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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 and other resources.

1. More on CCSF chancellor selection
2. And he is appointed over massive objections
3. And more comments on that
4. And more
5. and yet more
6. and from AFT 2121
1. Sessional profs upset over exclusion from pay vote (Canada)
2. Adjunct lecturers in Taipei, Taiwan, demand inclusion under labor laws
1. Helping post-docs with children
2. How to cope without a fulltime job offer
3. More on Lisa Burden’s firing by Essex College ( a mostly minority community college) after criticizing Fox News  on their show
and the college defends its actions
and from national AFT
4. Key issues, pay and prof development, still stickers in Duke U-SEIU adjunct negotiations.
5. Chico State U (CA) contingent says CSU must return to core mission
6. Adjunct tells personal story of capitalist economic violence against him
7. Challenges faced by contingent faculty when trying to be hearer for students victimized by sexual violence and harassment
8. Penn grads prepare for union vote
9. Union busting for God
10. Teaching as a popularity contest (and especially for adjuncts)
11. Local paper covers CC of Aurora's (CO) censure by AAUP over firing of adjunct instructor
12. Syracuse U adjuncts agree to 3 year contract
13. DC charter schools get first union: Cesar Chevez prep (AFT)
14. U of Delaware adjunct fired over Facebook post
15. Summary of recent attacks on academic freedom of speech
16. New edited book by our colleague Rosemary Fuerer on how employers have alsways been anti-union, with some good strories and details.
17. From Morning Education
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER FIGHT AGAINST TEACHERS' UNIONS: Another challenge to teachers' union dues is making its way through federal court, a year after the high court deadlocked 4-4 on a related case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In this case, four California teachers brought a lawsuit against four California unions and their national affiliates over the portion of their union dues that goes toward lobbying and political campaigns. They argue they should be able to opt out of supporting those activities and still enjoy the benefits of union membership. Teachers in California can choose not to support their union's political activities, but in doing so, they forfeit union membership and its benefits, which can include voting on collective bargaining agreements, full maternity-leave compensation, disability insurance and legal representation is employment disputes.

- Morning Education spoke to one of the plaintiffs, Arcadia educator Bhavini Bhakta, who said she joined the case after years of finding herself on the opposite side of the California Teachers Association during statehouse fights on education policy issues, such as California's teacher evaluation system. Bhakta said the choice between important employment benefits and not funding a message she opposes left her feeling "stripped" of her voice. In court filings, the plaintiffs argue that "by punishing teachers for - and deterring teachers from - exercising their First Amendment rights, this arrangement violates the First Amendment."

- A federal judge tossed out the case last May, ruling that the system teachers are arguing against is set up by the unions - which are private entities - and not in any way by the state. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, meanwhile, has accused StudentsFirst, the education reform group backing the plaintiffs, of hypocrisy for trying to limit unions' voice at the same time it has worked to strip teachers of collective bargaining and other rights. StudentsFirst was founded by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and is financed by several wealthy critics of unions. The unions also argued in court filings that forcing it to change its internal membership rules and offer discounted membership would violate its First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs have already appealed to the 9th Circuit and could get a hearing as soon as this fall. They hope to take their case to the Supreme Court.

18. This week’s
19. Very interesting story about a new organization of working class whites against racism on an explicitly class basis. Some lessons here on how we contingents needs to think about appealing to the working class majority in the US, which includes most of our students (and us, of course).
20. USA Today on profs and free speech
21. Why can’t free speech advocates defend adjuncts and people of color?
22. Notre Dame de Namur (CA) adjuncts (SEIU 1021 get first contract)
23. Coalition of Grad Employee Unions (CGEU) annual conference Aug. 11-13 at U of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada
24. Robert Reich says now is time to demand Medicare For All. (If contingent faculty don’t fight for this, who else can we expect to?)
25. Wonderful new slogan and picture 
26. Very interesting and disturbing piece on the Facebook censors. All educators should be concerned.
27. MA adjuncts push state legislators for better pay and job security
28. Good new article on public intellectuals and fraudulent “thought leaders” for the 1%. Also some cogent comments on higher ed.
29. More on the contingent LA port truckers and their struggle
30. Henry Giroux’s latest on higher education
31. Surving in the open shop with right-to-work - the Letter Carriers' story
32. More must be done for adjunct profs at Metro State U of Denver (CO)
33. At Notre Dame de Namur (CA) FTTT faculty and part-timers organized together (SEIU) and it has been good for both
34. Students do not deserve under-paid, overworked professors (MA)
35. Academic freedom under threat
36. This is no way to treat adjunct professors (Long Island U, NY)

"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 or email

To regularly receive this periodic news aggregator, COCAL Updates, Email <>  Itisarchivedat 

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