COCAL Updates

Apologies for the lateness of the next two 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.

CEW 2015 planning webinar recording now available.

Here is the link to the NFM “store” at an ethical vendor (EthixMerch) where anyone may order different button designs (at $1 each plus shipping and handling) for Campus Equity promotion.

One design is the 2013 “Campus Equity Now!” message and the other is the eye-catching new artwork created by Jennie Shanker for the National Arts Project (you can hear and see more about this on the webinar). We intend to add a few more designs from CSAL (the Center for the Study of Academic Labor), a research partner of the NFM Foundation, that have proved very popular at the CSU Campus Equity events. The minimum order of 50 buttons and they will be delivered within 12 days. The larger the order, the less per button cost for shipping and handling.

Any other merchandise we are able to get into production will also be available at the NFM “store” link through Ethix Merch. NFM will not receive any profits from the sales of these Campus Equity related union-made items and Ethix Merch is keeping prices very low because of its commitment to social justice.


1. Leaked memo shows plans by billionaires to charterize LA public schools in hostile takeover. Can higher ed be far behind?

2. District continues to be non responsive to faculty needs in bargaining new contract.


1. From US Higher Ed News

Onyango, Emmanuel. “Teachers’ Union Leader Says Free Education Is Possible in Tanzania.” Citizen [Tanzania] 23 Sep. 2015.

An educationist has said free education from primary to university level was possible in Tanzania if the government strictly put taxes and other revenues to proper use.

His reaction comes two days after some educationists including owners of private schools and colleges condemned the idea as perpetrated by some politicians in their campaigns.

The Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-Government Schools and Colleges (Tamongosco) described pledges by major political parties to provide free education a “vote winning ploy.”

The Ruling CCM and the opposition coalition, Ukawa have announced that they have plans to provide free education if elected in October General Election.

Speaking with The Citizen, secretary general of the Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU) Ezekiah Oluoch said . . . in a telephone interview that the government has enough resources to enable it fully fund basic education from early primary to secondary school up to diploma levels for teachers training in vocational colleges.

Mr Oluoch who professionally is a teacher said: “The only problem is mismanagement of and no leaders who value education. They are touting the idea of free education without demonstrating their action plan.”

He said the government must invest not less than 5 percent of its GDP in basic education as speculated in the World Bank report.

Tanzania injects only 1.4 percent in education sector.

He said Tanzania is lagging behind compared to other East African countries that have increased their GDP rates in education like Kenya (7.8 percent), Uganda (4.8 percent), Rwanda (5.8 percent) and Burundi (2.2 percent). . . .

2. From India, article directed to potential Indian foreign students in US; The Adjunctification of US Higher Ed.


1. Contingent Cab drivers take action in Chicago against Mayor Emanuel’s UBER-freindly policies.

2. More sub-contacted workers strike at CA ports.

3. Charter school network tries to stop teachers from unionizing.

4. More resources for labor activists to fight white supremacy.

5. Right to work is coming to public sector: social movement unionism is the only solution.

6. Tampa Bay: reliance on adjuncts has consequences.

7. Proposed UAW contract fails to end two-tier system and more here.

8. St Louis U can do better by its adjunct faculty.

9. Gifted Seattle professor’s life of the mind was also a life of near destitution.

10. Great little picture/poster.

11. The true faces of student debt.

12. More on Seattle strike, from Washington Post, much was won for parents and students as well.

13. Faculty Council at Rutgers says punishment of coach for interfering with teaching and grading (by an adjunct) of an athlete was too slight.

14. Unusual concentration of labor news close to us as contingent faculty: news of joint employers decisions and other action by courts and NLRB (McDonalds, Uber, et al), UAW members voting down Chrysler/Fiat deal that does not dump two-tier, and others.

15. Making bad jobs good, 101 [hint: organize] by our colleague Claire Goldstene.

16. Mizzou (U of MO, Columbia) need fair pay.

17. Grads organizing to resist the corporate U.

18. A reminder of a continuing blog for precarious faculty.

19. Job opening, SEIU national staff, research coordinator.

20. Lessons of recent teachers’ strike: fight for what we deserve, not just for what we think we can get

21. Universities hire more adjuncts and pay less.

22. New survey report on job satisfaction by FTNTT faculty at 4 year schools, and Maria Maisto, NFM Pres., provides a welcome corrective at the end.

23. Shame on us (from a contingent)

24. Ode to academic labor

25. National single payer strategy conference, Chicago, Oct 30-Nov 1 (end of CEW). Representatives of contingent faculty movement should be there.

26. More on inequality in higher ed, this time grad rates for poorer and richer students.

27. Neo-liberalism in higher ed.

28. Adjunct quits AZ College over refusal to sign loyalty oath.

29. Part-timers at Rutgers

30. Possible Clinton endorsement divides NEA, and here.

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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