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International RSI Awareness Day * February 29, 2000

From: Oshmail Account [] Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 12:38 PM Subject: International RSI Awareness Day

International RSI Awareness Day * February 29, 2000

Because work shouldn't hurt!

* Introduction

February 29, 2000 will mark the first annual International RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) Awareness Day. This Awareness Day evolved from a proposal sent to an email discussion list by a Canadian injured worker, and has spread to include participants in 12 different countries to date (Australia, Canada, China [Hong Kong], Denmark, England, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the United States). February 29 was chosen to mark this day because it is the only non-repetitive day on the calendar. In non-leap years, RSI Awareness Day will be observed on February 28. * What Is RSI? RSI is an umbrella term for a number of overuse injuries affecting the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and nerves) of the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands, caused by a variety of factors including repetition, force, and awkward or static postures. Poor workplace ergonomics and job design are significant factors in the development of these injuries. Typically arising as aches and pains, these injuries can progress to become crippling disorders that prevent sufferers from working or leading normal lives. * Why Should I Care? RSI is a serious occupational health concern across the world. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that repetitive trauma disorders (not including back injuries) accounted for 62% (308,000) of all reported work-related illness cases in 1995, and had increased fourteenfold from 1972 to 1994. The number of reported cases in 1995 was actually lower by 7%, but still exceeded the number of cases in any year prior to 1994. Despite their increasing prevalence, these injuries are poorly understood by workers, employers, the medical profession, etc. Getting appropriate diagnosis, treatment, compensation, and workplace accommodation is often difficult and places a further burden on the injured worker. Raising awareness through public education is a vital step towards protecting workers from RSI, through negotiation, legislation, modeling exemplary workplaces, etc. We're not raising funds for medical research, we're raising awareness-that these are real injuries, they are work-related, they can be prevented, and that when they do occur, early appropriate intervention is the key to preventing permanent disability. Remember, no one is immune from RSI. * Who Are the Planners? The planners are an international group of injured workers, trade unionists, health and safety professionals, health care practitioners, and others who share a common goal to increase awareness of these crippling injuries, to prevent others from being injured, and to improve the situation for those who are already injured. The committee is made up entirely of dedicated volunteers, working with little or no resources, who represent over 12 different countries. * Mission of RSI Day To address the serious occupational health problem of repetitive strain injury (RSI) by education, by research, and by encouraging all concerned parties to work together towards solutions. To return RSI sufferers to health and productivity, through prompt and suitable treatment and through workplace accommodation. With its network of international planning groups and volunteers, the International RSI Awareness Day Planning Committee pursues its mission by: * Educating the public about the types of RSI, the risk factors, and how best to prevent, detect, accommodate, and treat RSI. * Stimulating research to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of RSI. * Encouraging participation by workers, employers, unions, health care professionals, ergonomists, lawmakers, and all other parties concerned, in finding solutions to RSI. * How Can I Help? Join the international planning committee: Overall planning is taking place via an email discussion list. To join, send a blank email to: Organize a local event: Responsibility for local planning rests on the individuals/groups in each participating city. Remember, no event is too small, as long as it is consistent with our mission statement and goals. Spread the word: Let others know about RSI Awareness Day and encourage them to organize an event to mark the day. Participate: On February 29, participate in a local initiative to raise awareness of RSI. Ask your union what it is doing to mark RSI Awareness Day. Remember that work shouldn't hurt!

-For more information: International RSI Awareness Day Committee c/o K. Scott Wright 2013 Princeton Ct., Los Banos, CA 93635

Phone/Fax: (209) 827-0801 Email:, or

Web Site: To receive announcements by email, send a blank email to: Please let the committee know how you will be marking RSI Awareness Day. =================================================


Subject: LIVABLE WAGE UPDATE Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 20:06:13 -0800 LIVABLE WAGE UPDATE

In this message:

1. Livable Wage Bumperstickers and Buttons Available 2. Legislative Update 3. Burlington Livable Wage Demonstration 4. Background on What Livable Wage Legislation is Being Proposed

Big things are happening! As you can see from the information below, many serious measures are being proposed. In many ways we are still just at the beginning of a serious effort that will take work by all of us. But we can win--the facts are in our favor, we are better organized than ever, and there is a clearly a wave of public support for livable wages building.

1. LIVABLE WAGE BUMPERSTICKER & BUTTONS AVAILABLE: "Vermonters Need a Livable Wage" is the message. A simple and effective way to spread the word, these bumperstickers are red and white on black, nicely designed, and available free on a first-come, first-served basis. All we ask is that you don't take more than you will use. Contact Jason Winston at 476-3344 or to have some sent to you.

2. LEGISLATION UPDATE: With the Legislature opening this week, the House General Affairs Committee will be taking up various components of the draft bill, especially the minimum wage. By the end of the week, we will have a better idea of how quickly things are going to move. For the next few weeks the researchers working for the Livable Income Study Committee will be educating other legislators about the issue and what they found in their report. (More on this below.) Other things being discussed will include the Earned Income Tax Credit, requiring state contractors to pay livable wages, pro-rated health care benefits for part-time employees and a measure to help small businesses pay livable wages (no details available.) It is likely that the House General Affairs Committee could hold a public hearing on raising the minimum wage in the next two to three weeks.

3. BURLINGTON LIVABLE WAGE DEMONSTRATION: Economic Boom for Whom? The Burlington Livable Wage Coalition will be organizing a demonstration at the Vermont Annual Economic Outlook Conference on Friday, January 14th at the Burlington Sheraton Hotel. The conference, sponsored by the Stratavest Investing Group and Northern Economic Consulting, has served over the last few years to paint a glowing picture of the booming, robust Vermont economy. Speakers include Governor Howard Dean and conservative economist Art Woolf, who sits on the advisory council of John McLaughry's far-right Ethan Allen Institute. For example, the Times-Argus' coverage from 1998 was headlined "Economist: Vermont's Outlook is Great." The Burlington Livable Wage Coalition hopes to change the debate to get headlines that read "Workers Dispute Rosy Economic Picture." Please bring signs with slogans like "Economic Boom for Whom" and "Livable Wage Jobs Needed." Gather at the front entrance of the Sheraton at 8 am on Friday, Jan. 14th. The Sheraton is located just off I-89 at Exit 14W on Williston Road.

4. LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENATIONS RELEASED--BACKGROUND The Legislative Study Committee on a Livable Income, following packed public hearings on November 30, has issued its recommendations for action to be taken to insure that all Vermonters receive a livable wage capable of providing adequate food, housing, health care, child care, transportation, heat, and clothing.($11.39/hour for a single person, according to a Legisative Study) The Livable Income Committee has also drafted a bill which will go to the Senate and House General Committees as soon as the legislature opens. The recommendations in the Livable Income Committee's bill are good steps forward and could be a big step towards all Vermonters receiving livable wages if passed. There is a lot that will need to be done to make sure that happens -- and it can be done. The livable wage bill, which is called "An Act Relating to Assuring a Livable Income for all Working Vermonters", would do the following: 1. A two-step increase in the state minimum wage, but without a specified amount. (We will have to remain very focused on this in order to make sure that real, serious raises happen from the current $5.75 an hour minimum wage level to at least $7.00, if not more--which the Legislature's study said could happen without hurting Vermont's economy.) 2. Index the minimum wage to inflation through the federal Consumer Price Index. 3. Increase the Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit from 25% to 32%. 4. Require that employers pay pro-rated benefits to part-time employees. 5. Require that all companies with state contracts pay their employees at least a livable wage for a single person. 6. Require that the state pay all its employees at least a livable wage for a single person. 7. Require that people whose income increase as they earn more but still earn less than a livable wage do not lose state benefits like food stamps or heating assistance. 8. Make all Vermonters earning livable wages an official state policy goal. And much more. (To get a full copy (for free) of the Legislative Recommendations call 828-2231 and ask for a copy of the Joint Legislative Study Committee on a Livable Income's Report to the General Assembly.)

This message was sent by the Vermont Livable Wage Campaign, c/o Vermont Workers' Center/CVLW, 107 N. Main St., Room 21, Barre, Vt., 05641, 802-476-3344, If you have received this message and do not want to receive future information about livable wages and workers' rights, please let us know.


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