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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
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 2021 will be in Queretaro, Mexico 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.

Due to the CORONA Virus, COCAL XIV has been postponed until Summer 2021.
SAVE THE DATE: A COCAL Webinar with speakers from Mexico, Canada, Quebec, 
and the U.S. has been scheduled for Saturday, September 26 from 11 am to 1 pm 
Pacific Standard time.
Information on registering for this free event will be sent out very soon.
Save the date and look for COCAL XIV Webinar updates to reserve your spot!
NOTE #2:

The COCAL International Advisory Committee needs a volunteer to take over the webmaster duties for our website <> Our longtime webmaster, David Rives of Oregon, needs to step back. It is not a high- maintenance job, but has a lot of potential for future development to serve the contingent faculty movement. If interested or for more information  reply to this email at <
Note #3  Today
National action to demand safe return to schools. Be sure to check this out.

1. Here's a link to a corrected version of the Balboa Reservoir Opinion piece:

A few minor changes were made, and this is the version that should be widely circulated. If you've already sent it, 
and it's not too much trouble, it'd be great if you could resend this one.

Apologies for any confusion, and thanks for your help spreading the word.

Many thanks,

2. More on reservoir
1. S African teachers and unions mount national campaign against unsafe reopening of  schools                     
1. The powerful movement to defund public schools has been awfully quiet about the police
2. Pacific Lutheran U (WA) placed on  AAUP censure list
3. CUNY student and faculty call for resistance to layoffs
4. TX AFT may strike over COVID
5. for this week
6. From Marty at Wright State (OH)
In the lead up to our three-week strike in winter 2019, the university ran through $130+ million in reserves in about four years, most of which could be accounted for by reckless spending on off-campus properties, subsidies to a research institute, over-spending on athletics, and increased administrative compensation and increased administrative staffing. But when the then-president called a meeting to address the increasing deficit spending, he attempted to attribute it to deficit spending on adjunct faculty, graduate teaching and research assistants, faculty overloads, and student employees. When I pointed out that this explanation was ludicrous because all of those positions clearly saved the university a great deal of money, I was characterized as a "malcontent." Well, in our post-strike and new COVID-19 budgetary reality, the university is still anguishing over potential deficits that are attributable, to a significant degree, to its failure to address in any definitive way many of the issues that led to the self-created budget crisis and strike. And they did, indeed, address the budget issues by eliminating all spending on adjunct faculty for 2020-2021. It amounts to about $5 million for about 435 adjunct faculty. In this instance, the issue is clearly not about the actual monies involved, for the impact on the personal budgets of the affected adjunct faculty will far exceed the impact on the university's budget. In this instance, the point is clearly an intention to increase the workload of full-time faculty. Our workload agreement defines the number of courses each TET and NTE faculty member can be assigned on load, with some variations from college to college. But it gives the administration some flexibility in increasing class sizes. So, as a recent blog item by members of the AAUP leadership at the University of Cincinnati emphasizes, budget priorities ultimately say more about institutional priorities than anything else does.


7. AFT prez Weingarten outlines legal and strike strategy for fall opening
8. RI School of Design faculty accept concessions to avoid layoffs
9. COVID layoffs in colleges nationwide
10. Will universities be next COVID hot spot?
11. Teachers’ unions the last line of defense against Trump’s reckless reopening of schools
12. Inter-union webinar on higher ed by NCSCBHEP
and call for papers for their next conference in 2021
Here is another link: our 2021 Call for Papers:
13. Adjuncts in MD need collective bargaining
14. From UTLA the best thing I have seen about re-opening schools and implicit actions, "Same Storm, Different Boats"
15. Northern New Mexico College looking to get past lawsuits

"The last in a string of five whistleblower lawsuits brought against Northern New Mexico College this past decade was settled for $115,000, resulting in what amounts to more than $1 million of payouts stemming from complaints made against the administration of former college president Nancy “Rusty” Barceló.

"The settlement in the case of Annette Rodriguez v. Ricky Serna, et al. was agreed to last November, but only recently became public after a 180-day waiting period in accordance with state statute.

"Rodriguez’s lawsuit accused the various defendants of violating her First Amendment right to free speech, failing to comply with the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act, depriving her of due process, committing libel, slander and defamation, and assault and battery, among other charges.

“An adjunct professor at NNMC at the time, Rodriguez claimed she was retaliated against after questioning financial improprieties and the misuse of federal grant money.”

16. A parable that you MUST read! Mike Dixon <>
18. Review of new book, The Merit Myth
19. New paper by our esteemed colleague Gary Zabel, U Mass, Boston, to appear in Works and Days and Cultural Logic
New flyers with additional endorsements. I hope all of our locals will endorse and start planning for action.
21. Preparing for Pandemic U (Has informed info on contingent faculty too)
22. New study on impacts of class size at various levels and also online. Take-way: small is a lot better at all levels and formats, duh!
23.  blank
24. North Carolina teachers' union demands welfare for illegal immigrants and suspended rent before schools reopen
The teachers' union is calling for universal health care, a moratorium on mortgage, and for the state to completely shut down.

Read in TheBlaze:
25. Map of places where Bargaining for the Common Good has happened and some details.
26. US News and World Report on COVID and adjuncts
27. One of our colleagues and some great art
28. New AAUP leaders elected
29. SF Art Institute to partially reopen, but all adjuncts (SEIU unionized) still out.
30. Rutgers AAUP-AFT union sues overt $100 million given to athletics while laying off adjuncts
31. Pro-democracy nonprofit hires union busters against staff union
32. Colleges lay off adjuncts then challenge their unemployment claims
33. United Academics (AFT) at U of VT get agreement on COVID planning
34. Adjunct jobs are low on pay and benefits with COVID risks
35. Protest against layoffs at UMass Lowell
36. The Hit List of FT faculty (both NTT and TT) at U of Akron (OH) Getting ride of troublemakers and high earners?
37. Colleges poised to reopen and then blame their students
38. Grads and their unions making gains during pandemic
39. Continuing the conversation about academic contingent labor (new journal article)
40. Hearst magazines workers vote to unionize (Writers Guild, /East)
41. Elon U faculty and students advocate for NTT faculty
42. UCLA lecturers face insecurity

"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 <> It is archived at and at

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. <>

To access the Center for the Study of Academic Labor (CSAL) and its journal “Academic Labor: Research and Artistry” go to

To access "Workplace: a Journal of Academic Labor" go to

Also COCAL XIV in August, 2021 in Queretaro, Mexico. WWW.COCALINTERNATIONAL.ORG
Joe Berry
510-527-5889 phone/fax landline
21 San Mateo Road, 
Berkeley, CA 94707
cell-510-999-0751 or
In Vermont-802-380-0193
Skype: joeberry1948