Part-timers need support, says researcher

While Canada has seen phenomenal job growth in the past few years, much of it has been in part-time or temporary work and that is leaving employees increasingly insecure, according to a study released by Statistics Canada, reported The Globe & Mail Oct. 17. “We have to ask: What is the quality of these jobs?” said social scientist Leah Vosko, lead author of Precarious jobs: a new typology of employment. Vosko is a professor in York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and Canada Research Chair in Feminist Political Economy. “It is a truism that the norm of the full-time job is declining,” Vosko told the Globe. “But I think what we show in this study is there is some justification to say that workers, especially young people and women, can no longer expect to have access to full-time, full-year jobs. I think this will have some very significant implications for our system of social benefits and statutory entitlements. The fact that people are expressing insecurity has credence. It’s fair to say this is because of the way our system of social protection operates.”

UN holdouts fall into line on Iraq

Holdout UN members Russia, France and Germany have voted to embrace the US-led occupation of Iraq, apparently concluding that the prospect of chaos there is more frightening than giving qualified support to US President George W. Bush, reported The Globe & Mail Oct. 17. Russian leaders who have battled an Islamist-inspired uprising in southern Chechnya province for years do not want militants to gain the upper hand in Iraq, said Sergei Plekhanov, a political scientist in York University’s Faculty of Arts and coordinator of the Post-Communist Studies Program in the York Centre for International & Security Studies. “For them, Saddam Hussein was not so much of a problem,” Plekhanov said. “The chaos that you witness now, the radicalization – these are the long-term threats.”

A ‘Snap Shot’ of music prof’s projects

Sterling Beckwith, professor emeritus and senior scholar of music in York’s Faculty of Arts, explained his current projects in “Snap Shots,” a column in the Oct. 1-Nov. 7 issue of WholeNote, a Toronto monthly music publication. He is organizing a concert of rare vocal works to be given during U of T’s Festival of Soviet Jewish Culture, Oct. 25-27, teaching a new graduate course in Russian vocal repertoire at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and recording a CD of Shostakovich songs for bass with pianist Cecilia Ignatieff.

On air

  • The vandalism of a traditional structure set up by Jewish students in a York University field to celebrate Sukkot, a religious holiday, was carried Oct. 16 on CFTR Radio’s “680 News,” CityPulse TV’s “Evening Newsflow” and Broadcast News service in Ontario and Quebec.
  • Sylvie Arend, political science professor at York’s Glendon College, spoke about the PC-Alliance leadership on “CTV News” in Toronto Oct. 16.