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

Aug
21
Tue
Game-Bling: Where Gaming Meets Gambling @ Online
Aug 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

This webinar will explore how technology has changed the gambling market, the blurred lines between gambling and gaming, the increased risks and how to stay safe if one chooses to engage in gaming and gambling activities.

Content is designed for parents/guardians, teachers, counselors, college/university students and adults involved in young people’s lives.

Key objectives of this webinar:

  • Discuss impacts of excessive use of technology and affects of parents’ technology use on children (parent version)
  • Explore underage gambling opportunities: E-sports, Fantasy Sports, In-game ‘gambling’, Skins Betting, etc. and other impacts of technology in gaming and gambling
  • Question the blurred lines between gaming and gambling
  • Notice warning signs of problematic behaviors (video gaming, excessive technology use, social gaming and gambling)
  • Provide support resources and harm reduction strategies
  • Make informed decisions with regards to gambling and gaming

This webinar is hosted by the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

Skills for Substance Use Engagement @ St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton - Upper Auditorium
Aug 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Presented by: Elisha Dekort, Interim Manager of Community Psychiatry Services and the Concurrent Disorders Capacity Building Team

This presentation will provide an overview of the different evidence based practices for working with clients who use substances and how to utilize those practices to build engagement.

Attend on August 21st or 22nd in-person or remotely via webcast.

These sessions are hosted by the Concurrent Disorders Capacity Building Team.

Using Health and Demographic Information to Support Community Services @ Online
Aug 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This one hour webinar explores three available online health data sharing websites:

  • Public Health Ontario Snapshots
  • Public Health Ontario Social Determinants of Health Mapper
  • Niagara Region Public Health & Emergency Services Niagara’s Village of 100

Improving the health of everyone in the Niagara community requires collaboration between public health and community partners. Access to community demographics as well as behavioural and health outcome data is important for better understanding the needs of the Niagara community.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Better understand priority populations in the Niagara community
  • Inform programs and services that address the community’s needs
  • Support funding proposals

This webinar is hosted by Niagara Region Public Health.

Aug
22
Wed
Skills for Substance Use Engagement @ St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton - Upper Auditorium
Aug 22 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Presented by: Elisha Dekort, Interim Manager of Community Psychiatry Services and the Concurrent Disorders Capacity Building Team

This presentation will provide an overview of the different evidence based practices for working with clients who use substances and how to utilize those practices to build engagement.

Attend on August 21st or 22nd in-person or remotely via webcast.

These sessions are hosted by the Concurrent Disorders Capacity Building Team.

Aug
23
Thu
What is Healthy Food in Health Care? @ Online
Aug 23 @ 12:00 pm

The question of what qualifies as “healthy” food is highly contested in healthcare and beyond.

This webinar will bring together varying perspectives of dietitians, a chef and an Indigenous speaker for a rich discussion around how hospitals and health care facilities can lead the charge in expanding the definition of healthy food related to how it is produced, prepared and consumed which generates impacts on patient, population, and planetary health.

Join panelists: Joshna Maharaj, Take Back the Tray; Dr Janice Sorensen, Langara College; Diane Imrie, University of Vermont Medical Centre; and an Indigenous speaker (TBC); to explore ways to better connect food and health through the patient meal experience, food service operations, food environments, and making connections from health care settings into community.

This webinar is hosted by Nourish.

CharityVillage Webinar: Networking Without the Butterflies @ Online
Aug 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Building and maintaining your professional network is akin to planting the seeds of career success. Equally as important is developing a networking strategy and refining your targeted communication for different touchpoints. Your personal brand is the impression you leave with people. All of your interactions serve to reinforce this brand, so why not be thoughtful and deliberate about the impression you are leaving behind?

Skill Level: Intermediate. This session will go beyond a simple introduction to networking and will be useful to mid-career professionals.

Key learning points include:

  • Understand the various approaches to networking, and the circumstances when each is most effective
  • Understand your current brand, or the impression you leave behind
  • How to tell your unique career story
  • How to define, then articulate your value proposition
  • Practical exercises to get ready and confident to “get out there” and grow your network

This webinar is hosted by CharityVillage.

Niagara Shores Artists Art Show Opening Reception @ Town of Lincoln Museum & Cultural Centre
Aug 23 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Opening Reception for Niagara Shores Artists show and sale. Meet the artists! Complimentary refreshments and live entertainment by the Figure Four.

Niagara Shores Artists also invite you to join their closing reception on December 13, from 5:00 to 9:00pm. Cory Cruise will be performing and refreshments will be available.

This event is hosted by Niagara Shores Artists.

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Ontario Trillium Foundation

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