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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.

Do you find yourself missing national Campus Equity Week celebrations this year?
Looking ahead to October of 2017, a grassroots group of contingent artist-activists scattered across the U.S. have been working under the auspices of New Faculty Majority for several months to design a theme that captures our need to both conceal and reveal our complex identities as members of the precarious academic workforce: mAsk4campusEquity.
We are exploring three basic customizable options for unified Campus Equity messaging and activities in 2017 that capitalize on the change-making power of art:
1. Historical re-enactment of creative social justice protests;
2. Other modes of performance art such as mock funerals, carnival processions, etc;
3. Exhibits that illustrate the diversity of our workforce and the issues of contingent employment.
Over the next few months, we hope to
·      build a large network of artist-activists and supporters;
·      partner with a number of organizations related to the arts;
·      engage participants with expertise in various art media from music and performance to photography, sculpture, graphic arts and new media, to flesh out plans for local actions that will resonate across the country.
If you want to join our campaign on the ground floor, please contact Anne Wiegard at
Andy Davis
Natalie Barnes
Jessica Lawless
Kat Jacobsen
Rita Lilly
Jennie Shanker
Lydia Snow
Anne Wiegard
1. Request for written comments (Nov. 14 deadline)  and plans to go to newly rescheduled hearing on the ACCJC in Washington, DC (Feb. 22-24, 2017)
1. Two articles of interest in Canadian labor journal, Labour/ Le Travail, only abstracts free, unfortunately
Educator’s dissent through social media
and review essay on education deform and social justice unionism
2. Argentine faculty strike
3. Mexican stduents rejected for admission and teacher college students contine occupations
4. Fair Employment Week in Canada
Hi Joe

It’s Fair Employment Week in Canada, meant to draw attention to the unfair working conditions among contingent faculty in Canadian universities and colleges. I was interviewed for a series of short video posts by ACIFA, the network of college faculty associations in Alberta, last week. Here’s a link: <>

In Solidarity
Gerry Potter
Contingent Faculty, MacEwan University, Alberta, Canada
5. Uber loses right in Britain to classify drivers as contractors
and student support sit-in
and HARVARD WORKERS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT: Dining hall workers appear to have prevailed in their three-week strike against the nation's oldest and richest university. They'll vote today on a tentative agreement struck early Monday morning between the university administration and the bargaining committee for UNITE HERE Local 26. The local's president, Brian Lang, told the Boston Globe that the agreement met the union's demands for a salary floor of $35,000, no increases in health insurance costs, and compensation for employees laid off in summer. The dining hall workers will host an event today at 2 p.m. to "celebrate" and provide more information, streamed here on Facebook Live.
2. Interesting piece from  Advocate at CUNY on behalf of adjuncts
3. More on PA state system strike
and students join picket lines
and AAUP supports
and IN PENNSYLVANIA, MOST CLASSES CANCELED BECAUSE OF STRIKE: About 80 percent of faculty at 14 state universities in Pennsylvania are on strike after negotiations on a new employment contract fell apart earlier this week. That means most classes are canceled and many students have made their way to the state system's headquarters to join faculty on the picket line or urge administrators and the faculty group to resume negotiations, said Ken Marshall, a spokesman for the state system. "We had several busloads of students come to the headquarters here today to voice their concerns and ask questions," Marshall told Morning Education. "Their main concerns are, 'Is the semester going to be canceled? Am I going to be able to graduate in December or May?' ... They're not just sitting back waiting, they're taking an active role."

- There's no end in sight for Pennsylvania's first-ever faculty strike. [sic: Comm Coll of Philly has struck more than once] There have been no additional negotiations between the state and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty, which represents more than 5,000 faculty, since the strike began early Wednesday. "They told us they were done talking to us, they lifted the media embargo that was in place during negotiations, and they gave us a 'last, best offer,' which is negotiations speak for 'go on strike,'" Kenneth M. Mash, the faculty group president, said in a statement. "If they stayed, it was only for appearances. It's clear the real decision-makers were finished for the night." Marshall, the state spokesman, said Pennsylvania has been "working as hard as we can to try to figure out how to resolve this" - though he wouldn't say specifically what the state was doing. "We're involved, we're having a lot of conversations with a lot of people.”
and strike settled
reflections on the strike from inside
4. Full and PT profs unionize at Minneapolis School of Art and Design
and (and Augsburg faculty file for elections)
5. Eleventh hour deal averts Burlington, VT teachers' strike
6. Charter school settlement in Chicago, from Morning Shift
CHICAGO CHARTER TEACHERS WON'T STRIKE: A union representing teachers and staff at one of Chicago's largest charter school networks reached agreement with management early Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. The deal likely means Chicago will avoid being the site of the nation's first-ever strike against a charter school. According to the Tribune's Juan Perez Jr. and Megan Crepeau, the agreement "would maintain a practice where the charter network pays for the bulk of teachers' required pension contributions for current employees.... New hires would lose the perk, but receive offsetting pay raises." The United Educators of UNO - a branch of the AFT that represents teachers and professional staff employed by the UNO Charter School Network - was in negotiations for seven months. More from the Tribune here.

SPEAKING OF CHARTER SCHOOLS: The NLRB declined Wednesday to review a regional director's approval of a collective bargaining unit consisting of full and part-time special education teachers and reading specialists at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, an online charter school in Midland, Pa. Charter schools pose an interesting challenge for the NLRB, since it's unclear whether they're public or private under the National Labor Relations Act, which excludes as employers "any state or political subdivision."

The Supreme Court ruled that the exemption applied to any organization "created by a state, so as to constitute a department or administrative arm of government," or "administered by individuals who are responsible to public officials or the general electorate." But because state and local laws governing charter schools vary, that test has been applied on a case-by-case basis. But in August the NLRB ruled in Pennsylvania Virtual Charter Schools that adifferent Pennsylvania cyber charter school operating under the same statute was a private employer. Because of that decision, the board said, it need not review the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School case. Republican board member Philip Miscimarra dissented, as he did in Pennsylvania Virtual Charter Schools, arguing that the board should decline jurisdiction over charter schools in general.
7. U of CA workers skipping meals to pay bills
8. Oct. E-Note from NCSCBHEP, with lots  of organizing news
9. Liberal and fine arts adjuncts first to go at U of TX, San Antonio
10. Emeryville, CA passes predictable scheduling bill
11. Chicago CTU delegates urge member ratification of tentative contract settlement
and more on the settlement with two-tier retirement
12. More on Princeton (NJ) grads affiliating with AFT
13. Organize or die
14. AFT and SEIU vie for grads at Northwestern U (IL)
15. Why VT CC faculty (all part-time) are trying (again) to unionize. This is a must-read.
16. New TV comedy about a family of adjunct professors
17. More professional workers on strike
18. Big win for grads on health insurance
19. This week’s
20. Washington Post photo essay on contingent faculty
21. When NTT faculty are being screwed, make a fuss
22. For low income workers, retirement only a dream
23. Challenges for Colorado St. U adjuncts
24. BARNARD (NYC) contingent faculty union (UAW) calls for student support
25. Blank
26. Underrepresented majority: CUNY adjunct fight continues after contract signed
27. Call for proposals: Seditious acts in the neoliberal university
28. Dismissal of part-timer to be investigated

For Immediate Release
1133 Nineteenth Street NW
Suite 200
Washington DC 20036
Contact: Greg Scholtz – 202-594-3624 /
AAUP to Investigate Community College of Aurora
Washington, DC—Today the AAUP announced that it will formally investigate the dismissal of a part-time (adjunct) professor at the Community College of Aurora in Colorado. The investigation will examine the facts of the case to determine whether widely accepted principles of academic freedom, necessary for educational quality, have been violated. An investigating committee will visit Aurora, a suburb of Denver, on December 2 to conduct interviews with faculty members and administrators.
The AAUP initially conveyed its concern to the college’s administration regarding Nathanial Bork’s dismissal in a letter dated September 20. Bork, an adjunct instructor of philosophy who for six years had taught various courses at the Community College of Aurora, received notice on September 13, several weeks after the semester began, that his appointment was terminated, effective the next day. The stated reason was a lack of effectiveness in implementing a required “curriculum redesign” for the introductory philosophy class he was teaching. The redesign included reducing the course content; raising the prescribed student “success rate”; reducing the number of writing assignments; employing a standard paper-grading rubric; and using small-group instruction in every other class. Bork’s dismissal occurred soon after he asked his administrative superiors to review a letter he sent to the Higher Learning Commission, the college’s accreditor. The letter he sent conveyed his serious reservations about the mandated changes to the course, which he claimed degrades academic standards, with potentially adverse effects for students.
According to AAUP-recommended policies, when an administration dismisses a part-time faculty member during a term of appointment, it will present adequate cause for doing so, and the faculty member will have the right to contest the dismissal in a hearing before faculty peers. This process is intended to discourage administrations from summarily dismissing part-time faculty members for impermissible reasons, especially those relating to their academic freedom. The AAUP holds that “dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights of American citizens.”
AAUP investigating committees are appointed in a few select cases annually in which severe departures from widely accepted principles and standards on academic freedom, tenure, or governance have been alleged and persist despite efforts to resolve them. Investigating committees are composed of faculty members from other institutions with no previous involvement in the matter.  If the investigating committee’s published report finds that serious violations have occurred and an appropriate resolution cannot be achieved, the AAUP may place an institution on its censure list, which informs the academic community and the public that conditions for academic freedom at the institution are unsound

29. Adjuncts are scholars too
30 U of FL grads settle contract
31. Ithaca adjuncts photo essay
32. Unionization: Catholic character v. NLRB
33. Beyond the fight for 15
34. New reports shows how awful globalization and informal work are

"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