National Conference on Contingent Academic Labor

Dear Colleague,

I hope all has been going well and that your Fall term is smoothly under way. The California Part-time Faculty Association (CPFA) plans for a National Conference on Contingent Academic Labor are moving ahead rapidly. It is scheduled for January 12-14, 2001 in San Jose, CA. We hope that you and your organization will join with many other organizations in helping make this a major national event. Here is some basic information about the Conference.

Our goal is multi-dimensional:

We want to raise public and political awareness of the threat to higher education created by the growing inappropriate use of contingent assignments, and of the exploitation of dedicated professional educators who do not receive adequate institutional support or compensation to allow them to provide their students with the instructional environment they deserve. We also want to add to the foundation for a broad coalition among higher education organizations to expand, reinforce, and support the exciting and successful work being done at the local, state, and national levels. Further, we want to forge new links with contingent labor organizations outside of academia, and with traditional unions who are finding their members threatened by the increasing use of temps and other non-standard forms of employment as manager's expand their efforts to deny responsibility for the people on which their business depends.

We want this foundational work to have real and lasting consequences and intend the Conference to yield future action through the coalitions established, beginning with plans for a National Equity Week in Spring 2001 (built on the highly successful A2K Part-time Faculty Equity Week initiated by CPFA in coalition with strong organizational support from all faculty organizations in California, in Spring 2000). This may be focussed on the academic workplace nationally, or may be expanded to the issues of all contingent labor in the US.

It is our conviction that basic equity and dignity, as well as productivity and quality, all speak to convince others that the problems and issues are serious and must be addressed because the core values of our human community is in danger. Nowhere is this clearer than in the 30 year degradation of higher education and its promise to every student's future. The National Conference, and future activity, will throw a bright light on the reality that has been too long invisible.

I appreciate the hard work you and your organization have been doing, and I hope that the Conference will help you in your work. Currently we are reaching out for organizations who can join us through sponsoring or co-sponsoring the Conference. We have a growing list of Sponsors and Co-sponsors that will accompany all press releases and printed advertising, and which will be featured in the Agenda Packet for the Conference itself. We also hope to have a book of papers and/or abstracts of papers that will go out the month before the Conference to selected press and people who register early. There is now a Conference web page accessible from that will carry details of the developing plans, and highlight the participation of sponsors and co-sponsors.

Sponsors are supporting our efforts with checks of $500.00 or more, while Co-sponsors are adding $100.00-$500.00. While we are just getting started with the outreach, we already have 8 full sponsors (including COCAL, The AAUP national office, UC-AFT Lectures and the CSU-CFA Lecturer Caucus, the CCA/CTA, CWA, and the Local independent Union at City College of San Jose), and 3 co-sponsors (The San Jose City College Academic Senate, the Faculty Coalition for Public Higher Education, and the Santa Monica Faculty Association). I hope your organization can join in the effort. Sponsorship checks (to "CPFA Conference") and inquiries should go to:

Mary Ellen Goodwin, Conference Committee Chair

340 North Milton Avenue

Campbell, CA 95008

Along with the financial support, we hope that all members of the growing coalition will work to build awareness of the Conference around the country by passing on our press releases and circulating advertising flyers, etc., as the Conference Committee develops them. We will be making copy masters available when needed.

Of course, Sponsors and Co-sponsors are encouraged to send out their own press releases, announcing their sponsorship. We hope to have a continuous and building flow of information about the Conference coming into the media markets at all levels from local community and college papers to the state and national press. Organizations such as yours can play a major role in this publicity.

We also want those who sign on early to seek other organization's support. Local and state faculty organizations, professional discipline associations, classified labor groups, and other coalitions such as local and state labor councils. If organization leaders begin to hear of their member's desire that they support the Conference, they will support it. I hope that all national and state academic union leadership will also consider sponsorship. Any help you could offer to aid in acquiring their sponsorship of the Conference would be very much appreciated. If you have any suggestions of who I might write to, with their email address, I would appreciate it. Also, if you could simply forward on this message to your colleagues, it will help us spread the word of this exciting event.


Chris Storer 
Executive Council Chair
California Part-time Faculty Association
Instructor of Philosophy; De Anza College
Mail27141 Moody Road
 Los Altos, CA 94022
Phone(650) 949-2287

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