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Healthy Work Collaborative

Healthy Work Collaborative
to Map Action for Social Change

The Healthy Communities through Healthy Work (HCHW) project aims to understand and change perceptions of what makes work healthy at a systemic level. By partnering with a diverse group of organizations, HCHW hopes to develop and support policy, systems, and environmental change initiatives that improve the health outcomes for workers employed in precarious jobs.

As a next step, we are proposing a Healthy Work Collaborative to Map Action for Social Change. As part of this collaborative, organizations and their partners would apply to participate in a planning process that more fully explores aspects of unhealthy work, and identifies steps we can take to make healthy work a reality for all workers. Please see more information about the Healthy Work Collaborative below.

Who are we?

The UIC Center for Healthy Work is a research center established in 2016 to advance the health and well-being of workers in Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the nation. Our center is one of six Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The Center's mission is to turn unhealthy work into healthy work. Our goal is to remove barriers that impact the health of workers employed in precarious jobs. Healthy Communities through Healthy Work (HCHW) is an outreach project within the UIC Center for Healthy Work. The HCHW project aims to understand and change perceptions of what makes work healthy at a systemic level. By partnering with a diverse group organizations, HCHW hopes to develop and support policy, systems, and environmental change initiatives that improve the health outcomes for workers employed in precarious jobs.

Healthy Communities through Healthy Work (HCHW) is an outreach project within the UIC Center for Healthy Work. The HCHW project aims to understand and change perceptions of what makes work healthy at a systemic level. By partnering with a diverse group organizations, HCHW hopes to develop and support policy, systems, and environmental change initiatives that improve health outcomes for workers employed in precarious jobs.

What is Precarious Work?

Precarious work is characterized by low wages, high hazards, and a lack of benefits, permanency, or opportunities for advancement.[1] All sectors are experiencing significant growth in non-standard (temporary, part-time, contract, unregulated, informal) jobs.[2] For more information about precarious work, click here.

1 CCOSH. Precarious Employment and Vulnerable Workers: OSH Answers; 2017. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/vulnerable.html.
2 Kalleberg AL. Measuring Precarious Work: A Working Paper of the EINet Measurement Group; 2014. https://ssascholars.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/einet/files/einet_papers_kalleberg.pdf.

How Should We Address It?

Because many of the workers engaged in precarious work are not limited to a single job or to a single workplace, it is important that initiatives aimed at addressing the causes of precarious work occur at multiple levels. To do this, organizations must collaborate to develop and implement recommendations for policies and programs that address precarious work at the systems level.

After conducting an environmental scan, HCHW found that there is an opportunity to connect organizations that believe that work impacts health with one another, and to collaboratively identify and implement initiatives that address precarious work. Based on stakeholder feedback collected during the environmental scan, HCHW adapted various health promotion planning approaches to be used in a systematic pilot process to better understand and address precarious work.

What is HCHW Proposing?

HCHW is launching a pilot, entitled the Healthy Work Collaborative to Map Action for Social Change, or simply the Healthy Work Collaborative as an approach for moving towards healthy work. The goals of the Healthy Work Collaborative are to:

  • Further explore the root causes of precarious work and the pathways to healthy work;

  • Connect public health, healthcare, and social service organizations with worker centers, labor unions, and other worker advocacy organizations to collaborate on resources and initiatives; and to

  • Define actionable next steps to address the drivers of precarious work across systems levels.

HCHW is inviting public health, healthcare, and social service entities to participate in a process to understand precarious work and pathways to healthier work. Labor unions, worker advocacy organizations, and worker centers will share skills, strategies, and approaches as technical assistance providers throughout the process. Together, participants and technical assistance providers will explore initiatives that may address health in the context of precarious work.

What Will Healthy Work Collaborative Participants Do?

Organizations that participate in the Healthy Work Collaborative will come together for six, three-hour sessions. Organizations that wish to participate in the Healthy Work Collaborative should apply with an issue related to precarious work that is of interest for their organization and of particular importance for the communities they serve. Participants will come together to explore these issues and identify action steps to address them.

Organizations who take part in the Healthy Work Collaborative will work collaboratively to:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of precarious work and the pathways to healthier work;

  • Examine various issues and challenges related to precarious work;

  • Understand and explore initiatives that address health in the context of precarious employment; and

  • Prepare deliverables, including detailed work plans for organizations and recommendations for initiatives across sectors and levels, such as policy activities or community organizing strategies.

For a breakdown of the meeting schedule and content, click here.

Application Information for Participants

Organizations that are Interested in Applying to Participate in this Collaborative Should:

  1. Identify an issue or challenge related to precarious work that the organization hopes to address, or a question about precarious work that an organization hopes to answer. Alternatively, an organization might apply with a project related to precarious work that they are planning to implement or that they have already begun to implement that they wish to refine and expand. Examples of such issues or challenges include:

    Creating pathways to provide benefits or other work-related opportunities for temporary or contract workers.
    Development of toolkits focused on the collaborative enforcement of labor standards and work related policies by non-labor organizations such as local health departments.

  2. While not required, applicants are encouraged to identify another organization(s) that they might partner with in order to impact precarious work at multiple systems levels. Applicant partners should ideally operate in another sector or at another level (local and state level, healthcare and labor sectors, for example). Together, these organizations should demonstrate how they are coming together to impact drivers of precarious work at multiple systems levels.

  3. Be willing to complete both pre- and post- process evaluation interviews, either in-person or via phone.

  4. Be willing to complete an estimated 60-90 minutes of work between meetings. Organizations will be expected to complete activities that are started during each session before they return for the following session. Each session and post-session work will help organizations make progress on their work plans.

  5. At least one representative per each organization in the team of partners must be present at all six meetings.

Participating teams will be asked to sign a letter of commitment prior to involvement in the Healthy Work Collaborative.

We hope to disseminate the plans and recommendations that are developed during this six-meeting process with other relevant organizations and stakeholders. Participants must be willing to share their identified strategies and initiatives that address precarious work.

What is the role of technical assistance providers?

Labor unions, worker advocacy organizations, and worker centers will share skills, strategies, and approaches as technical assistance providers throughout the process. Technical assistance (TA) providers will share expertise, including current and past organizational activities, strategies, and approaches to address precarious work. TA providers will serve as advisors to participants and will be available outside of the six meetings.

Application Timeline & Time Commitment

Application Deadline: April 20th, 2018
Anticipated Start Date: May 7th, 2018

Participating organizations must commit to take part in a ninety-minute pre-meeting webinar and six in-person meetings.

  • Pre-webinar: May 7, 2018, 11:00 -12:30 AM

  • Meeting 1: May 15, 2018, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Meeting 2: May 29, 2018, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Meeting 3: June 12, 2018, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Meeting 4: June 19, 2018, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Meeting 5: July 10, 2018, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Meeting 6: July 17, 2018, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

 

Availability of Funds and Contact Hours

Limited funds are available to support involvement in the Healthy Work Collaborative. Funds are available to compensate attendees for their participation. Because the process will take place in Chicago, we are hopeful that many local organizations will be able to take advantage of affordable public transportation. Organizations and their participating partners should apply for the amount of funding that will make participation possible without burdening their organizations.

When filling out the Healthy Work Collaborative application, please indicate in the ‘Funding’ section the overall amount that you are requesting for participation. Collaborative teams can apply for up to $4,000. When applying, you will need to provide the proportion and purpose of funds going to each organization.

Organizations should be prepared to cover costs of participation in the Healthy Work Collaborative. Due to University processes and procedures, funds will be awarded upon completion of contracts.

Up to 24 contact hours are also available for participating individuals.

Please complete the online application to participate in the Healthy Work Collaborative.

 

Funding for this project was through the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Center for Healthy Work, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Worker Health Center of Excellence (Grant: U19OH010154). The views expressed in written materials do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Total Worker Health® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Participation by the UIC Center for Healthy Work does not imply endorsement by HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

 

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