General Talking Points When Calling Representatives and Senators
- We are asking for your continued support of HB591 and SB391. We believe both bills will help us deliver the critical services your constituents count on.
- We hope we can count on you to help make HB591 and SB391 NH state law.
- Both bills were overwhelmingly supported by both legislative chambers and had bipartisan support.
- These bills are about protecting your constituents from ill treatment at their workplaces and about guaranteeing that state services are performed efficiently and effectively with appropriate oversight.
Talking Points Specific to HB591
- Both chambers overwhelmingly supported this bill and acknowledged they believe this is an issue that shared across state agencies.
- Currently, the state does not have a policy nor are there laws which protect employees from workplace aggression and bullying. The NH House passed HB 591 to prohibit the abuse of state employees in the workplace.
- Workplace bullying refers to continuing, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) against a co-worker or subordinate (or a group of employees), which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine.
- Workplace bullying is not a one-time dispute or personality clash. It is repetitive hostile behavior on the part of one party towards another over a period of time. It is a pattern not an isolated event.
- Workplace bullying is a serious problem that has been identified in most state agencies. It is not a frivolous issue and should not be minimized.
- The SEA/SEIU 1984 Council convened at a special meeting to discuss our next steps following the Governor’s veto. The Council, which is the second highest governing body of the organization, voted unanimously to take an active role in a campaign to override the Governor’s veto on this bill.
- Continuing to ignore this problem is likely to diminish the quality of services NH citizens and visitors to our state receive.
- Opponents of this bill say it will lead to lawsuits against the state. There are already lawsuits that have been settled or currently in play because of bullying. That argument is hollow. It is better to be proactive, have a law, have guidelines for recognizing the problem and resolve the problem before it rises to the level of litigation.
- Victims of workplace bullying experience:
- High stress, high blood pressure, sleep and digestive disturbances, musculoskeletal problems;
- Increased absenteeism and medical leave;
- Increased depression, self-blame, and reduced self-esteem; and
- Family tension and stress.
- Employers are also impacted because it:
- Leads to low morale in the workforce and undermines productivity;
- Causes employees to seek increased medical attention which drives up health care costs;
- Results in additional costs to recruit, hire and train new employees when bullied employees leave; and
- Leads to lost productivity and high absenteeism.
Talking Points Specific to SB391
- Both chambers widely supported SB391 which would provide more structured oversight to the activities at Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC).
- Currently, the legislative oversight board is dormant. This bill would revitalize that board. Oversight is positive and increases the likelihood of successful outcomes.
- This bill would provide greater transparency surrounding the rehabilitation of our state’s most at risk youth.
- Many of the residents are emotionally distressed and sometimes act out violently. Sometimes this may lead to their restraint. Proper protocols should be followed. Oversight will minimize potential liability in such instances.
- The composition of the oversight board would include stakeholders, management and staff, which would foster better transparency; better outcomes and efficiencies; more consideration of issues from all points of view; and better employee/management relations.
- Ultimately, revitalizing the oversight board will enhance the rehabilitation of the youth who otherwise would have very little chance of succeeding outside of the state system – juvenile justice today; corrections system tomorrow.
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