Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining

Highlights of Recent and Ongoing Research

Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining

The Work Environment for Call Centre Employees and Best Practices for Employment Relations: A Review of Selected Research
By: Dr. Richard Chaykowski & Dr. Robert Hickey
Employment in call centres has become a major feature of the Canadian labour market, operating in a wide range of industries, and representing a significant source of employment.

Working conditions in call centres reflect the nature of the services provided, technologies utilized, and other conditions such as whether the call centre is outsourced or unionized. Consequently, there appears to be considerable variation in the overall quality of the work environment and types of workplace issues.

This study surveys the recent research literature and findings regarding the range of employment relations and workplace conditions in call centres – including a selected review of potential “best practices” identified in these studies.  

The report takes an evidence-based approach to:
The report therefore also serves as a selected “reference guide”.  Management and unions can benefit from understanding the challenges and then taking actions to address the issues that make sense in the context of their particular business and work environment. 

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Evaluation of workforce development and HR strategies in Ontario’s community and social services sector

Professor Hickey recently completed a major research project which evaluated a ten-year effort by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) to enhance workforce development and HR strategies in Ontario’s social services sector. The research project generated one of the largest samples of work and employment experiences among community-based social service providers, (n=2,977). The findings from the project are available in a series of reports:


Professor Hickey is engaging policy makers, sector executives, and union leaders in a series of knowledge mobilization events. He has presented and discussed his findings at union conferences, the Ministry’s stakeholder service planning, and the largest HR conference in the social services sector.

Psychological health and safety in Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Professor Hickey has been working with MIR Candidate Ryan Horbay and experts from the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to analyze the findings from a survey of corrections officers and probation officers in Ontario. The study applies the Mental Injury Toolkit to analyze the root cause factors and identify strategies to eliminate or mitigate psychological hazards in corrections services. The study supports collaborative efforts by the Ministry and OPSEU to address sources of stress and improve psychological safety in the sector.

Costing Collective Bargaining Proposals in the University Sector

Professor Hickey is working with the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) to adapt the manual and methods developed for costing with his colleagues, Dr. Chaykowski and Dr. Sweeney, to the university sector. Compensation structures, such as complex career development matrices, require specialized methods for modelling the cost impacts of changes to academic staff salaries. Professor Hickey will develop and pilot the manual and costing template among academic staff associations affiliated with CAUT.


Richard Chaykowski presenting at Faculty of Law Workshop on the SCC’s landmark right to strike decision in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan held April 24, 2015 with Panelists, Donald Carter, Paul Cavalluzzo and Brian Etherington.

… brings selected contemporary research analysis together with the perspectives of leading practitioners into one volume. Please contact us for a copy of this volume.

...innovative new instructional guide to costing collective agreement proposals.
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