COCAL Updates

Apologies for the lateness of the next four COCAL UPDATES postings. 

–Lee Kottner

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.

Campus Equity Week October 26-30, 2015

Campus Equity Week
October 26-30, 2015


CAMPUS EQUITY WEEK 2015 – Hi Everyone, I just finished listening to the planning meeting on the upcoming Campus Equity Week 2015 (Oct. 26-30). I will see whether I might be able to give you a recording of this meeting soon. You can access information both on facebook and here.


1. SF Examiner letter from CCSF PT instructor and SAVE CCSF Coalition activist Rick Baum.

2. And another piece on starving public education in CA by Rick Baum.


This is our opportunity to put this hammer for the corporate agenda out of business!

Click here for instructions on how to submit a written third-party comment and/or how to request to make an oral third-party comment at the Dec. 16, 17, 18, 2015 meeting of NACIQI in Washington, D.C.

A team from CCSF will go to this hearing to submit oral public comments, as we did in December 2013. Our presence at that time was influential in their ultimate decision to put ACCJC on the “show cause” status.

Please donate online to help fund this effort!
Or you can send a check made out to
Save CCSF Coalition
1249 Hayes Steet
San Francisco, CA 94117

The Brief Story:
The ACCJC gets its authority from the US Department of Education (DOE). Many of you are aware that, spurred by the CFT complaint filed in April 2013, the DOE issued a letter to the ACCJC identifying 15 federal regulations with which the ACCJC was out of compliance. They were given a year to come into compliance, essentially putting them on their own “show cause.”

The ACCJC will come before a NACIQI (National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity) hearing this December. NACIQI will consider various documents including ACCJC’s report, a staff analysis report, and written third party comments. Oral third party comments will be allowed at the hearing. Then NACIQI will then make a recommendation to the DOE as to whether or not to reauthorize the ACCJC.

A More Detailed Story:
Click here for a more detailed explanation of how the renewal process for an accrediting agency works and where the ACCJC is in this process.

CCSF Board of Trustees Meeting
Thursday, September 24th, 2015
MUB 140

Meeting convenes at 4:00 PM
There will be public comment on closed session agenda at 4:15 PM.
The closed session includes labor negotiations and real property negotiations (33 Gough)

The open session reconvenes at 7:00 PM. The discussion about NACIQI is the 3rd action item on the agenda which comes after the consent agenda and two presentations.

Please be there to give a comment asking the trustees to send a representative to Washington, D.C. to testify about the ACCJC!

See above announcement for more details.
Tuesday, September 29th, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Ocean Campus – MUB 240

VOLUNTEER for the Enrollment Campaign NOW!

Nothing is more crucial than increasing enrollment at CCSF! It is time to spread the good news that “City College is open, accredited and ready for you year round!” and “Civic Center Campus is alive and well at 1170 Market Street!”

The enrollment campaign needs LOTS of volunteers to spread the good news. It is up to all of us to get schedules – and fliers – out to the public. You can find us in our office in Room 261 at Mission Campus, Bartlett Building, on Saturdays 11am – 1pm, to get an assignment and materials. Or contact Susan Lopez:

Please help us make a whole lot of people happy and help our beloved college at the same time!

Enrollment Campaign: Leslie Simon, Susan Lopez, Danny Halford, Dana Jae, Ann MacAndrew.
Note: The enrollment campaign is not a project of the Save CCSF Coalition, however, we recognize its importance and give it our full support.


1. Mexican labor news and analysis.

2. Finnish general strike against austerity includes actions at University of Helsinki.


1. NTTF union report from U of I Urbana-Champaign.

2. More on Obama in Iowa on students hearing divergent ideas [Might this be an opening to communicate with him on behalf of the contingent faculty movement to point out that students right to hear divergent ideas is mostly constrained by the total lack of job security (and hence academic freedom) of the majority of their instructors, who are contingent?]

3. Rock Valley CC FA on strike (IL) (I think FT only, but not sure.) and here.

4. An interesting blog compilation of acts of academic kindness that made a difference. Nice to read. Would be even nicer if some were not just focused upon individual kindnesses and help in individual careers, but also kindnesses in the collective struggle to change what is an inhumane, unfair, inefficiently competitive, system where most are set up to “fail” to one degree or another.

5. Seattle strike settlement called a victory for teachers and students.

6. Undermining public education, AAUP blog [worth a look]

7. PT faculty paid late at Eastern MI U, spin wheel of fortune.

8. New paper from CFHE

September 16, 2015

Dear CFHE Friends,

Today, the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education released a new working paper analyzing the impact of the latest faculty salary and hiring trends on students.

The paper, “Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?” is available on the CFHE site,  and a national media conference call will be held at 1 p.m. (PST) today. A news release with call information is attached.

In “Who Needs Faculty?” CFHE asks whether numerous trends, promoted as ways to broaden access, lower costs, and foster “scalability,” actually works for students, and details the impact on students of hiring faculty into part-time and temporary jobs.

We need your help in ensuring news of this paper, and its message, spreads widely. Please help us circulate this paper today by sharing it with your colleagues, faculty leaders, students, and local media.

An email from you, with a link to the paper, is a big help, as is sharing it via Facebook and Twitter. The link to send is

Click here to read the new paper, “Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?”

Thank you,

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education

More here and here.

9. Adjunct Survival Workshop in CO.

10. Adjunctivitis: colleges would implode without freelance professors.

11. SEIU’s Faculty Forward Network now recruiting, with $125/annual dues, adjuncts nationally.

12. Protest fast by Fordham U (NY) adjuncts.

13. MICA (MD) adjunct ratify first contract.

Alex Fine
I’m happy to report that MICA’s adjunct union contract was ratified by an overwhelming majority. My fellow bargainers and I spent a lot of time in meetings over the last year and though it wasn’t always easy, the feeling of laying a foundation for future adjuncts is a great feeling. The process taught me a lot about challenging the idea that things have to be a certain way because that’s just “how it is.” Schools have to focus on innovation, not just in the classroom but in the conference room. Adjuncts deserve to be at the table and I’m optimistic that this will bridge the gap at least a little bit.

14. Job announcement UCLA Labor Center, Coordinator for Summer Western Institute for Union Women, half time, 9-11 Months.

The UCLA Labor Center is recruiting for a Conference Coordinator for the Summer Institute on Union Women (actually sponsored by UALE, not the AFL-CIO)

50% limited appointment to serve as coordinator for the Summer Institute on Union Women. Duration of appointment is 9-11 months.

The annual Western Regional Summer Institute on Union Women (SIUW) is a four-day residential conference sponsored by the AFL-CIO, hosted this year by the UCLA Labor Center in Los Angeles in August 2016. The four-day residential program brings together workers and leaders from unions, worker centers, and community organizations from the United States’ and Canada’s western regions, Mexico, and Central America. The conference features workshops on the history, struggles, and achievements of working women and the opportunity for participants to share strategies, information, experience, and skills.

Job Summary

The SIUW conference coordinator will manage logistics, outreach, and communication related to the conference and provide leadership and guidance to work groups, focus groups, and volunteers to meet conference goals and expectations. The coordinator will manage all event and conference planning logistics; function as the primary contact for participants, speakers, and planners; prepare timelines and budgets; manage conference registration, and process expense and income. The coordinator will also manage recruitment and outreach for participants, speakers, workshop leaders, and planning committee members, maintain a database of all contacts, and participate in all planning sessions.

For Job Duties and Qualifications, please see attached.

To Apply

Send cover letter, resume, and list of recommendations to Elizbeth Espinoza, Student Programming Coordinator for the UCLA Labor Center and SIUW Lead Coordinator,

15. Top legal scholars and educators, civil rights groups, urge reversal of Vergara decision
and an amicus brief from AAUP.

16. How do adjuncts survive in CO on the pay? Public benefits.

17. Right to engage in union activities without retaliation reaffirmed by recent NLRB decision.

18. Adjunct faculty debt relief bill introduced by Sens. Durbin and Franken.

19. Right to strike through a teacher union lens.

20. More comment on the adjunct story in Atlantic Monthly (drawn from Washington Monthly, recent recipient a big Lumina grant) as in Atlantic. [This is worth a close look, especially as Lumina is a heavy higher ed “reform” player and one of the keys behind ACCJC and its attack on CCSF.]

From Margaret

My comments are are not strictly speaking fact checked… It is USA Group not USA Corp.. And I am not sure a out student loan profit margins.. In that I have not looked them up recently….but OK to circulate….

A worrisome new trend: the “adjunct story” is starting to be cover for some very nefarious efforts. This is an article put into Atlantic magazine “courtesy of Washington Monthly” (WM)–see the bottom of the article . Washington MONTHLY, formerly a “progressive” force, has been taken over by Lumina zombies. Lumina has given WM almost 2 million in the last four years–to_ build public will for its efforts–essentially to privatize education!

The money shot of the article is the paragraph that highlights Western Governors University as the “ideal” alternative to all of this 1) expensive tuition and 2) adjunct abuse–solving both the horrible debt crisis for students and the horrible crisis in higher education staffing.

But, it is important to note, that while the article, sponsored by WM, who is supported by Lumina, wants to “save students money” by delivering education more cheaply– ALL of Lumina’s billions that it is now spending to “influence” higher education policy (through buying journalists, for one major example) were actually made by “servicing” student loans in the 1990s and 2000s, before the middle man loophole for student loan processing was closed. Student loan providers were “guaranteed” interest rates of 7, 8 9 and 10 % when the rest of the economy was running at 3, 4, 5.%–so it was a guaranteed 4% interest rate gain. It was an era of total gravy train for student loan processors and providers.

In the early 2000’s UDSA CORP, the Lumina “parent” was being investigated for “making too much money” and was in danger of loosing its ill-got gains ( financial gain that came by way of millions of indebted students shouldering massive debt to “go to college”). It was at that time that it “poured” its golden billions into Lumina (it is called a “conversion” process, that then designed a HE strategy that would invent, establish, or embellish a number of small-scale Higher ed profiteering schemes and make them the standard issue (privatized segments of HE, MOOCs, union busting, standard curricula that could be packaged and resold endlessly,e tc.).

So Lumina is student loan processing money decanted into a new bottle to feed back into HE by way of buying influence on public policy, HE journalism, and so on. I have gone over their grants quite thoroughly Half a million to ACCJC just as it was launching its attack on CCSF, 2 million to Washington MOnthly when it was writing about CAlifornia having the “WORST CC IN THE NATION, money to Rockefeller Foundation/ Tides and so on, and then those “philanthropic” entities funned money came back into the CA system, to fund the CA Chancellor’s office ($500,000 I think), and so on.

There is a massive amount of this “dark” ed money out there, and Washington Monthly is the one I have been following the closest. So let’s make sure we know the context of the journalism, an are aware of how, in the last few months, the “adjunct” story has been used as cover for some other “build public will” narratives.

I have only looked a bit at Western Governor’s –but `1) the educational operations are entirely remote location / online 2) faculty are not listed by name on their webpage and everything about the institution looks highly suspicious. The money shot of the article is the middle paragraph that attests to the WGU model as the “salvation” .

Be very, very careful with the new generation of media story. We need to be quite vigilant about “how” our stories are being used in this new (bought) media environment. I don’t think we can simply clap every time our name is called!!!


21. A new take on mentoring that might be of use to us in our movement. See below, from Berger Marks Foundation, which has supported our movement.

Mentoring: A new “take” on an old idea

The month of September (which includes Labor Day and the start of the new school year) is a perfect time to think about ways to strengthen and grow organized labor… And mentoring is something that can help reach that goal.

A few years back, realizing that mentoring is an effective tool to help less experienced union members and staff learn leadership skills and how to navigate the political terrain of their respective union, the Berger-Marks Foundation partnered with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to create a mentoring handbook, The Next Generation: A Handbook for Mentoring Future Union Leaders).

Mentoring has been around for a long time informally, however, informal mentoring is often sporadic and women and minorities are often not offered the opportunity.

The handbook addresses these issues by providing easy-to-use materials for a union (or another labor entity, like a constituency group) to create and implement a formal (or “intentional”) mentoring program. The handbook primarily focuses on one-on-one mentoring, which is the traditional model.

Our experience — since the handbook was released — is that creating and carrying out an ongoing one-on-one mentoring program (which includes recruitment, matching mentors and mentees and making sure matches are working, as well as the process) can be overwhelming for a coordinator (especially when the program is all-volunteer).

The “new take” we focus on here is taking the burden off the coordinator, that is, using the materials provided in the handbook for mentors and mentees toself-initiate a mentoring program, with the blessing of the unionor not-for-profit.

To be more specific: We encourage the union to initiate the mentoring program and focus onrecruiting mentees (use the handbook to promote the value of mentoring and recruit members to be mentees and attend a union-led session on mentoring and selecting a mentor).

Much of what has been written on mentoring is focused on business and, therefore, a bit “off” for the world in which we exist, however, this article inBusiness News Daily, can be very helpful: “Need a Good Mentor? Here’s How to Find One”.

We suggest using this article for guidance, as well as the handbook’s “Appendices” (which provide specific “hands on” materials, ie. Mentee and Mentor Surveys, Sample Agenda for Orientation Session, Worksheet for Planning the Mentoring Relationship….), as well as our Mentoring 101 Teaching Guide (

Handbooks are available on-line.The Foundation also has a large supply of hard copies and will provide them for the asking (plus shipping – or we are happy to arrange for a pick-up, if in the DC area).

Be in touch with Katie Fox, foundation executive coordinator, at 202-223-3111 or e-mail her to order handbooks.

Additionally, we suggest you check out this excellent article on mentoring,The Power of Mentoring Our Young Members,which first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

If you are interested in group mentoring, which is briefly discussed in the handbook and in the above article, I can also provide you with group mentoring assistance and materials. (I really like group mentoring, as it’s much simpler to carry out and has a wonderful program to follow/use……) You can reach me or 202-508-6901.

Carolyn J. Jacobson
Berger-Marks Secretary-Treasurer and
Special Assistant to the President
Coalition of Labor Union Women

815 16th St., NW, 2nd Floor South
Washington, DC 2006

22. Reclaim Higher Ed conference, Sacramento, CA



CAPITOL PLAZA, TEMPLE BALLROOM 1025 9th Street, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA 95814


23. OUR WALMART relaunches (lessons here for contingent faculty movement).

24. Duke U (NC) adjuncts exploring unionization.

25. US Labor Law at 80: the enduring relevance of class struggle unionism.

NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are teaching 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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