COCAL Updates

by E Wayne Ross on September 6, 2012

COCAL Updates
Updates in brief and links

1. Kaplan faculty in Liverpool, England, UK unionize! From Jon Blanchette a Kaplan NY union leader.
The reason why I’m writing is to let you know about another organizing victory for Kaplan teachers, this time in the UK. One of their reps posted this comment on our blog to reach out and let us know that our success in NYC helped them make the case to teachers in Liverpool to do likewise:

[To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first Kaplan to unionize in the UK.]

2. Are American Public Universities being privatized?

3. The Rise and Demise of the Neoliberal University

4. Good article on Chicago Teachers struggle

5. Adjunct Project comments on new Huffington post online story

and the story with people you know on screen

6. Newt Gingrich teaches a MOOC online for Kaplan from GOP convention

7. US Conference of Bishops supports adjunct union at Duquesne U

8. Good article on Chines labor struggles

9. Grad union at U Michigan seeks organizer. see below

10. Chicago City Colleges FT faculty union, AFT 1600, accepts contract with merit pay tied to student test results

11. Huffington Post blog (Pablo Eisenberg) on the recent Campaign for the Future of Higher Ed/NFM report on contingent faculty
and more reactions to the report and

12. From Counterpunch, Democrats, US Labor and Latin America (well worth a look)

13. CA Faculty Assoc. (CFA) in the CA State U System ratifies new contract.

14. Corrected info for Non-tenure Track Faculty conference in April in Pittsburgh (see below)

15. An adjunct teacher leads fight to save historic gym in Philly, from Alex Kudera, the adjunct novelist/memoirist:
a bit on the lighter side but worth noting it was an adjunct who saved Joe Frazier’s gym
: maybe another good example of how adjuncts, often by necessity living in the communities where they are teaching, can know a lot more about their students and what is going on in or around the campus community than the luxury faculty beamed in from Affluencia, USA.


16. Former Green River CC (WA) local president and WFT VP found to have embezeled funds. Adjunct Keith Hoeller presses for further investigation into this and other issues.

17. National U (CA), a CA nonprofit following the for-profit business model including no faculty tenure, is retaliating against faculty who complain.


Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), the union of graduate student instructors and graduate student staff assistants at the University of Michigan, is seeking a union organizer to work in Ann Arbor, MI.

Candidates should have strong one-on-one organizing skills, deep knowledge of the higher education workplace, significant experience working with diverse populations, and a commitment to a participatory and progressive labor movement.

Necessary Qualifications:
● Strong one-on-one organizing skills
● Ability to manage time and coordinate multiple projects in high-stress situations
● Ability both to work independently and to facilitate group interactions
● Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed
● Willingness to make at least a two-year commitment
● Basic computing knowledge, including experience with Microsoft Office or Open Office
● Social networking skills
● Ability to write, interpret, and apply contract language
● Familiarity with grievance processes
● US citizenship or other authorization to work in the United States

Preferred Qualifications:
● Internal organizing experience, especially in higher education
● Other prior experience in a higher education environment
● Experience organizing job actions and contract campaigns
● Experience as a staff member in a volunteer-run organization
● Experience in the labor movement
● Work with a wide variety of software applications, including QuickBooks, Salsa, and MS Access

The immediate assignment of the candidate hired for the currently-available position will focus on direct one-on-one organizing. Experience in this area is essential. Prior representation or union leadership experience is welcomed, but not necessary.

Applications will be accepted through Monday, Sept 10, 2012. Salary range is approximately $54,000, with a potential for increases based on experience. Health insurance provided by employer. An additional stipend is given as an allowance for phone and parking expenses.

Please submit a single PDF file with last name as the first part of the filename (i.e. smith_application.pdf) containing a resume, a brief introductory letter, and answers to the following questions, length no longer than 2 pages total:

• What do you see as the central purpose of a union?
• This position involves organizing a large number of people. Some might not be enthusiastic about getting involved in the union, may not know much about unions, or will be afraid of what their supervisors will think of their involvement with a union. What would be your strategy to recruit members and leaders and build the organization?
• A department steward isn’t coming to meetings, and isn’t being conscientious about following up with people in their department. A first-year student in this department is very eager to be involved. What do you do?

E-mail to Jenny Kohn at Please use “GEO Organizer Application” as the subject line.

GEO is an equal-opportunity employer.

cgeu-list mailing list

14. Dear faculty, graduate students, and those interested in the non-tenure-track faculty conference:

I am writing because you may have received the incorrect address for the conference Countering Contingency: Teaching, Scholarship, and

Creativity in the Age of theAdjunct, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 5-7, 2013.

The correct address for abstracts and other communication is (note the ” f “)
Please resend your abstracts and any questions or concerns, and please accept our apologies for this error.
Attached you will find the corrected Call for Participation.