COCAL Updates

by Joe Berry
joeberry@iCOCAL logo

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20-year-old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri national – USA, CAN, MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website and Facebook page.


1. Union members seem to want Bernie over Hillary. Will union leaders follow through?

2. Even if SCOTUS make the public sector “right to work,” unions can still organize and win.

3. Indiana U Health system forced to un-fire a nurse who tried to organize a union (lots of parallels for us there) article by USW president Leo Gerard.

4. Adjuncts add value to college (says Republican in CN).

5. Adjunct Justice: For4s forum.

6. “Freelancing, schmeelancing, the adjunct army analysis” (a new NFM Blog).

7. Why is Duquesne U locked in this battle with its adjuncts? And more on Duquesne’s threat to outspoken adjuncts in NLRB filing.

8. Interesting blog summarizing some U of Illinois cases to date (Steve Salaita, Janet Wise, et al, but leaving out our colleague James Kilgore).

9. Very interesting blog discussion of UAW 2865’s (the union of U of CA grad employees) call to the AFL-CIO to disaffiliate the the Police union.

10. A critical article on OBAMACARE, calling for a single payer solution among other things.

11. Unpaid UN intern living in a tent.

12. Schools making a lot of money on adjuncts’ work.

13. Transforming society with the fight for 15.

14. Working for free on hope (sound like many of us?).

15. NLRB refuses to decide central issue in Northwestern football players attempt to unionize under law and here.

16 Appeal from United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) for start of school year donations. [This would be a good thing to propose to our unions and other organizations as an act of solidarity with a group that has been very active in supporting contingent faculty struggles nationally and in many local places.)

Dear Joe,

Last weekend, students from USAS locals across the country came together in Washington, DC to celebrate our campaign victories, share organizing strategies, and discuss the future of our movement.

USAS members celebrated international victories, such as forcing kids clothing brand, The Children’s Place, to pay $2.5 million to victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. Members also reflected on the important progress our movement has made in solidarity with campus workers, such as winning significant wage increases at the University of Washington and the University of Memphis.

These important victories are made possible with the support of allies like you. Click here to contribute to this year’s student organizers as they enter another year of building power alongside workers.

As the academic year begins, we are so excited to continue building on the momentum from our Summer Convention. This week, USAS members are headed back to their campuses ready to recruit more students and launch campaigns in support of our adjunct faculty, food service workers, graduate students, custodians, fast food workers, and garment workers around the world.

Help us start the year off right with a back-to-school donation.

With resources from supporters like you, we can hit the ground running building new USAS locals, educating more students about important labor issues, and launching powerful campaigns with workers around the world.

Thank you for your continued support.


AJ James
Coordinating Committee Collective Liberation Representative
University of Alabama Local 144
United Students Against Sweatshops |
Organizing for Student and Worker Power

17. U of MO grads demonstrate and talk union over loss of health insurance subsidies.

18. An important piece on Social Security (which also shows why we need to fight to protect it and fight for coverage).

19. Unreliable schedules mean doubt, discomfort and anxiety for workers.

20. Colleges use of adjuncts comes under pressure.

21. Syllabus bloat and its links to the corporatization of the neoliberal university (unfortunately does not link it to casualization of faculty as it might).

22. From fast food to non-profits, $15 hour in NY (Could this also apply to us in private-non-profit colleges?)

23. In Philly, Temple U and Drexel U speech codes restrict free speech.

24. New polls show union favorability ratings up.

25. NLRB regional to finally count ballots in Seattle U (WA) election (SEIU).

26. Interesting blog on people’s hopes for riches and how that effects their politics.

27. University endowments and foundations: a tax dodge for the rich.

28. National Center for the Study of CB in Higher Ed and the Professions, August 2015, E-Note [worth a look, good summary update].

29. Professional status and academic freedom: bridging the gaps.

30. Call for temp worker safety.

31. A much fuller story of murder and coverup in one of the most famous campus killings in US history, Kent State, 1970, 45 years ago. [Really mandatory reading for all and example of what can happen easily again on any campus.]

32. I look like a professor.

33. Decline of for-profit colleges continues.

34. On the adjunctification of America.

NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are going to teach labor studies in Viet Nam for the fall 2015 Semester.  Unions in Viet Nam are grappling with how to deal with the influx of foreign (capitalist) direct investment there and the need to build local unions that can effectively fight for workers in this new context.


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