passed a law (Public Chapter 997) that assigned policy writing to a state commission (TACIR) comprised of elected officials with technical support from WBI-affiliated professionals. The group did produce a model policy. However, several lawmakers refused to allow the policy’s implementation. The workplace psychological safety of public employees in that right-to-work state remains unresolved, treated as a political game.

Thus, the first state to implement a workplace bullying policy for all state workers is Minnesota. The successful story begins with the state employees union MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees) becoming aware of bullying-related problems for members in January 2012. Discussions of bullying surfaced in contract bargaining sessions. In February 2013, some bullying managers were removed in partnership with the union. Education accelerated in May 2013 when MAPE held a seminar for stewards with lessons gleaned from a public session sponsored by the Minneapolis Bar Association at which Dr. Gary Namie spoke.

Audio report:

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By August 2013, MAPE had produced videos of their bullying experiences. In September, results of a membership survey revealed that 1 out of 4 members were either directly bullied or they had witnessed it. State. The state Department of Human Services Commissioner, Lucinda Jesson, signed an anti-bullying petition to ensure safe, retaliation-free reporting of bullying.

(more…)

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Posted in Bullying & Health, Good News, Unions, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Another name for societal reaction to workplace bullying: Stockholm bias

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Stockholm Bias: It’s Not Quite Stockholm Syndrome, But It Affects All of Us
By Eyal Winter, em>Forbes, April 8, 2015

Winter is Professor of Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

My father, Hans Winter, was a Jewish kid in pre-Nazi Germany who ran for his life to Palestine a year after Hitler took power. Until his last day, he considered the word Nazi to be synonymous with ultimate evil, yet when I asked him about his schoolteachers during that period he would be overcome with nostalgia and romanticism. When pressed, he would admit that most of his teachers supported the Nazi party, and would even describe the parades they organized and the Nazi songs he was forced to sing along with the rest of the class, even before Hitler took power. When noticing my astonishment, he often argued, “Yes, they were Nazis, but they treated me well.” My father was not comfortable talking about it, and he appeared quite embarrassed as he wiped the small tear that ran slowly down his cheek. I believe he was affected by what I call Stockholm bias, a mild version of the better-known Stockholm syndrome.
 
On August 23, 1973, a group of burglars entered and commandeered a Kreditbanken bank branch in Norrmalmstorg Square in Stockholm. Over the next five days, several bank employees were held hostage in a vault by the burglars, who eventually surrendered to the authorities. What happened next was very peculiar. Most of the bank employees who had undergone the nightmare of captivity expressed support and sympathy for the hostage takers in press interviews. Some even offered to serve as character witnesses for the defense in the subsequent trial. The event prompted psychologists and psychiatrists to identify a new psychological phenomenon they called Stockholm syndrome.

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Posted in Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | 3 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Firing of coworker who drove correctional officer to suicide upheld

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

WBI: Justice is about to be meted out in Madison Wisconsin three years after Philip Otto took his own life though he was close to retirement from the WI Department of Corrections. Otto had transferred from one facility to another. The climate at Oakhill represented by the actions of several coworkers and led by one supervisor was extremely toxic and unwelcoming. After his death, investigations were conducted leading to terminations of key coworkers. The supervisor was allowed to retire. One captain was reinstated. Other workers filed an appeal with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission asking for reinstatement. The hearing examiner Stuart Levitan heard testimony during 16 days in 2013. I reviewed the record and testified on behalf of the State concluding that the fired employees (Rachel Koester, Matthew Seiler and Justyn Witscheber) had demeaned, harassed, bullied and disgraced their peer, Mr. Otto, who had transferred recently to their facility — new to the place, but a veteran corrections officer. Progress in the case reported below is that the hearing examiner ruled Rachel Koester was justly terminated, according to a pending decision released on March 4. … Gary Namie

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Examiner: Firing of Oakhill Guard Following Suicide Was Proper
By Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin State Journal, March 31, 2015

A hearing examiner has determined that the state Department of Corrections properly fired a guard who allegedly shunned and belittled a fellow officer who later committed suicide.

Philip Otto, 52, killed himself in March 2012 after what his wife, daughter and co-workers described as a pattern of bullying by fellow employees at Oakhill Correctional Institution.

The 20-year DOC veteran’s death came just months before he planned to retire with full benefits, his wife, Peggy Otto, told the State Journal in 2012.

In the proposed decision dated March 4, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission examiner Stuart Levitan found the firing of correctional officer Rachel Koester was justified. He cited an internal investigation launched after Otto’s death in which dozens of Oakhill staffers were interviewed.

(more…)

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Posted in Rulings by Courts, Target Tale, WBI Education | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »



Don’t Tread on Educators (DTOE): Bullied teachers naming names

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Dispatch from WBI colleague Francesco A. Portelos, New York City teacher

Sometimes workplace bullying affects only the victim. Sometimes it propagates to surrounding colleagues, morale and family members. In all cases though, the work is negatively affected. As you can imagine, when workplace bullying hits schools, the students are hurt as well.

Recently, a group of bullied New York City educators, known as Don’t Tread on Educators (DTOE), got together and created a list of administrators that have been known to bully and harass their employees. The Administrators in Need of Improvement (ANOI) list has grown in recent months and is now at about 85 administrators throughout New York’s five boroughs. It even has an interactive map to locate these bullies by geographic area. The list has given teachers a platform to share their stories and concerns about workplace harassment. The curtain has been pulled back and the harassment exposed.

Many of these stories are similar and show a pattern of harassment that exist in the NYC Department of Education. The ANOI list gives teachers who are being bullied the power to hit administrators where it hurts. ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Visit the DTOE website.

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Hear Francesco’s personal story

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Posted in Guest Articles, Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Target Tale, WBI Education | 5 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Comstock’s: Calif mag scrutinizes new workplace bullying law

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

This Time, It’s Personal
Will legislation to protect employees from workplace bullying stifle demanding managers?

By Steven Yoder, Comstock’s, March 31, 2015

Carrie Clark, 63, says bullies aren’t confined to playgrounds. Sometimes, they run the whole school. 

In 1995, Clark directed an English as a Second Language program in West Sacramento’s Washington Unified School District. An influx of foreign students was forcing her staff to work ever-longer hours. She wrote several reports to the district superintendent documenting the extra load and asking for more help. She got no response, she says. So her teachers union representative suggested she put together a petition signed by program staff.

That got a reaction, but not the one she wanted. The superintendent took Clark off of the school’s committee of department chairs and canceled and consolidated classes. Clark says he called her house and left an odd, garbled message, and one day after a meeting, he followed her into an empty hallway. Towering over her, his face a foot from hers, he screamed that he wanted “no more petitions!”

Scared, Clark quit a few weeks later. She developed tremors in her right side, which she still has, started having heart palpitations and couldn’t sleep. Today, when she talks about what happened, her speech slows to a crawl and her voice quavers like a warped record. A Sacramento occupational medicine specialist diagnosed her with a post-traumatic stress disorder related to her job. After a 20-year teaching career, she’d never set foot in a classroom again. In 2002, she won a $150,000 workers’ compensation claim against the district.

There’s evidence that the superintendent targeted others who crossed him. He took a job in a district near Yuba City, and in January 1999 the teachers association president there told The Valley Mirror that the superintendent verbally threatened her and that she’d asked a court for a restraining order. She also told a reporter that she was having panic attacks for the first time in her life. (The superintendent, now retired, keeps an unlisted phone number and didn’t respond to a certified letter sent to his address requesting an interview.)

(more…)

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Target Tale, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Futuristic PTSD treatment: planting explicit memories in the brain

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

This is the stuff of science fiction that gives medical ethicists pause. Can we erase traumatizing memories stored in our brains? Can happier memories be planted as a substitute for painful ones?

Researchers are hard at work with the newest technologies allowing the substitution. Here is a new study done with laboratory mice. The news article describing the research appears below.


Rodent Recall: False but Happy Memories Implanted in Sleeping Mice
Researchers at CRNS in Paris create artificial positive feelings in mouse’s memory for first time during sleep, highlighting possible new treatment for depression
By Hannah Devlin, The Guardian, March 9, 2015

Scientists have succeeded in creating false but happy memories in mice, in the first demonstration of memory manipulation during sleep.

In the study, positive feelings about a particular place were artificially written into the animal’s memory, which caused them to seek out that place in search of a reward when they woke up.

The discovery that emotional memory can be readily manipulated has echoes of the the film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which Jim Carey’s character has every recollection about his failed relationship wiped clean using a fictional mind-reading technology.

The scientists say that the findings could pave the way for new treatments that would allow patients to overcome depression or deeply entrenched painful memories.

Karim Benchenane, the neuroscientist who led the research at the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) in Paris, said: “The idea is to use this as a tool for post-traumatic stress disorder.”

(more…)

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Neuroscience & Genetics, Related Phenomena, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Biggest tuition discount ever for Workplace Bullying University

Monday, March 9th, 2015

The final Bellingham 3-day Workplace Bullying University is held March 20-22. Regular tuition is $3,100 per person.

Pay only $2,100 if prepaid by Friday the 13th of March, 3 pm PST.

We’ve never lowered the tuition so much, but we want to end our tradition of University in Bellingham with a bang! We started in 2008.

University is training for professionals. Read all the details for this comprehensive, intensive research-based education program. The only one of its kind in North America.

Great for professionals: counselors, executive coaches, union officials, nurses, healthcare administrators, HR, higher education, teachers, managers, attorneys, consultants, and trainers.

California trainers and managers who attend will take back all necessary materials to comply with the new biannual training requirement for supervisors, California Code 12950.1 (AB 2053).

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Let’s Talk with Kalola: The Post Office Goes Postal

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Dear Kalola,

I worked for the USPS for over twenty-five years. I never had problems with coworkers and was considered a good employee. After suffering personal problems, I noticed a change towards me from my coworkers. After being told that we were going to move to a larger facility, I became very excited at the thought of meeting new people. After we moved to the new location, things got steadily worse. Since there was very little supervision this went on daily without notice. I thought that surely these new people had a mind of their own.That someone would like me. But it appeared that things were being said about me. Things being said that I didn't know about. It was obvious that the other people were choosing to believe what they were told. I am a quiet person who suffers from depression. I was getting worse by the day.

One day after having about enough, I went to the post master crying. Not only did he not take my side, the accused saw me crying. Because of my mental state, it was very difficult to control my emotions. Through gossip, I was told that they were out to get me fired.

I confessed to my supervisor one day that I drank alcohol before work to control my feelings. I was let go on the spot and have not been back since. This was last spring. I will not go back since I know that nothing has changed.

I was a subject of gossip. I was left out of daily routines. (People were told not to talk to me) also I had problems with parking that was very dangerous to myself. I was watched daily and told on to supervisors.

I can prove everything, because it is all true. My regret is that I had not used alcohol to handle my problems. But I know in my heart that I am the victim.

a former Postal Worker


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Namie webinar — When the bully is the boss — now available for HR

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

When the Bully is the Boss

A joint production of the Workplace Bullying Institute and Biz21 Publishing

Now available for purchase.

Many companies assume they don’t have a bullying problem. Employees get along. In meetings, team members respect each other. But look closer. You might find that the bully is the very person you would expect your employees to turn to if they are being bullied—the boss.

Some managerial bullying is unintentional — supervisors see themselves as “demanding results.” Other times bosses know their behavior crosses the line, but don’t care.
Not convinced? Consider the slew of new state laws protecting workers against bullying. And consider the number of companies that have rushed to adopt anti-bullying policies and procedures for investigating complaints.

The costs are real. The employee’s health can suffer, causing missed work, higher healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Bullied employees are also a flight risk, as are those who witness bullying. And there’s the threat of lawsuits against the company.

In this session, Dr. Gary Namie teaches you:

• How to recognize and respond to a bully boss
• What differentiates “bullying” from other conduct- both illegal (discrimination) and legal (non-abusive disagreements)
• Why the workplace climate may be allowing the bully to prosper
• Why owners and executives often tend to defend bullies
• How to build an abuse-intolerant, accountable culture for all employees, regardless of rank
• How to measure outcomes of anti-bullying activities that benefit both employees and the company.

Now available for purchase.

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Posted in Products & Services | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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