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Pink Shirt Day: Let's Lift Each Other Up

  • Bulletin; Human Rights & Equity; Campaigns
BCNU is encouraging all members to wear pink and promote civility and respect at their workplaces

February 24 is Pink Shirt Day. Living and working throughout a global pandemic has created many challenges and stressors. This year, BCNU is encouraging members to be kind to themselves, be a model for civility and respect in the workplace and join with other Canadians in raising awareness and taking action to end bullying and harassment.

Workplace bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be intimidated or humiliated. Discrimination due to race/racialization, sex, gender identity/ expression, sexual orientation, and disability can often compound the experience of everyday bullying and harassment. 

Exposure to workplace bullying – whether in person or online – can impact the physical and mental health of workers, permeating all facets of personal and professional life. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction, motivation, morale, and can negatively affect patient outcomes. 

Bullying and harassment is prevalent in health care. 48 percent of nurses in BC have reported experiencing bullying at work,1 and workplace bullying has been associated with nurses leaving their job or the nursing profession.2,3 

WorkSafeBC created policies in 2013 to address workplace bullying and harassment, and in 2016 the Nurses’ Bargaining Association and provincial health employers negotiated the adoption of the CSA Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Standard has 13 factors that contribute to a safe workplace. One of these – Civility and Respect – is crucial in minimizing the risk of workplace bullying and harassment. 

What action can you take if you are the target of bullying? 

  • Document every workplace bullying and harassment event you experience in a notebook or electronically 
  • Report bullying and harassment to your employer 
  • Contact a BCNU steward and worker JOHS committee representative 
  • Make a complaint following the employer’s bullying and harassment policy and/or file a grievance 
  • Do not engage in retaliation of any kind 

How can I promote civility and respect in the workplace? 

  • Be aware of your employer’s policy and procedures and follow them 
  • Model respectful, professional behaviour 
  • Be an ally to those who are subjected to discrimination, oppression and/or bullying and harassment in the workplace 
  • If you witness bullying, report it to your supervisor and contact a BCNU steward 

Pink Shirt Day was started in 2007 by Nova Scotia students who organized a protest to support a Grade 9 boy who was subjected to homophobic bullying for wearing a pink shirt. Check out the BCNU Pink Shirt Day 2021 brochure and Pink Shirt Day to learn more.


  1. Havaei F, MacPhee M, Ma, A. “Workplace Violence among British Columbia Nurses Across Different Roles and Contexts” Healthcare, 2020, 8,98. 
  2. Johnson S., Rea R., “Workplace Bullying: Concerns for Nurse Leaders”. Journal of Nursing Administration, 2009;39(2):84-90 
  3. Griffen M., Teaching Cognitive Rehearsal as a Shield for Lateral Violence: An Intervention for Newly Licensed Nurses. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 2004;35(6):257-63

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