Mental Health Workers are Better than Cops

Sending mental health workers as first responders to mental health issues is way better than sending workers with other specialities. This may sound obvious, but for decades in the USA and Canada we’ve been sending police (armed with guns) to help people in distress. Some cities in the USA have reallocated police funding to social workers with great success, and thanks to the efforts of movements like BLM more cities are following suit. New York City is one such city and unsurprisingly their results are similar to other cities where police have been defunded.

The movement to defund the police, then put those funds into social services is clearly working.

In 95% of cases, people accepted care from the B-HEARD team, data from the city shows. That’s compared with 82% for traditional 911 response teams, which include police. 

Additionally, 50% of people treated by B-HEARD were transported to the hospital for more care, a far lower number than the 82% who are transported to the hospital with traditional 911 response.

Read more.

Shorter Work Weeks Work

work and smile

Working less is better for everyone involved, including the employer. Iceland just ran a multi year experiment from 2015-19 to find out if a four day work week would damage productivity or improve it. Unsurprisingly, productivity didn’t go down and in some jobs it even went up. Tell your boss you should only work four days a week!

The trials led unions to renegotiate working patterns, and now 86% of Iceland’s workforce have either moved to shorter hours for the same pay, or will gain the right to, the researchers said.

Workers reported feeling less stressed and at risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved. They also reported having more time to spend with their families, do hobbies and complete household chores. 

Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.

Read more.

Three Years of Privacy Thanks to the GDPR

computer screen
Three years ago today the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted in the EU to protect you from morally questionable digital surveillance, and trust me, we’re all better off for it. Essentially the GDPR stops large companies from tracking you across the web and using that information to change your behaviour. When companies are collecting data they must disclose what they are collecting and why, plus they need to ensure that the data is well protected.

The immediate success of the GDPR led other jurisdictions to follow with similar policies to protect people, including in Japan, Chilie, Kenya, and more.

Over the BBC they cheekily posted a list of the biggest offenders of the GDPR (which shows why the legislation is needed).

4. H&M (35.3m euros)

H&M was fined by German regulators in 2020 after it was found to have been secretly monitoring hundreds of its employees.

If workers took holiday or sick leave, they were required to attend a meeting with senior staff at the retail giant on their return.

These meetings were recorded, and made accessible to H&M managers without the knowledge of staff.

The data collected from the interviews was used to make a “detailed profile” of workers, which then influenced decisions concerning their employment.

Read more.

Malaysia Stops Jailing Addicts, Helps Them Recover Instead

lighter and joint

Addiction is tough and it can happen to anyone. In Malaysia they are changing their drug laws to reflect this reality by providing rehab for users instead of locking them up in prison. Malaysia has tried the now-classic and irrefutably irrational “war on drugs” approach and found that it didn’t actually solve anything. Hopefully this current change in law within the country inspires others in the region to rethink their approach to this vital health care issue.

Home minister Hamzah Zainudin said the change of approach towards drug abusers and addicts – from prison sentences to rehabilitation and treatment programmes – will happen this year and would remove the stigma they carry in society, which looked negatively at abusers and drug addicts.

“Besides that, it will also facilitate their reintegration into the community and give them a second chance,” he said in conjunction with the 38th National Anti-Drugs Day on the National Anti-Drugs Agency’s (NADA) Facebook Live session today.

Read more.

Alphabet Union Wants Alphabet to Behave

The workers behind the unionization efforts at Google are expanding to take on the whole Alphabet, the parent company of Google. They’ve formed Alpha Global to be a common voice for issues facing Google workers around the world and for people who are being negatively impacted by the actions of the Alphabet mega-corporation. If this union is like ones from a hundred years ago then all of us will benefit from the efforts to reign in the power and aspirations of a company that is practicing great overreach into all aspects of society.

“The problems at Alphabet — and created by Alphabet — are not limited to any one country, and must be addressed on a global level,” says UNI general secretary Christy Hoffman. “The movement launched by tech workers at Google and beyond is inspiring. They are using their collective muscle to not only transform their conditions of employment but also to address social issues caused by increasing concentration of corporate power.”

“The power of these global tech companies is such that they’re in every part of our lives,” says Fionnuala Ní Bhrógáin, an organizer with the Communications Workers’ Union in Ireland. “If they’re acting in this way nearly entirely unchecked by governments then there is no hold on what they can do. That power needs to be checked, and it’s only through collective action that workers are able to do that.”

Read more.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: