COCAL UPDATES , MAY 9, 2019

Joe Berry's picture



A QUOTE TO REMEMBER: 
Public schools are at the center of the manufactured breakdown of the fabric of everyday life. They are under attack not because they are failing, but because they are public. Henry Giroux
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COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a 20-plus 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. 2018 was in San Jose, CA. and 2020 will be in Queretaro, Mexico 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 and other resources.
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NOTE: 
Happy MayDay. Some reports and analyses follow:

 

1. ITT roundup

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21871/international-workers-day-may-workers-labor-im...?

 

and MayDay in Oakland

https://mailchi.mp/igc/new-book-extraordinary-portraits-of-farmworkers-their-families-and-...
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INTERNATIONAL

 

None this week. Lots of May 1 reports. Google them.

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UPDATES IN BREIF AND LINKS

 

1. Recent organizing survey shows most video game developers open to union

https://portside.org/2019-04-27/organizers-reach-thousands-game-developers-conference-conn...

 

2. Organizing gig workers

https://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-challenges-of-organizing-gig-work...

 

3. Labor Notes webinar on higher education, May 7  (check for recording on website.)

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rzCpzCFpQO6BG1Sp1r1BDA

 

4. Sign petition for higher ed access for incarcerated people, bill presently in Congress

https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/petitions/sign-the-petition-higher-education-should-be-...?

 

5. Inequality.org for this week

https://inequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/inequality-newsletter-april-29-2019.html

 

6. Neoliberal educational restructuring (an old good piece)

https://monthlyreview.org/2011/07/01/neoliberal-education-restructuring/?fbclid=IwAR1SDuH2...

 

7. Lessons from the Rutgers U struggle and strike-threat (this is really a must read, by a leader there)

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/04/rutgers-contract-battle-union-strike

 

Rutgers adjuncts (AFT/AAUP) hold grade-in for equal pay and job security

https://diverseeducation.com/article/144572/

 

and  Rutger grad TA files for bankruptcy

https://www.nj.com/opinion/2019/05/my-salary-at-rutgers-was-so-low-i-had-to-declare-bankru...

 

8. Luke-Sumter St Coll. (FL) adjuncts vote union (SEIU)

https://www.dailycommercial.com/news/20190430/lake-sumter-adjunct-professors-vote-to-unionize

 

9. Higher ed as a public good

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/return-hope-thinking-about-future-highe...?

 

10. Good song for red-for-ed

https://www.google.com/imgres?

 

11. Jacobin MayDay strike and workers struggles summary of articles. Good roundup.

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/05/may-day-strikes-working-class-organizing

 

12. Latest Strikewave issue

https://mailchi.mp/3be3e49350a7/antifascist-unionism

 

13. NC teachers May Day rally at state capitol

North Carolina teachers have organized another blockbuster march and rally at the state legislature to protest inadequate funding for public schools and low salaries for school workers, including teachers, bus drivers, dietary staff, etc.

Take a look at that sea of red in the attached photo. This could be the largest May Day rally by organized labor in North Carolina!

--Zach



Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note5.

 

and from a NC teacher a letter to students on why we are marching

https://portside.org/2019-05-01/letter-nc-students-heres-why-your-teachers-are-marching

 

14. Pedro Noguera’s progressive education agenda 

https://www.thenation.com/article/progressive-education-agenda/?

 

15. WSJ on adjunct underclass (partly behind paywall. If anyone has access to a free copy, send to editor.)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-adjunct-underclass-review-teachable-moments-11556750053

 

16. Amazon and others automate firing workers

https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-lower-paid-workers-the-robot-overlords-have-arrived-11556...?

 

17. Post MayDay roundup of labor news

https://onlabor.org/todays-news-commentary-may-2-2019/

 

18. Good mayday composite column from AAUP’s Hank Reichman

https://academeblog.org/2019/05/02/solidarity/

 

19. And in SC teachers march in the thousands on MayDay

https://amp.greenvilleonline.com/amp/3632975002?fbclid=IwAR0Hx4nvcbUrCrt3vqKIjyxleVctXC-op...

 

andhttps://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/01/we-teach-we-vote-10000-teachers-rise-against-...?

 

and https://www.postandcourier.com/news/south-carolina-teachers-flex-their-activist-muscles-af...

 

20. Adjuncts and freelance writers in the same second-tier boat, and often the same person!

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/adjuncts-and-freelancers-reading-signs-...?

 

21. Chicago charter school strikes keep on winning

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21876/chicago-charter-school-strike-wave-ctu-walk-out?

 

22. Will teacher strike wave hit Mississippi?

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21870/teacher-strike-mississippi-association-of-educ...?

 

23. Teachers’ weekly wage penalty 21.4% in 2018  (Should we contingents do a similar calculation or ask EPI to do one?)

https://www.epi.org/publication/the-teacher-weekly-wage-penalty-hit-21-4-percent-in-2018-a...?

 

24. Nat. Ctr for the Study of CB in HE E-Note for April

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/April-2019-E-Note--News--Analysis--Updates.html?soid=1...

 

25. Interesting response from a former contingent member of the AHA committee on contingent faculty, in response to the article in CHE https://www.chronicle.com/article/A-Moral-Stain-on-the/246197 

hi Joe

The essay resonates with my experience of 30 years on the job market.   They have pointed out the time spent applying for shitty jobs (I used to send out 25-40 job applications a year).  The AHA Perspectives On History has a "From the President" (John R MacNeill) that is about ending the "AHA Interview" as too costly for interviewees and can be done by electronic means.  Searches registered w. AHA have declined from 270 in 2005 (Seattle) to 20 in Chicago 2019.  Big decline (down by half) was between 2013 and 2014.  Some of the demand for 'paperwork' may be to get more extensive info from more candidates without having to have interviews -- all of which can be transmitted electronically.   In the 1990s, I stuffed envelopes and used the USPS.  Postage and paying for confidential references added up with 50 applications.

So the criticism is on the mark.  So is their point about solidarity.  I would say they confine themselves too much when they call for unions and solidarity -- if they want a true "industrial" union, they need to include clerical and blue collar workers.  Here in right to work South, few of them are unionized.  Also your point about developing regional and autonomous adjunct groups is an important contrast with their view of needing the tenured to lead.  They won't.  Although adjuncts need to be protected in some way.  This relationship has to be dialectical and reciprocal; trust building is crucial and establishing trust with non academic workers is equally important.

They don't have a sense of the need to organize adjuncts autonomously; when I served on the AHA committee on part time and contingent labor in 2000-02--the only one of a dozen committee members who was an adjunct, by the way -- they sidestepped numerous requests on my part to set up a mailing list of adjuncts so we could communicate among ourselves.  That's crucial, since the professional associations like the AHA are the only ones who have enough contacts to build a critical mass of adjuncts to advocate for themselves.  

Have you had any contact with these two authors?  I wonder what the next step might be

Daniel Bessner is an assistant professor in American foreign policy at the University of Washington. Michael Brenes is a lecturer in global affairs and a senior archivist at Yale University.

 

26. More on continuing fight at CUNY

https://www.theknightnews.com/2019/05/05/the-fight-for-higher-adjunct-pay/

 

27. Sacramento teachers to strike again May 22

https://portside.org/2019-05-05/sacramento-city-teachers-announce-another-one-day-strike

 

28. MN ST faculty union (IFO. unaffiliated) pickets in support of Hamline adjuncts

https://www.workdayminnesota.org/articles/inter-faculty-organization-held-informational-pi...

 

29. Why the labor movement is broken and how to fix it

https://portside.org/2019-05-06/why-labor-movement-has-failed-and-how-fix-it

 

30. In FL adjuncts deserve more

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/letters/os-op-letters-adjunct-professors-20190507-...

 

31. In Memorium of adjunct leader Sam Russo from CA

      In Remembrance of Sam Russo
We are sad to announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and past-president for Fullerton College Adjunct Faculty United, Sam Russo.
Sam was one of the core group who helped establish Adjunct Faculty United, AFT #6106. He was President of the local for 12 years, and served on the Negotiations Team for a number of years. He retired from the local in May 2015.
He also served for ten years on the Executive Council of the CFT. While on that council, he served on the Legal Defense Fund Committee. For six years, he was Chair of the CFT Part-time Faculty Committee. He also served two years on the AFT Higher Education Program and Policy Council as well as the Academic Staffing Crisis Committee of the PPC. Sam attended AFT ULI when it was still held at UC Santa Cruz.
Prior to his work with Adjunct Faculty United, he served on the negotiating team of the El Camino College Federation of Teachers and was a vice president of the ECCFT. He also was an official delegate to 13 CFT Conventions.
Sam taught at Cypress College for 27 years, and at El Camino College for 23 years. His wife, Barbara, who was both secretary and adjunct professor at Cypress College, served on the AdFac Executive Board as Secretary.
Sam was known for his wit and sense of humor. He was extremely dedicated to and passionate about part-timers and our union. When speaking about our local, he once said:  
“Our first contract was one of the best in the state, and we have made significant progress in terms of compensation, health benefits, rehire rights, and the grievance process, but we still have a long way to go.”
Many thanks to Sam for all he did for AdFac and for CFT part-time faculty all over the state. He will be greatly missed by all of us, but especially by those who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him for so many years both in the North Orange County District and on the CFT Part-time Faculty Committee. 

Services will be held 9am Saturday, May 11, at Memory Garden Memorial Park in Brea. For further information, please contact Union@adfacunited.org
 

 

32. Adjunct profs struggle as colleges prosper

https://www.wsj.com/articles/adjunct-professors-struggle-as-colleges-prosper-11557343598

 

33. Toledo, OH City Council debates equal pay ordinance

https://www.toledoblade.com/local/city/2019/05/07/toledo-city-council-debates-equal-pay-or...

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RESOURCES

"Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education". by Joe Berry, from Monthly Review Press, 2005. Look at <www.reclaimingtheivorytower.net> for full information, individual sales, bulk ordering discounts, or to invite me to speak at an event or email joeberry@igc.org

To regularly receive this periodic news aggregator, COCAL Updates, Email <joeberry@igc.org> It is archived at http://precaritydispatches.tumblr.com/COCAL-Updates-Archive and at http://www.inoreader.com/bundle/0014cd63ba58

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 vtirelli@aol.com or, send "Subscribe" to <adj-l@adj-l.org

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>

Also COCAL XIV in August, 2020 in Queretaro, Mexico. WWW.COCALINTERNATIONAL.ORG
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Joe Berry
<joeberry@igc.org
510-527-5889 phone landline
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Berkeley, CA 94707
cell-510-999-0751
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