Tag Archives: Contingent labor

COCAL X Conference in Mexico City

COCAL X Conference in Mexico City

August 9-12, 2012

The tenth annual COCAL Conference will be held in Mexico City, on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico from Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12, 2010.

The host for COCAL X is the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (STUNAM). Contingent faculty activists and representatives from North America will participate in the conference. Presentations and plenaries will be translated into English, French, and Spanish.



(Photo by David Milroy)

Mexico City is about a five hour flight from Washington, D.C.; four hours from Chicago, and three and a half hours from Los Angeles. The conference arrangements include a group hotel and bus transportation to and from sessions.

  • Call for papers

We are requesting submissions for presentations at the COCAL X Conference. The deadline is June 15, 2012. Click here for guidelines for submissions.

  • Conference Registration
  • Early Registration by June 15, 2012: $225
  • Registration after June 15, 2012: $250

Click here for online registration

Click here for a mail-in registration form


Below is information about registration and accommodations for planning purposes:

Conference registration fee includes:

  • All workshops, plenaries & materials
  • 5 meals (lunches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; dinner Friday and Saturday)
  • 2 cultural shows during Friday and Saturday dinners.
  • Visit to two museums on Sunday (Anthropology Museum and Chapultepec Castle)
  • Transfers on buses.

Optional tour: Thursday, August 9th visit to Pyramids of Teotihuacan, $50

  • Scholarship Fund
    A COCAL Scholarship can support attendees who may otherwise not be able to attend. Donations to the scholarship fund can be made on the registration form. Scholarship funds will be disbursed to recipients at the conference.
    Scholarships will be awarded in two rounds; the first from a modest pool of existing funds, the second from any leftover funds or additional funds received. For the best chance of receiving a scholarship, apply by the first deadline.
    May 31: first round scholarship applications due
    June 30: second round scholarship applications due

Click here for an application to the scholarship fund

Plenaries and workshop topics

cocal ix plenary

Plenary at COCAL IX

(Photo by David Milroy)

Plenary 1: Changes in academic work in the context of neoliberal globalization
1. Teaching, researching, and disseminating knowledge to the larger community, including academic management of e-learning
2. Gaining and maintaining health, unemployment, and retirement benefits
3. Supporting academic improvement, evaluation processes, and recognition

Plenary 2: Organization and new forms of struggle by academic workers; challenges and strategies for the 21st century
4. Forming and building unions, associations, federations, networks and coalitions
5. Expanding employment rights: hiring, retention, tenure, wages, health benefits, and safety
6. Strengthening union rights: institutional recognition, alliances and federations, collective bargaining rights, and labor laws and regulations
7. Supporting political rights, cultural rights, and academic freedom
8. Exploring forms of struggle and achievements: campaigns, negotiations, demonstrations, work stoppages, strikes, and use of new technologies and social media

Plenary 3: Culture and identity of the new academic citizens in North America and the world
9. Creating a sense of academic culture and university identity: freeway flyers and working with multiple assignments and institutions
10. New forms of academic citizenship, new work and the changing university community: finding spaces of resistance to the corporate model of higher education
11. Fighting discrimination and inequality: multicultural identity, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and different capabilities
12. Building connections between the contingent academic worker and the university community: tenure-track faculty, research faculty, students, staff, and administrators

Planned Social/Cultural Events


Teotihuacan Pyramids

(Photo by David Milroy)

    • Visit to the castle of Chapultepec and the National Museum of anthropology
    • Tour of Ciudad Universitaria facilities (UNESCO-World Heritage Site)
    • Friday and Saturday dinners organized by Mexican university unions with music and dance

Optional preconference excursion day ($50 extra):

    • Visit to the pyramids of Teotihuacan



Hotel Radisson Paraíso Perisur
Cuspide 53, Col. Parque del Pedregal, 14020 Mexico D.F.
$82 US, taxes included, each night for a single-bed or double-bed room.  Additional persons in room are $10 per person, up to 4 persons total per room.

  • Services included with this rate: Single or double room with free high-speed wireless internet for COCAL attendees.
  • This hotel is the closest to the university.
  • In rooms: a work desk with lamp, cable TV, mini bar and iron/ironing board.
  • At hotel: wireless Internet access, a fitness center, cell phone rentals, an American Airlines ticket office, and on-site car rentals.
  • Breakfast is not included in the room rate.  There is a hotel buffet from 7:00 AM to 12:00 noon which costs $15 US (taxes are included). There is also a big shopping center and a variety of inexpensive places to eat very near the hotel.
  • Suggested tips: bellboys $1.50 US and housekeepers $1 US.
  • To make reservations, call (011) + 52 55 59 27 59 59 extension 1286, and mention “COCAL UNAM” to get the special price. You can pay by credit card.
    You may also pay by interbank transfer to BBVA Bancomer 0164753755 (Standardized Bank Code 012180001647537555).  Be aware of extra fees for international bank transfers.
    If you have questions, please contact the Sales Manager, Mrs. Rocio Guzmán
    Telephone (011) +52 (55) 56 06 42 11, fax 55 28 16 33.
  • For photos of the hotel, click here: http://www.radisson.com/mexico-city-hotel-df-14020/mexicoci/locations

Hotel Royal Pedregal
Periférico Sur 4363, México, D. F.
$82 US, taxes included, each night for a single-bed or double-bed room.

  • In rooms: air-conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, mini-bar, tea/coffee and internet access
  • At hotel: arcade, children’s club, car rent, fitness center and full health spa offering a variety of beauty and massage treatments, sauna, steam room and spa tub.
  • Breakfast is not included in the room rate.  There is a hotel buffet from 7:00 AM to 12:00 noon which costs $13 US (taxes are included). There is also a big shopping center and a variety of inexpensive places to eat very near the hotel.
  • To make reservations call 1-866-332-3590 and ask for either Reservation Manager, Erika Ruiz or Nancy Carrillo
    They are available 9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday to Friday, and 9:00 AM-1:00 PM Saturday and Sunday
    Mention “COCALV” to get the special price (make sure you say it exactly like this: C-O-C-A-L-V).  You can pay by credit card.
    Special price for COCAL attendees is good only through August 3rd, 2012.
  • For photos of the hotel, click here: http://royal-pedregal.hotel-rn.com/?lbl=ggl

COCAL Updates

COCAL updates in brief and links from Joe Berry:

1. Faculty at U of OR get agreement on mixed bargaining unit recognition (it includes ALL contingents) joint AFT/AAUP affiliate

2. Yet another article supports what most of us in the union movement have long said, as wealth goes up, empathy declines [or “the rich are different from you and me, they have more money…” and less empathy for others.]

3. Ad for adjunct job specifies that the person not be teaching anywhere else and reactions.
and http://www.nationalreview.com/phi-beta-cons/296957/adjuncts-alarmed-over-usc-job-posting-nathan-harden
and http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/mandatory-monogamy-adjuncts

4. More on union recognition at U of OR

5. Very interesting contrast in US press coverage between French and US elections. Are there lessons here for how the press frames our issues in higher ed? (such as making the extreme privatization and casualization trends of US seem normal here, but covering them differently, if at all, overseas.) The question, of course, is how to change or challenge this press frame.

6. Student veterans group revokes charters of locals at over 20 for-profit colleges

7. Capella U (a for profit) to offer college credit (classes) online to higher school students for a fee. [Is there anything not for sale if one has enough money? Didn’t Marx say something about “All that is solid melts into the air?”]

8. The for-profits’ war on philanthropy

9. Ten Ways for a non-tenure track faculty to get fired [some of these are good, some obvious and some just plain wrong IMHO, especially the one about not trusting (some) “help” (clerical staff). They can be our best allies, individually and collectively.]

10. New memo reveals union suppression at Kaplan U in NYC

11. Blog from union organizer at East-West U in Chicago

12. More on new play about for-profits

13. Update on massive Quebec student strike agains huge tuition increases

14. Kaplan and other for-profits were part of ALEC and their ED task force

15. AAUP summer institute http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/about/events/si2012.htm

16. More on Gren River CC (WA) adjunct apartheid event and disposable teachers

BC Teachers Plan Strike Vote, Gov’t Prepares Bill

CTV: B.C. teachers plan strike vote, gov’t prepares bill

The ongoing contract dispute between British Columbia teachers and the provincial government is promising to heat up before it cools down, as each side prepares its next move. Teachers have been on a limited strike since September, and while they can’t legally walk off the job, they’ve been refusing to perform administrative duties like filling out report cards.

On Friday, the BC Teachers’ Federation, which represent 41,000 members, announced it will hold strike votes province wide, asking educators Tuesday and Wednesday whether they want to escalate limited teach-only action to a full-scale walkout.