FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault:

All workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Respectful and positive behavior in the workplace contributes to individual, organizational and societal well-being and prevents unnecessary suffering.

To recognize this and the importance of safe and healthy workplaces that are free from discrimination and harassment, Sept. 4-8 has been declared Respectful Workplace Week in New Brunswick.

Workplace bullying is a form of harassment that involves persistent and repeated offensive, unsafe, unwanted, degrading or intimidating behaviours and the abuse of power or control. Bullying is characterized by behaviour that is known or ought to be known to be unwanted. It is usually repetitive and tactics that are often subtle and insidious with consequences that have a gradual and cumulative effect.

As an employer, the provincial government is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is the employer's responsibility to prevent and eliminate harassment in the workplace.

As part of this initiative, the Workplace Violence and Abuse Research Team of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research in conjunction with the Women’s Equality Branch will be holding a series of free lectures on Sept. 8 at the Fredericton Public Library. The lectures will provide information, resources and education sessions specific to respect in the workplace and workplace bullying in general.

The purpose of the Workplace Violence and Abuse Research Team is to work toward understanding and preventing bullying, intimidation, victimization, aggression and other forms of violence and abuse in New Brunswick workplaces.

Your government is committed to ensuring all New Brunswickers can work in healthy, respectful and inclusive workplaces where all people are valued. We encourage all New Brunswickers to do their part in fostering a healthy and productive work environment.