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Council of European Social Science Data Archives

The Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) facilitates the distribution of electronic data for social science education and research in Europe. CESSDA promotes data sharing by providing the Integrated Data Catalogue (IDC) at its Website. The multilingual IDC allows users to conduct a broadcast search of up to eleven social science data catalogs located all over the world, including catalogs in Israel, Australia, the US, and Europe. The IDC’s simple catalog design--based on a Z39.50-WAIS protocol--and interface make it easy to use. The clearly displayed search results are ordered in accordance to the amount of hits per record in proportion to the total size of the record. Mirrors for the IDC are available in both the UK and Australia to foster quicker searching around the globe. In addition to the IDC, the CESSDA site supplies three clickable international maps that link users to the sites of 32 other data archives.

Council of European Social Science Data Archives http://www.nsd.uib.no/cessda/index.html
Integrated Data Catalogue UK Mirror: http://dasun3.essex.ac.uk/Cessda/IDC/
Integrated Data Catalogue Australian Mirror: http://ssda.anu.edu.au/Cessda/IDC

Changing Employment Relationships:
Implications for Workers, Employers and Public Policy
A new research project by Canadian Policy Research Networks

Two decades of breathtaking economic change in Canada have transformed labour markets and workplaces. Researchers have documented many of these new work and labour market trends: rising non-standard work, the widening gap between “good jobs” and “bad jobs”, the reform of income support programs, the information technology revolution, and economic globalization. Yet, we still know little about the impact of economic change on the employment relationships that underlie these work structures.

Embedded in employment relationships are the rights, obligations, expectations and values that enable the exchange of work effort for pay in the labour market. Fundamental change in these relationships has potentially huge implications: economic (e.g., pay); social (e.g., cooperation, power, trust, commitment); legal (e.g., collective agreements, employment legislation); and social insurance (e.g., CPP, EI, Worker’s Compensation). Signs that work relationships are being redefined can be found in debates about the end of the post-WWII “employment contract”, the widely perceived decline of job security, the impact of downsizing and contracting out on workers at all levels, the potential of technology to alter when and where work is done, and the implications of nonstandard work arrangements for how workers communicate and cooperate with each other.

Consistent with CPRN’s commitment to furthering constructive public policy debates, this project will help workers, employers, governments, unions and other labour market stakeholders respond to the challenges posed by changing employment relationships. Employers’ concerns about changing employment relationships include the challenges these pose for skill development, recruitment and retention, loyalty and commitment, and staffing flexibility. Unions are grappling with how to adapt collective bargaining and organizing strategies to new employment relationships embodied in outsourcing, temporary and contract work, and teleworking. Workers and their families are concerned about economic security and job quality. In policy terms, the provision of public goods such as income support and education and training is based on assumptions about the kind of employment relations that characterize an individual’s work life.

Four research and policy questions guide the project:

1. How have employment relationships changed since the mid-1970s and what factors account for these changes?

2. What are the consequences of changes in employment relationships for individual workers and for employers?

3. How do new employment relationships affect the ability of workers to obtain collective representation and how can collective bargaining be adapted to meet the changing needs of workers?

4. What are the public policy implications of changing employment relations?

The project will have four components:

1. A Discussion Paper that will explore how employment relationships are changing and set out the analytic tools needed to understand these changes.

2. A Roundtable that will bring together 25-30 leading researchers, policy experts and representatives from a range of stakeholder groups in order to frame a comprehensive set of policy issues that will inform the project’s research.

3. Two integrated Empirical Studies (a national survey and a series of focus groups) designed to investigate the experiences, attitudes and responses of workers and employers regarding changes in employment relationships.

4. A short synthesis report (spring 2000) that communicates the findings to a wide audience.

The project team comprises:
Graham Lowe, Director, Work Network and Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta;
Judith Maxwell, President of CPRN;
Kathryn McMullen, Network Leader with CPRN's Work Network;
Katie Davidman, Researcher with the Work Network; and
Joe Peters, Researcher with the Work Network.

For additional information including the full project proposal, please visit our website at
http://www.cprn.org or contact:

Graham Lowe
Tel: (403) 908-2163
Fax: (403) 432-1466
email: graham.lowe@ualberta.ca
Kathryn McMullen
Tel: (613) 567-7343
Fax: (613) 567-7640
email: k_mcmullen@cyberus.ca
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