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Reports and full presentations  from COCAL XII, August 2016, Edmonton, Alberta, CAN:

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.

1. Prop W saves City College’s cultural legacy
2. Check new material on SaveCCSF website, including changes in dates of hearing on ACCJC in DC
3. CCSF Board cuts developer deal to sell headquarters.
1. "Rickshaw faculty" at for-profit private universities in Bangladesh
1. Indiana lesbian adjunct (Ivy Tech) wins court decision putting her sex discrimination lawsuit back in play, with perhaps the least instructive article title IHE has ever used
2. Barnard contingent faculty union responds to admin’s emails
3. Our adjunct colleague writes about Northwestern U changing handbook to make football players employees
4. Supply and demand, adjuncts and tenured faculty
4. Should elite rich private universities be tax exempt as non-profits?
5. Battle looms for Burlington, VT, teachers.
6. From Morning Shift: Harvard strikers to target top leaders of Harvard Corp.
HARVARD STRIKERS TARGET TOP LEADERS: As a strike of Harvard dining hall workers enters its ninth day today, union members and Harvard alumni plan to protest outside the offices of members of the Harvard Corporation, the university's top governing board, in New York, D.C., Chicago, and elsewhere. The 750 dining hall workers on strike want a $35,000 wage minimum and more affordable health care.
7. NY rules former UBER drivers elgible of unemployment benefits
8. The checkered history of colleges (and students) unions and scabs
9. Cape Cod CC (MA) food pantry serves hungry students… and staff
10. What sort of community is Seattle U?
11. Prison strike leader in Alabama transferred to unit where prisoners are brutalized
12. More on Chicago teacher agreement
13. Can adjunct unions find a place in Catholic institutions of higher education?
14. East Stroudsburg U (PA) faculty union demnstrates
PA State System of HE could strike Wed.
and APSCUF now on strike!
and from the AFT Contingent Caucus
Between 4 and 5AM this morning, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, the union for the 14 schools the comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), went on strike. 

Among the top issues: they are fighting proposals that PASSHE has made that will have a strong negative impact on adjuncts and contingent faculty. 

APSCUF is not formally affiliated with AFT or other national unions, but AFT has publicly stood behind them throughout this process. There has been strong support from students, who recognize that the union is fighting to maintain a high quality of education. The union has made significant concessions, but PASSHE's final offer last night was unacceptable.

There are many ways for members of the Caucus to help support APSCUF in this struggle:
-If you are on social media, connect to APSCUF and repost/retweet information they are trying to disseminate. 
-There is a faculty member, Kevin Mahoney, who runs Raging Chicken Press (RCP), a venue for information about higher ed issues, especially in PASSHE. Follow him and RCP on FB and Twitter as well. 
-share and retweet our social media posts as well
-You can state your support directly to the other side
State System contact information:
-If you are based in or near PA, find out where faculty are striking and join them. In Philadelphia today, members of the city-wide adjunct union (the United Academics of Philadelphia) and the Temple Association of University Professionals will be joining the strike at Cheyney University Center City, 701 Market St. at 1pm. Join us if you are in the area.

APSCUF is a blended union, representing faculty who are tenured/tenure track, contingent/adjunct as well as coaches. It is heartening to see them fight for their precarious faculty members, acting as a model for other similarly structured unions. The State is clearly interested in busting the union. What happens in this struggle will have repercussions for all higher ed faculty unions. Let's do what we can to support their fight.

In solidarity,
Jennie Shanker, Sec, AFT Contingent CAucus
15. CC of Philly union members demonstrate at Board meeting
Carol Stein
34 mins
Militant unionism: alive and well at Community College of Philadelphia

At Community College of Philadelphia, where I teach English, the faculty and staff have a strong union contract and a history of militant struggle to keep and improve upon what have won over the past four decades. But during this year's contract negotiations, our new President and CCP's Board of Trustees have made take-back demands that would essentially destroy our work lives and standard of living, expecting us to submit to attacks that have weakened unions nationwide and thus to join other workers in the race to the bottom. So I'm proud to report that a few days ago, 50 union members with signs, tee-shirts and buttons jammed a Board of Trustees meeting, where both teachers and staff delivered passionate speeches about how hard we work, how important our jobs are to the residents of Philadelphia, and how angry and insulted we are by the way we're being treated. Believe me, this is only the beginning of what is certain to become a dramatic fight we are determined not to lose. Stay tuned.
16. Petition to save U Mass, Amherst Labor Center
17. One of the best political comments on the Trump backers (and not) I have seen yet (and it had to be in a foreign publication)
18. St Xavier (Chicago, IEA/NEA) adjuncts finally get their votes counted from 2011, and win union
19. Harvard strikers arrested in sit-in
20. This week’s edition of
21. Rep/organizer job in S CA, NYHW
22. Worth reading if you have not seen it before. (Black Lives Matter) Perhaps a Lesson for us in contingent faculty movement to do more of this sort of platform thing.
23. Safe spaces and adjuncts
24. NTT faculty and attitudes toward tenure
25. Possible charter school strike in Chicago, from Morning Education
CHARTER STRIKE: The first-ever labor strike by charter school teachers may start in Chicago tomorrow. The United Educators of UNO - a branch of the AFT that represents teachers and professional staff employed by the UNO Charter School Network - has been in negotiations for seven months over a contract that expires Wednesday. Sticking points include class size and an UNO proposal to lower its pension contributions. Union leaders say if a deal can't be reached by midnight, more than 500 of the network's teachers will strike at 15 campuses across Chicago.

UNO leaders told parents in a memo last Thursday that the charter network remained "committed to negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement that is good for students and teachers but works within our financial constraints." More details from the Chicago

About 10 percent of charter school teachers nationwide are unionized. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' CEO Nina Rees appears to think that's too many: "While
charter school teachers are free to unionize," she said, "doing so can back them into many of the bureaucratic practices that charter schools, by their nature, are trying to avoid - and which don't foster the kind of dedicated innovation we need to serve kids." AFT
President Randi Weingarten will meet today in Chicago with UNO teachers. "While 
this would be the first charter school strike in the United States," she said, "the fundamental issues for educators are the same wherever they work.”
26. Black-white wage gap increases, (implications for contingent faculty here)
27. An example of real organizing
28. Harvard agrees to consent election for grad union (AFT/NEA), while dining workers strike continues
29. Princeton grad vote to afiliate with AFT
PRINCETON GRAD STUDENTS EYE UNION: Graduate students at Princeton University on Tuesday took a step closer to forming a union, voting to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers. "We're very excited that Princeton grads have - like those at Cornell and the University of Chicago - chosen AFT and our state affiliate, AFT New Jersey," Randi Weingarten, the president of the national union, said in a statement. The National Labor Relations Board in August opened the door to graduate students at private universities that want to unionize.
30. Group to give big bucks to ACE (the trade association for college CEO’s and provosts) to figure out how to improve adjuncts’ teaching skills. Nothing about our working conditions or pay.
NEW RESEARCH ON ADJUNCT TEACHING: United Student Aid Funds, the student loan guaranty agency, is announcing today that it's giving $1 million to the American Council on Education to study ways to improve the teaching skills of adjunct faculty members. The grant will fund research about what college instructors, particularly contingent faculty, can do to boost student learning outcomes.

31. Why the Humaniities are under attack and how only the adjunct movement can save them

"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. 

To receive the periodic news aggregator, COCAL Updates, Email <>  It is archivedat 

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.
Joe Berry
510-527-5889 phone/fax
21 San Mateo Road, 
Berkeley, CA 94707