An Agenda for Healthy Work in America:

To restore to Americans their pursuit of Life, Liberty and Healthy Work.
INSTRUCTIONS

The Healthy Work Agenda is a tool to create, understand, and discuss a “healthy” workplace. It can be displayed in a business, workplace, union organization and any place where “healthy work” needs to be better understood. You can print the agenda for display on your desk, share on your social networks, share with your supervisor, HR or your wellness program, bring to the attention of your union leadership, labor council, email friends and family or post on an employee forum or chat group.

The agenda can open a conversation. It can support discussions already going on about what’s needed to have a healthier workplace for individuals and organizations. It encourages us to “think big” about what we need, and to refuse to accept unhealthy situations.

GOALS OF “AN AGENDA FOR HEALTHY WORK IN AMERICA”

Adopt “healthy work” standards in America.

  • Spread the message that if we want healthy people, we need healthy work.
  • Prevent illness and early deaths by reducing work stress.
  • Educate business, labor organizations and policy makers about the benefits of “healthy work”: it improves health; reduces healthcare costs; and improves productivity.
  • Lobby OSHA, state and national organizations to develop “healthy work” standards (which other countries have already done).

Build a healthier future for American workers by strengthening their voice & labor power.  

  • Protect workers’ freedom to act together, to join a union to bargain with employers over healthier working conditions.
  • Stop retaliation from employers against workers for organizing a union.
  • Increase employee participation in decision-making within workplaces.

Change the organization and culture of work in America.

  • Challenge practices that require over-work and obedience without question.
  • Discredit the fear-driven, status quo message: “Just be glad you have a job. If you don’t like it, you can leave.”
  • Endorse public policy that incentivizes employers to change work so that people and profit are mutually sustainable.

 

PRINCIPLES OF HEALTHY WORK

Jobs that provide a safe and healthy working environment:

  • Freedom from physical harm
  • Manageable workload
  • Reduce repetitive work
  • Participation in decision-making about your job
  • Opportunities to develop and use skills on the job
  • Opportunities for advancement and growth
  • Supportive supervisors
  • Opportunities for interaction with and support from co-workers
  • Job security (e.g. limits to temporary contracts)
  • Respect, dignity and fairness at work (anti-bullying, harassment and discrimination policies)
  • Minimize night shift and rotating shiftwork. Provide adequate accommodations for workers doing such shifts.
  • Provide adequate staffing to prevent an overwhelming workload, protect workers’ break times and  time off.
  • Fair hours (limit long work weeks, pay overtime, full-time hours for those needing them or needing benefits)

Jobs that provide livable wages and benefits:

  • Fair “living” wages
  • Work-life balance
  • Paid sick leave, family leave and vacation time
  • Adequate health insurance

 

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