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October 23, 2012

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Surrey library workers stand strong against bullying

SURREY—CUPE members and employer representatives alike arrived at a bargaining session last Friday, Oct.19, wearing purple in support of “Spirit Day”.

Denise Parks, CUPE 402-02 chairperson, says that “Spirit Day” is an important day with an important message that started in Surrey but has since spread far beyond the community. 

“This day started with a young girl’s vision to make a difference in her community,” says Parks. “Brittany McMillan, the niece of a CUPE 402-02 member, started this day two years ago asking everyone she knew to wear purple to remember those who had lost their lives to suicide due to bullying and to show support to other gay friends and family.”

Parks says that McMillan picked a day of remembrance (originally October 20th, but changed to the 19th this year to fall on a school day) and made a single post on Tumblr asking everyone to wear purple to show support to all gay and lesbian teens and to give a visual reminder to bullied teens that support exists for them. The message quickly spread through the social media community and it was reported that last year over three million people wore purple in support of “Spirit Day”.

“In bargaining the union and the employer groups don’t always agree on everything, but showing our community that we support them is something that we can all easily agree to.”

CUPE 402-02 represents more than 175 library workers in Surrey and provides quality public services to nine branches.

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