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 www.cocalinternational.org and Facebook page <https://www.facebook.com/COCALInternational>, as well as this news aggregator, COCAL UPDATES. See below at bottom for details on joining the listserv.
Contingent faculty at Carleton University had just gone on strike, with the first picket line up for less than two hours, when a settlement—yet to be ratified by the membership-- was announced. You may be able to view this FB video: https://www.facebook.com/joel.harden/videos/1499161840096542/?pnref=story
Strikes, or the threat of striking, if you are in a jurisdiction that allows it, works wonders in moving towards workplace justice.
27 years a contingent faculty member
The National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College, City University of New York is pleased to announce the addition of a conference panel that will examine the issue of unemployment eligibility for adjunct faculty and the significance of the new guidance issued by the United States Department of Labor. The panel will include speakers Jason Myers, Chief Administrative Law Judge, New York State Unemployment Appeals Board, Nancy Cross, SEIU Local 1 Vice President, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, and Maria Maisto, New Faculty Majority, Moderator.
Click here for the conference schedule, which will include panels and interactive workshops on collective bargaining and unionization, the financing of higher education, the student debt crisis, research on faculty grievance procedures, professional development for faculty, age discrimination, shared governance, community college issues, Lincoln, Labor, and Race, and many other important topics.
Conference Registration and Hotel Reservation Information
Conference registration includes panels and workshops, along with a Sunday evening buffet dinner, and a continental breakfast and lunch on Monday and Tuesday.
Adjunct faculty, post-doctorates, graduate and undergraduate student employees, CUNY faculty, staff and students qualify for special conference registration rates. For promo codes, contact the National Center.
*** PICKETERS ON IC PROPERTY WARNED OF "LEGAL PROCEEDINGS" Following rallies by Ithaca College's contingent faculty, the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management sent a letter to union representative Chris Machanoff warning him about the consequences of protesting at the entrance of the campus. The picketers are required to remain outside of IC's property, and are not allowed to block entrances to campus. Public safety director Bill Kerry noted that the letter was not aimed to stop the protests, but instead to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety. Currently, IC contingent faculty are bargaining with the college's administration for higher pay and increased job stability.
While the college presented their most significant compensation increase offer so far during bargaining sessions on February 20 and 24, the union turned down the offer and has yet to decide if it will proceed with future negotiations. IC faculty member Brody Burroughs noted that the union may still choose to strike.
See "Public Safety warns union representative of legal action", at https://theithacan.org/news/public-safety-warns-unions-representatives-of-legal-action/,
by Grace Elletson, The Ithacan, Mar 02 2017
Labor unions and worker advocacy groups, including SEIU 32BJ, Better Balance, and the National Organization for Women-New York City, are pushing the City Council to adopt the bills. But Michael Saltsman, research director of the Employment Policies Institute, says they would "reduce job opportunities and flexibility by hamstringing businesses' ability to react to consumer demand.”
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey wants the Education Department to stop the sale, arguing it's a "shameful attempt to avoid the rules put in place to stop its continued abuse of students and taxpayers." In 2015, EDMC agreed to pay $95.5 million as a result of two major settlements to resolve allegations stemming from its recruiting practices. The company, which once boasted more than 150,000 students, has seen enrollment plummet; it also has been the target of multiple attorneys-general investigations, including by Healey. Her argument might have had a receptive audience from former President Barack Obama's Education Department, which blocked some for-profits from going non-profit and imposed strict conditions on sales of the colleges.
- DeVos is an ardent supporter of private schools and previously invested in for-profit education companies. For-profit colleges, meanwhile, have seen stocks surge since the election. The New York Times reported last month that DeVry Education Group's stock has jumped more than 40 percent, Strayer University's has risen by 35 percent and Grand Canyon Education's up by better than 28 percent. Trump once ran a for-profit venture, Trump University, and late last year agreed to a $25 million settlement to resolve allegations that the company defrauded its students. Few expect his administration to continue his predecessor's aggressive approach toward the sector.
The resolution did pass at the House of Delegates in Springfield yesterday and afterwards the new field service rep came up to me and wants to talk about organizing more support for contingent faculty in Illinois for IFT. He was just hired in December and has done most of his organizing with contingent faculty. So I feel as if it was worth sharing this even if it isn't what everyone agrees on. Here is the text of my speech yesterday: The resolution was amended to take the Luther part out and the unemployment part out because some of the locals have cafeteria workers that are hired and fired on 9 month contracts and they thought this would present an issue. (Whoah). But still they agreed to everything else.
Hello my name is Lydia Snow and I am a part time music instructor at Northeastern Illinois University. This resolution is a part of a bigger national movement that I’m sure you are familiar with that is organizing contingent faculty across the nation and the world as well. In England and Scotland and Australia they call adjunctification the casualization of faculty. Everyone introduced to our campaign needs to understand, along the lines of the announcement we made in late October of 2016, that we have a theme that represents our simple one-sentence message for CEW 2017 that we hope people will enact in whatever way is feasible and befitting according to their own local circumstances and resources. We do not have a specific manifesto, position statement, or political platform we require participants to endorse. This is the message:
“mAsk4campusEquity 2017 (actions culminating on October 31) honors the tradition of creative public protest that has changed the world, and Asks higher education stakeholders to unmask and correct practices that undermine the faculty mission of discovering and sharing knowledge with students.”
The effort we envision is that through artistic means we will bring attention to the plight of contingent faculty. By tying together all of the different issues that are affecting public education in a broader political way we hope to bring attention to the plight of the adjunct professor but as well to the dismantling of public education and the human right to teach. I hope you will join us in our efforts by voting yes and feel free to contact me or others to find out more about the upcoming website which will have ideas for collaborative demonstrations through artistic projects this coming October. Thank you.
19. Job at UC Berkeley Labor Center
Our center is hiring a new Director of Student Programming position: https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/apply/JPF01276
We are looking for someone who has a Ph.D, can combine organizing and teaching, and who can put together and teach a labor studies curriculum at Berkeley! This person will help build up engagement and programming for Berkeley students interested in labor issues. Please circulate widely!
19. NLRB upholds Columbia U grad union vote
A lawsuit filed In New Jersey in 2015 against Kean University by an adjunct faculty member survived a motion to dismiss on Friday. At issue is whether the professor, who at the time was also a student in a Master's Degree program, can get damages for retaliatory discharge as an employee for claiming a violation of this federal rights as a student.
The adjunct professor is challenging the traditional notion that as "at-will" employees, adjunct faculty have no recourse when their contracts are not renewed. If successful, the lawsuit will establish the principle that when the discharge of an adjunct faculty member is in retaliation for asserting federal rights, such discharge violates public policy, and is actionable.
For more information, contact Lewis Seagull at email@example.com, or view his "Adjunct Litigation" blog at http://adjunctlitigation.blogspot.com/
"We developed a website last year called Contingent (https://contingent.mla.hcommons.org) and are working to solicit a wider range of materials than just what committee members contribute. While the Committee’s central focus has been on the contingent labor of adjuncts and fixed term faculty, we are increasingly collaborating with other committees under a broader rubric of what counts as contingency and precarity in the Humanities and university life. For example, at the 2018 MLA, we are collaborating with the MLA Committee on the Literatures of People of Color in the United States and Canada, and we would like to establish this level of collaboration on our side.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
As most of you probably remember, back in June of 2015 the TC3 Adjunct Association (TC3AA), the Tompkins-Cortland Community College Faculty Association (the union which represents fulltime faculty), and the College participated in a hearing at the Public Employment Relations Board (or "PERB," the State entity that oversees unions and employers in the public sector). The TC3AA and the Faculty Association argued that the TC3AA (the union for adjuncts and tutors at the College) should be separate from the existing faculty union. The College argued that the adjunct union and the fulltime union should be merged.
Recently we received word that Judge Carlson of the Public Employment Relations Board has ruled in our favor that the TC3 Adjunct Association should be a stand alone union! We submitted the requisite paperwork to show that the TC3AA has the majority support of the adjuncts and tutors at the College. Once PERB has verified this they will "certify" the TC3AA as the official union for the College's adjuncts and tutors. We know getting to this step has been a long and often frustrating process with unfortunate delays but now we are literally almostdone.
But we're almost done with the FIRST step. Now we need to turn our attention to building our organization and preparing for negotiations. When we met with representatives from TC3 management after the judge issued his ruling, we were pleased to hear that the College is interested in settling a contract with the TC3AA as soon as possible. That's great news, but there will be a lot of work needed to make it happen. We are up for the task!
We are very excited at this long awaited moment and we hope we can continue to count on your support and encouragement as we move toward in the coming weeks and months to build a strong union and win a fair contract for TC3 adjuncts and tutors!
Sincerely and On Behalf of the TC3AA Executive Council,
Herman Altmann (Biology), Cindy Coleman (Sociology), Nancy Crane (Modern Languages/Spanish), Barbara Need (English), Pat Sewell (Environmental Studies), Sherry Tacktill (English), Gregg Weatherby (English), Diane Williams-Altmann (Biology)
- Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia said in a statement that more than 300 staff members have requested leave for today. "This is not a decision that was made lightly," the district said in a statement. "The decision is based solely on our ability to provide sufficient staff to cover all our classrooms, and the impact of high staff absenteeism on student safety and delivery of instruction. It is not based on a political stance or position." Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools in North Carolina will also be closed because the school system expects to be shorthanded.
- D.C. Public Schools will remain open. Chief of Schools John Davis said, "DCPS schools are and will continue to be safe places for all students ... While some may plan to attend this week's walkout on International Women's Day, all students and staff are expected to be in school throughout the day so that teaching and learning can continue." He added, "We encourage staff and students to use this as an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women through classroom discussion and activities.”
The official story: “City College’s accreditation was re-affirmed for seven years because it worked hard to meet standards.” The reality: The college suffered a highly politicized attack by a corporate-influenced accreditation agency. The ACCJC is part of a bipartisan education “reform” network that brought us Arne Duncan and now Betsy DeVos as US Secretary of Education.
Yes, hard-working people at the college submitted a 950-page report to the ACCJC. But in the bigger picture, City College remains open and accredited thanks to hundreds of people who organized, mobilized and pushed back on many levels—students, faculty and AFT 2121, staff, and community members. We built wide support and did direct action, using the courts and local government. Students sat in on campus and at City Hall, building ties with other schools and community movements; faculty struck for the first time in CCSF’s 80 years; rallies and marches drew thousands of people; we spoke statewide and testified in Washington DC. This resistance kept the school open and turned back a vicious anti-union attack. The movement has secured an inspiring free tuition program that even with its limitations is one of the most comprehensive in the US.
Since the accreditation crisis hit in 2012, City College has bled students, staff and classes. It has lost close to 1/3 of its students, over 200 teachers, and 1,216 classes, with more cuts promised. Irreplaceable college property has been turned over to developers to build luxury housing. This is no accident. The accreditation crisis was a “shock treatment” designed to bring CCSF in line with state policies to reshape community colleges on more corporate-friendly lines. See other side for more...
The Fight is On
Rebuild the School: Last year CCSF administration announced that it would cut out 26% of the school’s classes by 2020, and it is moving swiftly with the cuts. Classes are cut before the semester starts, without giving them a chance to fill. This deprives students of options and discourages enrollment. Classes that have low enrollment one semester may get killed forever. We need an administration committed to rebuilding the school, not downsizing it.
Stop the Land Grabs: Public land, including City College land, should not be sold for private profit! We see the consequences of this policy in the proposal to take over MUB classrooms for offices. The unelected special trustee started the process of putting 33 Gough Street on the market with a 75-year lease. Last fall the deal was signed. Now the administration is rushing to move workers from 33 Gough into the MUB—into the best classrooms in the district, facilities specially designed for Child Development and Health Education, built by a bond designated for “instructional facilities.” Please sign the petition to save the MUB for students!
More information about the Save City College Coalition: www.saveccsf.org. Write firstname.lastname@example.org to get occasional email alerts. More info on other side. Labor donated.
CCSF’s Accreditation Crisis: Retooling the School for Profit
Since 1935, City College of San Francisco has offered hundreds of thousands of students new dreams and second chances, a step up the education ladder or into life in the US. In 2007 the New York Times called it one of the top eleven community colleges in the country. But in July 2012, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) stunned the city by sanctioning the beloved institution. In July 2013, the ACCJC demanded City College’s closure one year out.
This highly politicized attack was payback for CCSF’s role on social justice issues, and the set-up for land grabs. CCSF led opposition to the state “Student Success Act” of 2012, which brought the education “reform” project to the community college level, spearheaded by the California Business Roundtable. The ACCJC, though it is a supposedly neutral agency, was one of the measure’s loudest supporters. A month before the accreditation bombshell was dropped, the SF Chronicle called for downsizing and closing CCSF campuses as the way to “save the college” (see June 1, 2012). The Chronicle is owned by the Hearst Corporation, a major real estate corporation.
Corporate Education Reform Goes to College: Who Stands to Gain?
The Student Success Act represents the same corporate privatization strategy that has been used in the K-12 world since the 1980s. So far, over 6000 K-12 public schools have been closed down, replaced mainly by corporate chain charter schools. Now the same playbook has jumped the fence to the community colleges. The goals:
Accreditation crisis brings state takeover, rule of austerity
California used the accreditation crisis to justify a state takeover, with the un-elected Community College Board of Governors suspending the elected local Board of Trustees. A “Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers” (STWEP) made unilateral decisions for the school from 2013-15, including decisions to sell off land to developers, and halt construction of the Performing Arts Education Center. Power was restored to the elected Board in January 2016, and two new, progressive members were elected in November. But the current top administrators were appointed by the STWEP. Will they continue to operate under the logic of austerity, obedient to the mandate of shrinking the school and re-engineering it into a narrow focus on corporate workforce education?
Now, even though accreditation has been won, that logic must be reversed. We must reclaim and rebuild our school as a large, community-serving, open access institution—next stop, 80,000 students!
Coming up: Student Solidarity Committee Teach-in event on Wednesday March 22, 12-2pm, in MUB
370 at the Ocean Campus. Campaign launch at #OurCityCollege
For more information: http://www.saveccsf.org. History and analysis: “School Reforms and Land Grabs Threaten SF’s Community College,” in Race, Poverty & the Environment magazine, available online at http://www.reimaginerpe.org.
SEIU 32BJ is pleased to announce the New Organizer Training Program!
The New Organizer Training Program is an opportunity for aspiring organizers to learn and practice the skills the need to organize for change. This program is for individuals who are ready and interested in an organizing career path. Please see the attached link for additional information and to apply: http://www.seiu32bj.org/the-2017-32bj-seiu-new-organizer-training-program/.
The 32BJ New Organizer Training Program formerly known as the Summer Brigade program offers a unique opportunity for aspiring organizers to learn the basics of workers organizing and about how the labor movement works. The program offers hands-on organizing experience through campaign field work, moving workers to take action, winning change as well as combined regular labor history and skill building workshops.
Participants in the program will build skills in: conversations with low-wage workers at home and in the workplace about the power of a union; identifying workplace leaders; mapping a workplace; mobilizing workers to take action; supporting and planning protests, demonstrations, and actions. The new organizer training program will put your skills into action in our following locations: New York, New Jersey, Boston, Florida, Philadelphia and the Washington DC area. Strengthen and develop your skills for campaigns of all kinds!
Successful participants may be invited to our job-track Organizing Fellowship program upon completion of this program.
Stuart Eimer, Ph.D
Chair, Department of Sociology
Associate Professor of Sociology
One University Place, Chester, PA 19013
Office: Kapelski Learning Center 229 B
Keep Widener and the planet green. Think about the environment before you print this.
22. From: Benjamin Woods
Date: Mar. 3, 2017 at 01:42 pm
Subject: [LRAN] LRAN National Conference 2017 Call for Workshops and Proposals
Category: LRAN Annual Conference
The 2017 Labor Research and Action Network (LRAN) national conference will be held Thursday, June 8th and Friday, June 9th at Howard University in Washington DC, hosted by the Department of Political Science. Scholars, labor practitioners, and activists from across the country will convene to share news ideas and lessons learned, and connect around research and campaign work. We hope this conference is an opportunity to develop an offensive strategy in the changed political climate, at a moment of backlash against advancements we’ve been making over 50 years.
LRAN invites those interested to submit ideas that fit within at least one of the following tracks. LRAN conferences have always included a broad range of workshops proposed and organized by attendees from both labor, NGO’s, and academia. Past workshops have included the topics of privatization, racial and gender justice, the public sector and more. We are currently accepting proposals for LRAN workshops that fall within the core thematic areas mentioned below. We encourage proposals that illustrate the role of research in illuminating these issues and informing campaigns. We also encourage a range of speakers, including those directly impacted by the issues raised in the tracks. A wide range of formats are accepted, including panels, workshops, trainings, film showings and strategy sessions.
Submissions are due by Friday March 17th. Proposals are being collected through this form:
For More information see the Call for Workshops and Proposals attached.
Jobs With Justice
Phone: 202.393.1044 x118
1616 P Street NW, Suite 150
Washington, DC 20036
"Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education". by Joe Berry, from Monthly Review Press, 2005. Look at <http://www.reclaimingtheivorytower.org> 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 <email@example.com> It is archivedathttp://precaritydispatches.tumblr.com/COCAL-Updates-Archive
To join international COCAL listserve email <http://adj-l.org/mailman/listinfo/adj-l_adj-l.org> If this presents problems, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or, send "Subscribe" to <email@example.com>
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. <www.Newfacultymajority.info>
Plan to attend COCAL XIII in Queretaro, Mexico, at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, August 2018.
See www.cocalinternational.org 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 https://sites.google.com/site/cocalxii/home
21 San Mateo Road,
Berkeley, CA 94707