Major New Research Projects

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.


Innovation in Industrial Relations in the Unionized Ontario ICI- Construction Sector: Resolving Jurisdictional Disputes and No-Strike/Lockout Protocols


Professor Chaykowski and Professor Hickey have begun a research project that will support discussion and the development of new approaches to resolving jurisdictional disputes and establishing no-strike/lockout protocols among employer and union stakeholders in Ontario ICI-Construction sector.
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Implications of Labour Market Trends in the ICI- Construction Sector and Changes in Technology on Workplace Organization, Processes and Skills
Professors Richard Chaykowski and Robert Hickey are leading a major new research project on the implications of changes in technology, skills and the labour market in the Ontario Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) construction industry - key driver of the broader Ontario economy.
This project will investigate such issues as: