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COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri-national - USA, CAN (including QBC), and MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee, a website and Facebook page <>, as well as this news aggregator, COCAL UPDATES. See below at bottom for details on joining the listserv and other resources.
CAMPUS EQUITY WEEK 2017, Halloween Week

From AFT
See also:

New CEW 2017 website launched
We have just published the website: 

More than a year in the making, the mAsk4CampusEquity arts-based campaign for CEW 2017 invites the full spectrum of higher education activists to get involved in planning an event for our national day of action on October 31, 2017.

The site offers historical context, eleven different types of projects that are not difficult to implement, and a toolkit with graphic designs and a link to a virtual store where mAsk4CampusEquity buttons and stickers can be ordered (union made, of course!).

Please promote the website and the social media accounts linked to it:
"Campus Equity Week 2017" on Facebook;
@2017CEW on Twitter where we ask you to use hashtags #2017CEW and #mask4ce.


Anne Wiegard
Lecturer, SUNY Cortland
UUP, AFT Local 2190
mAsk4ce steering committee
1. Another example of accreditors getting in the way of CB. This from Michigan
Dear CBA Faculty,

Just moments ago, the Union of Teaching Faculty and AFT-Michigan, AFL-CIO, filed a Demand to Bargain with Central Michigan University. 

The union’s action comes after a number of faculty members were denied promotions or were not reappointed in the College of Business Administration at the end of last semester. The union believes that these decisions were based on the misapplication of accreditation standards. The union fears others could also be in danger of losing their jobs. 

To be clear, the union supports AACSB accreditation but takes issue with the the unilateral implementation of requirements not bargained for with the union. 

Additionally, the UTF believes parts of the current evaluation and promotion system violate its contract and was implemented without consulting the union.

A Demand to Bargain does not open the union contract, but is used to address issues that arise between contracts. The UTF’s current contract expires in 2020.

The UTF represents more than 370 full and part-time fixed-term faculty members on CMU’s main campus. UTF is a member of the CMU Joint Union Council and an affiliate of AFT-Michigan, the American Federation of Teachers, and the AFL-CIO.

Visit us online and follow us on Facebook


208 South Main Street • Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

American Federation of Teachers Local 6523 | AFT-Michigan, AFL-CIO
Member of the Central Michigan University Joint Union Council
2. Classes overfill at CCSF in wake of Free City. Up 18%
3. CCSF ranked 19th in nation for adult learners in new CC rankings, depite the hindrances of all the attacks by ACCJC and the lack of support from the state.
1. Celebration upcoming of UNESCO/ILO docuemnt on teachers in higher education. US contingent faculty movment should be part of this in some way in October.
The link is:
Regarding the celebration, as far as I know, the details are not officially known.  I am asking EI to give me the most recent information.  I occurs to me that you could also write to them yourself.  This event should be open to the public, especially to persons like you.
Nelly Stromquist
1. An article with consequence for all of us in unions and other organizations that support electoral efforts and need to find ways to keep “our” electeds accountable, from school boards to the Presidency.
2. Another good article on why (most) white people have a direct stake in fighting racism and white supremacy and how we might go about it.
3. Bring more dignity to Santa Fe College (FL) workplace (for adjuncts)
4. Interesting letter from our colleague Chester Kulis in Chicago to Dan Clawson of the Amer. Sociological Assoc. task force on contingent faculty. See below.
5. This week’s
6. Academics, including contingents, being dismissed for opposing fascism
7. Free speech on campus? Not for adjuncts?
and U of Tampa fires adjunct for comments on hurricane and Republicans in TX
and from AAUP 
Under Fire, These Professors Were Criticized by Their Colleges
8. Editorial wrong to disparage NTT faculty
9. Thoughts on the plight of the Independent scholar
10. The great shame of our profession (in case you missed this one)
11. U of S FL admin opposes adjunct union drive
12. At Washington U (ST Louis, MO) unionization focus shifts from lecturers to grad students
13. San Jose State lecturer homeless, lives in car, while working 4 classes (and this with one of the best contingent faculty CBA’s in the US, negotiated by CA Faculty Assoc. (NEA, AAUP, SEIU) A real reality check.)
14. Part-time contingents at Temple U (Philly, PA) get new contact as part of joint unit.
15. Another high tech organizing idea
Hello Labor Allies,

My Labor Startup UnionBase just got some coverage in Fast Company. Please share with your online network.

Larry Williams Jr.
President, Progressive Workers Union (PWU)
15. A little Labor Day cultural action. Check it out online

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gene Bruskin <>
Date: Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 8:35 AM
To: Gene Bruskin <>

Hello Friends and Comrades
Just in case you are interested, live outside the radius for this station,  and are close by to an electronic device on Labor day, this show and interview is  live streamed at to people everywhere--more info below
Have a great weekend 
Love and Solidarity,

Monday  September 4th   3pm-4pm EDT
WOWD-LP @ 94.3 FM  (Takoma Park)

Takoma Park Radio local radio host John Michael Causey, will interview Gene Bruskin and play the 30 minute musical radio drama version of Pray for the Dead-A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny
Tune in and spread the word

Takoma Radio Announcement
Join Michael Causey for the broadcast of radio drama Pray for the Dead-A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny, a comedy about an unlikely uprising against corporate and political corruption. Michael will sit with playwright and composer Gene Bruskin to discuss the musical and it's importance today. 
16. Faculty organization against fascist interlopers on campuses

17. 10 demands the labor movement can fight for and win, from Shaun Richman, a former organizing director at AFT
18. Broward College adjunct profs file for union election (SEIU)
19. Labor coalition pushes Santa Fe College (FL) to raise minimum wage for adjuncts
20. Movies to watch on Labor Day (streaming)
Here is a great feature on movies to watch for Labor Day

Two questions
1. what movie(s) would you add?
2. what is your local doing for visible Labor Day activity--a parade, a demonstration (not just a picnic for the members-only) but a PUBLIC  appearance for the movement?

"We are either part of the solution or part of the problem"
"The only reason an organization has dead wood is that management either hired 
From Bill Barry, Baltimore County CC, ret. labor educator

21. Brnard College adjunct leader’s grievance may go to arbitration if local union decides

Georgette Fleischer organized the UAW union at Barnard College. She served on the UAW bargaining team, but criticized the first contract for its lack of job security for lecturers. 

Upon ratification of the first union contract, she and seven other lecturers were dismissed. The UAW filed a grievance with the college, but the college has denied the grievance. 

The UAW has less than 30 days to decide to take Georgette's case to arbitration; the union must split the costs of arbitration with the college. 

Georgette was just interviewed by Paul DiRienzo, who has been on progressive radio. 

You can find the interview here: 

You can also post comments at the site. 


Keith Hoeller 
22. Letter about Duke U (NC) adjuncts
23. Round up report on activities in GA and FL
David Slavin -  I wanted to write to you about the activities by adjuncts in the State of GA. - if you are on facebook it would help deliver more of contacts and information;  let me know if you are on facebook. Just recently I learned about adjuncts making some progress in GA via Faculty Forward. - at Kennesaw they now have one adjunct rep on the faculty senate!

also - Faculty Forward Georgia - has a facebook page -

AAUP has marginal impact in this state but some of the colleges utilize them for what I would term as "advocacy" - 

If you write me I can give you some names, contacts.  Reports are that the college doing the most about the adjunct issue is Kennesaw.

you probably know about Emory Grad students organizing -

I am an adjunct in the State of FL and I administrate an adjunct group on facebook - Adjunct Professors United for Justice - We have a lot of folks from the south in this group and one is interested in organizing right now in GA.  Another has been active at Kennesaw.  

We have 3 metro-area organizing campaigns via Faculty Forward going on in Florida right now.  I have been to all three areas helping out: Tampa, Orlando and Broward/Miami-Dade - We had our first union win in Nov. 2016 at Hillsborough Com College and they are negotiating a first contract;  and,  Univ. of South Florida and Broward College have filed for a union vote as well.  We are still blitzing the campuses in the Orlando area and are initially targeting one community college and UCF.  Beth E. McGarry  772-564-8255- P.S. It would be great if more folks got the word out about adjunct victories in Florida!  we are truly interested in organizing throughout the south and we are finding that SEIU/Faculty Forward is the best union for us for a variety of reasons, but the first one being they are truly interested and concerned about adjuncts and willing to put out the resources in order to be successful!  We are also interested in having a statewide effort towards unionizing all workers  and eventually changing the faces in government, public education and so forth!  
4.Professor Clawson,

I have been an adjunct union activist for 25 years. In 2014 I was not rehired by Oakton Community Community is a dispute over whether state limitations on earnings by retired annuitants under Illinois State University Retirement System (SURS) negated our Oakton Adjunct Association seniority provisions regarding course assignments. The arbitrator ruled that the college under our contract had the right at its sole discretion not to rehire an adjunct. So in effect our seniority only kicked in if the college decided to rehire us.

I have attached several items which you and your committee might find interesting. 

The first is a paper I presented in 2015 at a conference of the Illinois Educational Association: Six Lessons I Learned As A Union Activist.

The second is the arbitration ruling in my case which held that adjuncts without tenure had no seniority expectation if  the college exercised its "sole discretion" not to rehire an adjunct.

The third is an article about my infamous "May Day Email" which described Oakton's feeling threatened by an email I sent to colleagues and to the retiring president of Oakton wishing everyone a Happy May Day. It got national publicity when the college saw it has a "threat of violence."

The fourth is about "adjunctavitis" - a widespread ailment among Oakton adjuncts which is truly a pandemic among adjuncts. Unionization efforts have dealt with some of the symptoms but the ailment still is spreading. 

Finally, an article about Oakton adjuncts getting terminated as a result of the SURS dispute. The  full time faculty, the chairs and other adjuncts  impotently stood by, as the college hired new replacement adjuncts at a much lower stipend. 

The American Sociological Association's Task Force should recognize that academia has been is a caste system (full professor, assistant professor, associate professor, lecturer) long before the widespread use and abuse of adjuncts exploded in the 1970s. Unlike the traditional guild or union apprenticeship program, there was never an intention for the vast majority of adjuncts  to proceed to a professorship. All of academia (including our full time colleagues) profited from this exploitation of adjuncts. 

I remember once commenting to my chair that it was great "as a college professor" to get all the complementary books from publishers. He quickly put me in my place by stating that I was an adjunct - not a professor. I felt like telling him that the only reason he dedicated his book to his mother was the hope that at least one person (Mom) would read it. 

I miss teaching and the students. I don't miss the college administration, full time faculty or chairs, or the vast majority of adjuncts who really don't mind being exploited.



Good Luck!

Chester Kulis

(h) (847) 255-5722

407 E. Berkshire Ln., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056


"Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education". by Joe Berry, from Monthly Review Press, 2005. Look at <> for full information, individual sales, bulk ordering discounts, or to invite me to speak at an event or email

To regularly receive this periodic news aggregator, COCAL Updates, Email <>  Itisarchivedat 

To join international COCAL listserve email <> If this presents problems, send an e-mail to or, send "Subscribe" to <

Join the national membership organization for contingent faculty and their allies, New Faculty Majority (NFM). Support, resources,and strategies for all things related to precarious faculty. <>

Plan to attend COCAL XIII in Queretaro, Mexico, at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, August 2018. 
See for reports of COCAL XII Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and plans for COCAL XIII. Reports and full presentations  from COCAL XII, August 2016, Edmonton, Alberta, CAN:   see

Campus Equity Week 2017 (Halloween Week)

Joe Berry
510-527-5889 phone/fax landline
21 San Mateo Road, 
Berkeley, CA 94707
In VT-802-380-019
in Viet Nam- +84 016 824 04310