Joe Berry's picture

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

Editor’s Privilege NOTE: The best thing I have seen so far on the meaning of the election result for Presdident, by our former contingent colleague and labor educator, as well as many other things, Bill Fletcher. 
1. Free tuition proposal aims to reclaim CCSF
2. A great interview by Wynd Kauffman of SaveCCSF and AFT 2121
Here is the link to the interview I did last Friday on Kitty Kelly Epstein's "Education Today" on KPFA about Land Grabs:
Go to the 14.30 minute mark
It is about 10 minutes long.

Notes from the Save CCSF Affinity Group meeting November 1, 2016

We are worried about Land Grabs for these properties:

·         33 Gough
Done deal

·         Civic Center - 750 Eddy
We need to ensure that classroom space is preserved and any housing there is truly affordable. 

·         Balboa Reservoir
We need to preserve parking, built the PAEC, push back on mayor’s railroading his gentrification plan through.

·         Downtown - 88 Mission 
This is probably next on the chopping block.

We believe that enrollment issues are strongly connected to the land grab stuff. The administration's botched enrollment management is intentionally meant to downsize the college because it puts them in a position of having to sell the family jewels to survive. We started a list of our enrollment demands/solutions (see below.)

We are thinking of starting a campaign targeting the BOT - letter writing, demos at BOT meetings, outreach to community, perhaps culminating in a press conference and media event at a BOT meeting. 

We just started brainstorming and not sure what direction this will take. 

So far our list of Enrollment Demands/Solutions to BOT: (Please send me any additions you may have for this list)
·         Prepare for increased enrollment from W – NOW

·         No more class cuts

·         Hire a PIO
The search "failed" on purpose. (Just like CCSF was broke on purpose.) The job description was for a position that was buried deep in the organization (no authority) and maximum expectations.

·         Fire Interact (~$1M contract with no results.) 
At least review instructions and resources given to them.

·         Hire more counselors to help with matriculation process - remove bottleneck

·         Staff a 24 hour phone line with a real person to help students who have problems registering

·         Fix website

o       get rid of pre-req enforcement at registration - devise a method of enforcing pre-reqs that will not push students out

o       make bypassing 5 step matriculation process obvious and easy for those that don't need it

o       get rid of $3 online reg fee

·         Get rid of repeatability restrictions (this will have to be a state effort)
3. More on Free City College

1. Russian report on “protest potential” of various colleges and universities
2. Faculty Forward Network of Jacksonville, FL has some interesting things on is site
3. AFT and 5 Latin American teachers unions send letter demanding UN in vestigation of missing ed students
4. S African stduents in the UK show solidarity with Fees Must Fall movement in S Africa
1. In MA teachers' pension funds indirectly funding pro-charter initiative campaign
2. Latest
3. NYU’s CDO position could pay for 30 adjuncts
4. Columbia (NY) grads to vote
A VOTE FOR COLUMBIA GRAD STUDENTS: A little more than two months after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate students could be both employees and students - and two years after the teaching assistants at the heart of the Columbia University decision filed their petition to hold a union election - the Columbians got the nod from an NLRB regional director to proceed. The unit found appropriate by the board includes all student employees who provide instructional services, such as teaching and research assistants (among other more detailed designations). The regional director set election dates for Dec. 7 and 8. The grad students will vote on whether to join the Graduate Workers of Columbia-GW, UAW. Read the decision here.
5. Job opening, Exec. Dir. IL Labor History Society, see below for details
6. Unionize higher education  (ID)
7. About the sinkhole in the adjunct faculty lounge  (nice satire)
8. Policy analyst job openings at UC Berkeley Labor Center. See below for details.
9. Unions race to organize grads  (Morning Shift)
UNIONS RACE TO ORGANIZE GRAD STUDENTS: Labor unions are competing furiously to organize graduate students at private colleges, reports POLITICO Pro's Cogan Schneier. The principal players are the American Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, and the United Auto Workers. Their organizing effort comes three months after the National Labor Relations Board in Augustoverturned a 2004 precedent that the board concluded "deprived an entire category of workers of the protections of the [National Labor Relations Act] without a convincing justification."

"The new potential recruits have materialized at a time when labor unions, after decades of declining membership, are frantic to recruit new members," Schneier writes. "The AFT and SEIU have set up shop at Northwestern, and at times the jostling can get a bit rough. In a letter last month to the editor of The Daily Northwestern, pro-AFT students called SEIU a 'recent arrival' to higher education that had 'not yet successfully negotiated a contract for graduate employees anywhere in the country.' The AFT partisans accused SEIU of operating on a 'truncated timeline' that came 'at the expense of workers' efforts to deliberate, organize and strategize ahead of a vote.'" More for Pros here.
10. Problems in organizing for CB U of MO at St Louis  
11. The adjunct novel
and more on adjunct fiction (see below)
12. Admitting we (the institutions) might not be doing the job anymore
13. NLRB wades into misclassification case against Uber
NLRB ARGUES AGAINST UBER: The National Labor Relations Board is wading into the case of 385,000 Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts who claim they've been misclassified as independent contractors. Uber tried to end the three-year legal proceeding with a $100 million settlement in August, but the district court judge hearing the case thought the deal was unfair and denied it. A few weeks later, the Ninth Circuit ruled in aseparate case that Uber's arbitration agreements - which waive drivers' rights to bring class-action lawsuits unless they opt out - were valid and enforceable.

The 385,000 drivers in the misclassification case are now trying to defend their class certification by persuading the Ninth Circuit that Uber's arbitration agreements are invalid under the National Labor Relations Act. Cue the NLRB, which previously ruled that class-action waivers violate the NLRA because they restrict employees' rights to engage in collective action - an issue it has asked the Supreme Court to consider. In an amicus brief filed Wednesday, the board said such agreements were unlawful even if "an employer permits employees to opt out." The board said in a footnote that it "takes no position on whether drivers in this case are 'employees." The full brief is here.
13. U of CA, San Francisco, forces workers to train their foreign replacements
UCSF WORKERS TRAIN FOREIGN REPLACEMENTS: A group of information technology workers at the University of California will lose their jobs, and before they go they'll be required to train their foreign replacements. "In a move that could spread to other universities," Louis Hansen of the Mercury News reports, "about 80 information tech workers at UC San Francisco are facing layoffs and have begun training their replacements - lower-paid tech workers from an Indian outsourcing firm." Most of the outsourced work will be performed in India, but "IT staff may be brought to the UCSF campus from overseas on H-1B visas, according to public documents." H-1B guest-worker visas are granted to high-skilled foreign workers on the premise - clearly faulty in this instance - that no Americans can be found to perform the work in question. Increasingly H-1B workers are permitted to replace skilled U.S. workers through the loophole of employing the guest workers through a contractor.

Few people are in a better position to understand how this practice mocks the intent of the H-1B program than UC President Janet Napolitano, who was DHS secretary in 2009-13. Ron Hira of Howard University pointed out in an email to Morning Shift last month that Napolitano testified at a 2009 congressional hearing about potential H-1B abuses. "Our top obligation is to American workers, making sure American workers have jobs," she said at the time. "From an enforcement standpoint, my priority is to make sure that there is not fraud occurring within the H-1B program at all." Hira told the Mercury News that he isn't aware of other universities taking a similar approach, and said "at some point, you start to cross these ethical lines." Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, sent a letter to Napolitano this week asking her to reverse the decision, the News reports. More from the Mercury News here.
14. Interview with Labor for Bernie leaders
15. Conference Nov 19 on contingents at U of WA, Tacoma 
16. Protest the attack on school of the landless workers movemet in Brazil. See below.
17. Canisius U (NY) adfjuncts say students should be upset over university budget
18. What the PA faculty strike means for labor (and the importamnce of FTTT suporting equity for NTT, PT and FT)
19. Lots of lessons here on reaching out for us
20. Latest issue of
21. Disillusioned by their union leaderships’ refusal to back Bernie, many union members turned to Trump.
22. MA teachers defeat corporate charters backerts in election
23. CEW in San Diego
24. Labor leaders deserve share of blame for Trump victory
and organize or died, reflections on a Trump presidency from IOWA
25. Of interest to all in labor movement
26. On Oct 24, 2016, at 3:44 PM, Monica Seini <> wrote:
Dear Dr Berry

Re: Project on Re-imagining the University

I am writing to you as part of a team planning a book on transforming universities for the public good. The team includes Raewyn Connell (Sydney University), Richard Hil (Griffith University and the Ngara Institute) and Kristen Lyons (University of Queensland). We came together around a conference “Challenging the Privatised University”, which has become a special issue of Australian Universities Review, online (open access) here:

Like many others, we are concerned about the direction being taken by universities in the neo-liberal era.  It seems that the student experience and high quality education is no longer the primary concern of university managements, but neither is the advancement of knowledge in the public interest. ‘Metrics’ that rank all universities against the most elite institutions in the world have been driving university executives’ decision making.  Government funding for higher education in many countries has been shrinking; student fees are increasing, the casualization and outsourcing of university work is growing, and closer links with corporate interests are being cultivated.  

In this situation, we think it important to publicise other and better ways that universities might create a future.  We are collecting information about alternative and radical approaches to imagining the university. We are looking for practices and approaches that centre the common good, and connect research and learning with social movements, including peace, Indigenous, social justice, environmental, and labour movements. 

We believe you will share many of our concerns. We ask for help in our search to identify innovative institutions, or studies on innovative institutions and programs. We are hoping to build a database of global transformative practices, and we would welcome any information about notable examples that you know of.  We are in search of reports, links to resources, and contacts with other people and institutions we should follow up.

We would welcome your staying connected to this project as it unfolds, so please let us know if you are interested and we will add you to our mailing list.  We aim to send out updates (though not a flood of communications!) along the way.

With best regards,

Dr Monica Seini


Dr Monica Seini
5. Executive Director, Illinois Labor History Society
Send electronic letter and cv to
Subject Line: ILHS Executive Director Search
Deadline is 5pm on Thursday, November 17, 2017
The Illinois Labor History Society, one of the oldest independent labor history organizations in the U.S., is seeking an Executive Director to begin in early 2017. Salary and benefits negotiated, based on experience.
Desirable Characteristics and Responsibilities
The ideal candidate for Executive Director of the ILHS is a person who has a passion for the mission of the organization to encourage the preservation and study of labor history of the Illinois region, and to arouse public interest in the profound significance of the past to the present. This person recognizes that at its core the ILHS is an educational and service organization that strives to provide value to its individual and institutional members and the public at large. The ED must demonstrate a collaborative working relationship with the Board of Trustees for whom s/he reports to.
The candidate will have a broad base of knowledge in running an organization on a day to day basis, working with staff and volunteers and recruiting same. Concurrently, the ED must be able to utilize the resources of the ILHS and expand its programs and presence in the labor community and the public at large. This will be done in part by developing collaborative relationships with its affinity organizations and allies. The ED takes a lead in both creating and managing a culture of service and excellence and obtaining resources to make that possible. The successful candidate must combine a unique blend of professional and personal characteristics. Among these qualities are:
    • Collaborative Leader -must be able to demonstrate success through operating in a collaborative governing role. Demonstrated ability to cooperatively work/interact with a diversity of interests including staff, the ILHS Board of Trustees, members of the Society, union leaders, academic scholars, teachers collaborating partners, vendors, other cognate associations, and the media.
    • Management-demonstrated success in managing programs and motivating people.
    • Business Skills-the ability to manage all aspects of the ILHS’s daily business functions including financial, technical and membership programs. This includes ensuring the program activities are carried out such as tours, book sales, newsletter, Annual Dinner, and planning special events and programs, including working caterers, handling promotion, and other logistics, with a vision to expand all the above as determined by the Board.
    • Excellent Communicator- the ability to be a strong presence in the labor community and beyond and positively represent the ILHS and its membership publicly. This includes the ability to build relationships across a broad spectrum of individuals and groups in the allied community and beyond, and must possess requisite public relations skills and public speaking capabilities and other outreach strategies.
    • Fundraiser-the ability to build and execute fundraising campaigns from endowment building, membership drives, individual contributions, union contributions and other sources of developing financial stability including grant writing.
    • Other Qualities-must possess basic computer literacy skills associated with Quickbooks, MS Office, the ability to update the website (Squarespace platform) and other social media, and the ability to learn new technologies, and willingness to travel throughout the state and work non-traditional hours as needed.
Emily E. LB. Twarog, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Labor and Employment Relations
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
312-413-0166 – phone
312-413-2997 – fax
Director, Regina V. Polk Women’s Labor Leadership Conference
Innovations Editor, Labor Studies Journal
8. From: Steven Pitts
Date: Nov. 3, 2016 at 04:45 pm
Subject: [LRAN] UC Berkeley Labor Center Job Openings
Category: General / NA

Here is the UC Berkeley Labor Center job advertisement for two positions: an Associate Specialist and a Full Specialist.  I have attached a pdf version of the ad.


Associate and Full Specialist – UC Berkeley Labor Center – Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
The UC Berkeley Labor Center, at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), UC Berkeley, has openings for two full-time policy analysts. Founded in 1964, the UC Berkeley Labor Center works on the most pressing economic challenges affecting working families in California and communities across the country. The Labor Center provides timely, policy-relevant research on labor and employment issues for policymakers and stakeholders, and conducts training for a new and diverse generation of worker leaders and students.
The policy analysts will conduct policy-relevant research on labor and employment issues as well as provide technical assistance to stakeholders on public policies in California and across the country. One position will be a senior position (Full Specialist) focusing generally on low-wage work and a diverse set of policies that affect working families and communities of color. The Associate Specialist will work with public datasets sets to carry out quantitative analyses on selected issues related to low-wage work.
These positions offer an exciting opportunity to be part of a high-impact, high-visibility organization and to work with a nationally-recognized team of researchers, policy analysts, and academics.
Responsibilities include:             
•       Conducting quantitative research, including statistical analyses drawing on government datasets, academic research and industry trade data;
•       Contributing to multiple teams within the Labor Center, conducting academic and policy-related research relevant to working families, including mixed-methods projects that incorporate qualitative fieldwork;
•       Providing technical assistance to stakeholders, policy makers, media and internal staff on issues related to low-wage work, labor standards, and other labor and employment topics;
•       Providing data support, statistical expertise, and instruction supervision to internal staff working on quantitative analysis;
•       Coordinating research with academic researchers on other UC Campuses;
•       Contributing to research reports and policy briefs, and drafting op-eds and public testimony;
•       Contributing to funding proposals for research projects.
Additional responsibilities for the Full Specialist:
    • Serving as lead author on research and policy reports
    • Overseeing large research projects
    • Supervising graduate student research assistants and junior staff
    • Helping to secure research grants and serving as a PI on grants
Qualifications required at time of application:
•       Master's degree or equivalent in statistics, economics, sociology, industrial relations or a related field, plus 5 years relevant experience in research and/or policy analysis.
Additional qualifications (required by start date):
•       Strong quantitative skills and experience in using large government datasets such as the Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey, the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey;
•       Experience conducting labor market analyses of wages and other job quality outcomes, the role of race, gender and immigration status, and firm and industry dynamics;
•       A strong grounding in labor standards policies in the US;
•       Strong writing skills, geared toward policy research reports;
•       Experience working with academic researchers and stakeholders such as unions, worker centers, faith-based organizations, accountable development advocates, and others;
•       Ability to work independently and creatively;
•       Ability to program in STATA, SAS and/or Python;
Preferred qualifications for Full Specialist:
•       Ten years relevant experience in research and policy analysis;
•       Master’s degree or higher in statistics, economics, sociology, industrial relations or a related field.
    • A substantial record of publishing, including serving as lead author on research and policy reports
Positions will be full-time; salary will be commensurate with experience. Expected start date is January 2017.
To apply, please upload your most recently updated Curriculum Vitae (required), a cover letter (required), one writing sample (required) and contact information for 3 references (required) to: . Letters of reference are not required at this time. We will seek your permission before contacting your references.
All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.
This position will remain open until filled. Please address any inquiries to Kathleen Parsons at 
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see
11. For those keeping track of fictional treatment of contingent faculty
issues, this should be added to the list, screened at the 2016 Busan
International Film Festival.  The lecturer is the 'neighbor,' not one of
the characters named in the synopsis below, but it is a significant role.
This is a somewhat dark film.  It has not been released in Korea or the
United States.  Sales/distribution contact is at the end of the synopsis

Come, Together. Korean society is extremely competitive, and sometimes you
have to get dirt on your hands in order to survive. Of course, not all
succeed after doing so. This is the case of the family in Come, Together.
Middle-aged Bumgoo, his family’s breadwinner, is one day fired without
notice. His wife, Miyoung, sells credit cards and struggles to become the
top salesperson in her company. Hana, their daughter, nervously awaits the
results of her university entrance exam. While wallowing in misery at home,
Bumgoo visits his neighbor to complain about noise emanating from their
home. There, he encounters a most unexpected situation, which turns his
normal day into something positively peculiar. Miyoung goes to
extraordinary lengths to climb to the top but this only worsens her
situation. And Hana, ashamed, lies about passing her exam. Can this family
survive the harsh competitiveness of society? Come, Together takes a
pointed look at Korea. Everybody tries their best, but doing so doesn’t
always improve their lives. Sometimes the harder you try, the worse things
can get and the fainter hope becomes.

  - Sales Contact:   82-10-6213-9686

- Sandy Baringer
University Council-AFT


Friday, November 4, 2016

On the morning on November 4, 2016 police and military forces raided the National School Florestan Fernandes (ENFF), which is the leadership development school of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), where social movement leaders from around the world are currently gathered to study and build together.

Three community organizers who are members of LeftRoots are currently studying with the MST at the ENFF, and we have received word from them that they are okay and were not injured in the attack.

According to reports, police raided the school at 9:25 am local time and fired live ammunition into the air. At the time of the release of this statement, police had withdrawn from the school and were posted in front of the ENFF waiting for warrants to be issued. 

LeftRoots condemns this attack on the MST, which is clearly part of a growing assault on social movements and the Left by the rightwing government which took power in a coup earlier this year.

The MST plays a vital role in not only building powerful grassroots organizing for indigenous, afro-descendant, women's and poor people's land rights in Brazil, but also plays a critical role in building a strong and vibrant Social Movement Left around the world, in part by bringing together cadre in their political education school, which was the subject of this raid. We call on all progressive forces to stand with the MST and Brazilian social movements.

While we standby for more information and direction from the MST as to how they would like international allies to respond, in the meantime we are asking folks to IMMEDIATELY call the US State Department and the Brazilian Embassy to demand that the police and military stand down, stop their attack on the MST and ENFF, release any activists who have been arrested, and cease intimidation tactics against social movements and human rights activists. It is helpful to note that there are U.S. citizens studying at the ENFF, which is currently under siege, and to demand the US pressure Brazilian officials to end the repression against the MST.

Brazilian Embassy: (202) 238-2700

U.S. State Department: (202) 647-6575

- The LeftRoots National Coordinating Committee

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

"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