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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.


1. One plan from San Diego Guild, see below.
2. This from our colleague Bill Barry in MD
On The Real News Network, a discussion about Seattle Teachers and a May Day strike, with discussion about social unionism

"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 dead wood or it hired live wood and killed it."   - W. Edwards Deming
3. More on Mayday plans
None this time. The struggle continues to rebuild the college and the enrollment and programs and faculty after many retirements and layoffs. We are all preparing for the first semester of Free City College in the Fall, 2017.
1. Argentine teachers strike with fate of all country’s workers in balance
1. New paper on adjunct justice by Steve Shulman of CO St U and the Center for the Study of Academic Labor there.
Joe – Yes, please circulate the paper as widely as possible.  Use this link:
Prof. Steven Shulman
Department of Economics
Center for the Study of Academic Labor
B213 Clark Building
Colorado State University
Ft Collins, CO 80523
2. Adjuncts bring real world experience yet desire closer connection
3. Frodham adjuncts face unionization roadblocks
4. Grads: read your contract, both union CBA and personal contract
5. Homeless college students
6. Organizing to learn and learning to organize: the story of Highlander
7. Writers at Gothamist and DA Info file for union representation
8. New edited volume on us.
From: "Seth Kahn" <>
Date: Feb 20, 2017 11:41 AM
Subject: [NFMFoundationBoard] Book! It's real! Finally!
To: "NFM Fndat. Board" <>

Thought y'all (especially if we're not Facebook friends) would want to know that the edited collection I've been working on for four years (with Amy Lynch-Biniek, who I hope will find her way into the NFM orbit at some point, and my colleague Bill Lalicker) went live today in electronic form. It features a chapter that Maria, Sue, and Janelle Adsit co-authored, and 17 others that describe a wide array of tactics people have used to work towards contingent faculty equity/equality/fairness. Most of the chapters are framed within English departments/writing programs, but there are models/concepts to riff on, fight with, challenge, etc that people in other fields may find at least read-worthy. 

And it's open-access, so it costs you nothing to look at it. :)

As some of you have heard me say about this project, happy it's done, but framed by the frustration and anger of feeling compelled to have to do it. 


9. Job openings for organizers in CA
We are looking for External Organizers (organizing the unorganized) and Internal Reps/Organizers for various locations in California. And we need a Researcher in Emeryville. Please check out the announcements at this link and share it widely --
Thanks so much for your help.
Phyllis Willett
Director of Operations
Ofc:  510-834-2009
Fax:  510-834-2018
Cell:  510-219-4910

National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)
5801 Christie Ave, Suite 525
Emeryville, CA 94608
10.  Correction on letters request
Actually, Joe....

The letters are to be to  ---- the CA Legislators & the Governor 


The letters are to be sent to:
21 C Orinda Way #416
Orinda, CA 94563

...So that the letters can be -- HAND DELIVERED - to the CA State Capitol in a Media Event.

Unfortunately - this part gets lost, as this message "telephones" to a larger audience.

The point is not to write letters to the Governor.

The point is to create a media event that looks like the waterfall of Santa letters at the end of film The Miracle of 34th Street.

We want the media event - live on camera - not letters written to the Governor.  See below for details
11. From our colleague Dawn Shaulis

Just wanted to let you know that I have written a great about the College Meltdown lately.  My most recent articles have been on the growing alt-right on college campuses and determining which schools are most vulnerable to the Meltdown.

12. Columbia College, Chicago, adjuncts reject admin’s unethical grade changing
13. American U grads victory photo (SEIU 500)
14. New survey of adjunct compensation by AAUP
15. CPFA spring conference

16. NLRB upholds order for Duquesne U to recognize faculty union (USW)
17. E TN St U adjuncts hold party to celebrate 19 years with no pay raise
18. More on mourning David Wilder (of OPTFA and NFM)
19. SF Art Institute adjuncts get first contract (SEIU 1021)
20 U Conn must recognize and improve adjuncts conditions
21. Webster U (MO) adjunct Renee Hirshfield dies in class, is mourned
22. New study shows adjuncts feel undervalued, crunched for time
23. Good review by our colleague Fred Glass of the new bio of famous master organizer, and Cesar Chavez' mentor, Fred Ross.
24. April E-Note from NCSCBHEP, with lots of good updates on adjunct organizing
25. Students protest Fordham (U (NY) anti-adjunct union efforts
26 Latest from our freind Alex Kudera
Hi Joe,

I hope you are doing well.

Please add to your list of links this interview I conducted with Rebecca Schuman, Slate higher-ed columnist most famous for her "These Hatement" article about the negative effects of going for a PhD in literature.

Thanks and take care,

27. Montclair St (NJ) faculty march in funeral for higher ed
28. How adjunct college teaching is like slave labor
29. Latest move by Uber against their contingent drivers
30. St Martin’s tenured faculty vote to unionize
31. Are full-timers and admins maintaining a caste system that excludes adjuncts
32. Cornell ILR faculty object to Admin’s coercive conduct during grad union representation election
1. Hello All:

As some of you have heard, there has been a call put up by various activist and labor groups for either a general strike, teach-in, march, or general day of action.  Speaking here from California, these events are likely to be large and significant in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, with a number of actions happening at k-12 schools and community college campuses.

I have included an early poster my local is circulating (see attachment)

What is happening on May 1st at your various institutions, or within your communities?

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5000 letters from faculty to the Governor and Legislature by May 1, 2017.

Dear Governor Brown and CA Legislature, Please prioritize: 
• part-time pay equity (equal pay for equal work)!
• office hours for part-time faculty!

CCCI is of need to get these letters to the Governor's Office.
CPFA will be supporting this.


See attachment.




"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 isarchivedat 

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