Getting Hard Data in Niagara on the Hard Truth of Employment Uncertainty

“Everybody knows” that work is increasingly unpredictable and low-paying for many members of our community. However, a certain percentage of the labour force has always been faced with these challenges. To truly understand how things have changed, and the types of fresh solutions required, actual current data regarding precarious employment is very much required.

Precarious employment (PE) is not only ‘non-standard’ work (standard meaning full-time, permanent, with benefits). Actually, it can feature any or all of:

  • Wondering if one will still have a job soon;
  • Not having control over working conditions, wages and pace of work;
  • Not feeling that the labour laws apply to one as they seem to do for others; and
  • Not having enough income to maintain oneself as well as dependents.

Thanks to a recent grant from Ontario’s Trillium Foundation, the Poverty & Employment Precarity in Niagara (PEPiN) steering committee is organizing the PEPiN study. Our members include Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute and the United Way of Niagara Falls & Greater Fort Erie.

In 2012, research using methodology developed by Professor Wayne Lewchuk of McMaster was conducted, through a partnership between the United Way Toronto and York Region, McMaster University, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council/Community-University Research Alliances project on Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario. The PEPiN study will replicate this methodology to enable common variables for comparison between Niagara and our neighbouring communities.

Telephone calls will be made to find workers who meet the above description of PE. Interviewees will be asked survey questions so that we may better understand the challenges and issues facing people in this situation.

The PEPiN survey will be conducted through the balance of 2017 across Niagara’s 12 local area municipalities. In addition to extending to all communities, we fully expect that all sectors, from government, non-profits and education to agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, will be represented in the data set that results.

The PEPiN study group will then analyze telephone survey data for patterns, trends and areas for recommended action.

Our intent is that the data and its analysis will articulate for decision makers a clearer picture of the true nature, extent and impact of employment precarity on Niagara. This will enable evidence-informed decision-making and the reduction or elimination of negative impacts.

The final report of the PEPiN study will be shared here, on the Niagara Knowledge Exchange, so please stay tuned to this space for the findings.

You can stay in touch with the study and share your own experience of PE in Niagara, or of how PE was dealt with by an employer. You can learn more and advocate by visiting us at www.pepniagara.ca, on Twitter: @PEPNiagara, or on our Facebook page.

Precarious employment is a complex problem and many have a role in fixing it. How do you see yourself engaging in this work for Niagara?

Paul Connor
paulconnor.ca@gmail.com

 

Photo Credit: Cheryl DeWolfe

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Jun
19
Tue
Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region Annual General Meeting @ Niagara Ina Grafton Gage Village - Building B, Auditorium
Jun 19 @ 6:30 pm

The Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region invites you to attend their Annual General Meeting.

“Niagara EMS: Innovating to Better Address the Current & Future Needs in Niagara”

All are welcome, free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.

This event is hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.

Jun
20
Wed
Family and Children Services Niagara’s 120th Annual General Meeting @ Heartland Forest
Jun 20 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Family and Children’s Services (FACS) Niagara invites you to attend their 120th Annual General Meeting.

  • Reception and refreshments
  • Presentations and remarks
  • Youth bursary presentations
  • Staff recognition

Please RSVP by June 15th to maybeth.szilagyi@facsniagara.on.ca.

This event is hosted by Family and Children’s Services Niagara.

Business of Ageing Niagara Network June Event: Combating Ageism – What Does This Mean for Your Business? @ Niagara College
Jun 20 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

The Business of Ageing Niagara Network (BANN), launched by AGEWORKS™ in conjunction with Niagara College, is a membership-based networking group for individuals who are interested in learning more about issues pertaining to an ageing population, age inclusiveness and targeting older adults.

At this event, Pat Spadafora (Kaleidoscope Consulting and Founder & Former Executive Director of Sheridan Centre for Elder Research) speaks on how Ageism can affect your bottom line.

How is ageism perpetuated through everyday language, images, jokes and advertising?
How do you challenge your own attitudes towards ageism and begin to shift perceptions?
How do we ensure age-friendly businesses become the norm in Niagara?

Meetings will be held quarterly at Niagara College, Welland Campus on Wednesday evenings between 5:30 -7:30pm. Each meeting will have a relevant speaker/presentation topic for 30-45 minute, then 1.5-hour networking session. Refreshments will be served at each meeting.

BANN will connect businesses, industry leaders and subject matter experts by providing a platform for collaboration, professional development and resource sharing relating to issues pertaining to an ageing population, age inclusiveness and the longevity economy. The network offers a forum to come together to discuss business opportunities and to share information and ideas about diversifying their markets and expanding focus to benefit older consumers and leverage age inclusiveness.

This event is hosted by the Business of Ageing Niagara Network.

Jun
21
Thu
Making School Zones Safer: Partnership-Based School Traffic Management @ Online
Jun 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Across the country, traffic and dangerous driver behaviours around schools are increasingly frequent as more and more students are driven to school compared to previous generations. At older schools, the situation is often made worse because those sites were never designed to accommodate car traffic in the first place, as they were designed at a time when a majority of children walked to school.

In the city of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board has partnered with Green Communities Canada to tackle this issue through a pilot project called the School Traffic Management Program, which closely follows the School Travel Planning model. The program’s launch in Fall 2017 aligned with the launch of the City of Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Strategy. Seizing this unique opportunity, stakeholders from both programs have been working closely with one another, bringing together staff from schools, police, public health and traffic operations. Through these collaborations, stakeholders in Toronto are building momentum and making gains toward school zone safety and active school travel unlike any the City has seen in recent history.

This webinar will explore how the School Traffic Management Program was established, describe some of the challenges of working collaboratively across departments, and give examples of some of the success stories of this work so far.

Presenter: Laura Zeglen, School Traffic Management Facilitator at Green Communities Canada

This webinar is hosted by Green Communities Canada.

Community Support Services of Niagara 18th Annual General Meeting @ Club Roma
Jun 21 @ 1:30 pm

Community Support Services of Niagara invites you to attend their 18th Annual General Meeting.

Doors open at 1:00pm. Light refreshments to follow. Everyone is welcome!

Please RSVP to Lisa Bosada, Administrative Assistant at lbosada@cssn.ca or by phone at 905-682-3800 ext. 31.

This event is hosted by Community Support Services of Niagara.

Jun
22
Fri
Quest CHC’s 9th Annual Barbeque @ Quest Community Health Centre
Jun 22 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Quest Community Health Centre invites you to their 9th Annual Barbeque.

Tour the Community Health Centre, talk to a Health Provider at the Health Check Table, meet the staff and board, enjoy a free lunch, enter to win a TV and other great prizes, play games, and enjoy live entertainment.

This event will be held on June 22nd, rain or shine. The Official Ceremony begins at 11:15am.

Please RSVP to rsvp@questchc.ca.

This event is hosted by Quest Community Health Centre.

Jun
24
Sun
Ride Don’t Hide @ Brock University
Jun 24 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Be a part of something bigger – join Ride Don’t Hide on June 24th, 2018.

When we hide, mental health stays hidden. When we ride, we create change. Ride or walk in plain sight this year and help us raise funds to support immediate mental health services offered by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Niagara.

This year’s event will support the Safe Beds program, a voluntary, non-medical facility that offers 24/7 crisis counselling and a safe therapeutic environment for individuals to stay on a short-term basis in order to work through their crisis.

This event is designed for participants of all ages, with a 5km low-intensity route located on Brock University’s campus, and more challenging 15km and 25km routes extending down Cataract Rd towards Howell’s Family Pumpkin Farm.

This event is hosted by CMHA Niagara.

SPONSORS

Ontario Trillium Foundation

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