Archive of COCAL Updates: June 2012

COCAL Updates: June 5, 2012

Links to stories of interest

Some very useful information on health insurance

Of course, most of us do not get it paid by our employer, and if we do, it is not year round and/or secure. In 2011 74% of adults aged 19-64 had health insurance all year, but 26% lacked health insurance for part of the year.

Of those without insurance, 70% are without coverage for more than a year, 12% for less than 3 months, 8% for 3-6 months, 10% for 6-12 months, 12% 1 year-2 years, 57% 2 years or longer.

Percentage of uninsured by percentage above federal poverty:
Less than 133% 133-249% 250-399% 400% or more
57% 36% 22% 12%

(Commonwealth Fund, quoted in Chicago Tribune 4/20/12)

Comment: for those who say we can't afford universal medical insurance, let's cancel it for everyone for one year and then discuss the matter again.

The Exit from the Crisis is Left: Main Points of Greece's Syriza Leftist Coalition

by Jadaliyya Reports
May 31, 2012

[The following is the platform put forth by the Greek political coalition Syriza (an abbreviation for Coalition of the Radical Left) on 9 May 2012. The leftist coalition is currently polling at approximately thirty percent and is expected by some analysts to win in the next elections in Greece.]

The Exit from the Crisis is on the Left

  1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis

    Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services of public utilities. Protection of and relief measures for indebted households. Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and abolition of VAT on basic-need goods.

  2. Disposal of the debt burden

    The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.
    We are asking immediately for:

  3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth, and elimination of unnecessary expenses

  4. Productive social and environmental reconstruction

  5. Stable employment with decent wages and social insurance

    The constant degradation of labour rights, coupled with embarrassing wage levels, does not attract investment, development, or employment.
    Instead, we are calling for:

  6. Deepening Democracy: democratic political and social rights for all

    There is a democratic deficit in the country. Greece is gradually being transformed into an authoritarian police state.
    We are calling for:

  7. Restoration of a strong welfare state

    Anti-insurance laws, the shutdown of social services, and the steep fall in social expenditures under the Memorandum have turned Greece into a country where social injustice reigns.
    We are in need of:

  8. Health is a Public Good and a social right

    Health care is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:

  9. Protection of public education, research, culture, and sports from the Memorandum's policies

    With regards to education, we are calling for:

  10. An independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of peace

    The capitulation of our foreign policy to the desires of the U.S. and the powerful states of the European Union endangers the country's independence, peace, and security.
    We propose:

The incumbent economic and social system has failed and we must overthrow it!

The economic crisis that is rocking global capitalism has shattered the illusions. More and more, people understand that capitalist speculation is an inhuman organizational principle for modern society. It is also widely acknowledged that private banks function only for the benefit of the bankers, harming the rest of the people. Big business and bankers absorb billions of euros from health care, education, and pensions.

An exit from the crisis requires bold measures that will prevent those who created the crisis from continuing their destructive work. We are endorsing a new model for the production and distribution of wealth, one that will include society in its totality. In this respect, the large capitalist property is to be made public and managed democratically along social and ecological criteria. Our strategic aim is socialism with democracy, a system in which all will be entitled to participate in the decision-making process.

We are changing the future; we are pushing them into the past!

We can prevail by forging unity and creating a new coalition for power with the Left as a cornerstone. Our strength in this endeavour is the alliance of the People: the inspiration, the creative effort, and the struggle of the working people. With these, we will shape the lives and the future of a self- governed people.

Now the vote is in the hands of the People! Now the People have the power!

In this new election, the Greek people can and must vote against the regime of the Memoranda and the Troika, thus turning over a new page of hope and optimism for the future.

For Greece and for Europe, the solution is with the Left!

Mexican teachers march

On May 31, in Mexico City 15,000 teachers marched to the government offices of Gobernacion, which functions as the ministry of internal affairs in Mexico.

While a delegation went inside in an attempt to negotiate, the teachers outside were attacked by the Federal Police with tear gas and rubber bullets. 6 teachers were wounded.

Among the demands of the teachers is for trade union democracy, (the National Teachers Union is effectively controlled by government supporters) and a demand to repeal A.C.E. (The Alliance for the Quality of Education law).

A.C.E. was developed by the World Bank and the Organization for Development and Economic Development. It is modeled on President Bush's "No Child Left Behind." All children are required to take standardized multiple choice tests. Teachers are rewarded are face termination based on results of tests. Teachers are also tested. The government announced in 2008 that 67% of students in teachers colleges had failed its exam.

The teachers in Seccion 22 Oaxaca see A.C.E. as a pretext to fire teachers and privatize education. Many students who are poor or from indian families will fail the A.C.E. exams given their lack of middle class language skills.

Earl Gilman

Call for Papers for COCAL X
Mexico City, August 9-12, 2012

COCAL (Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor) is an international coalition of higher education contingent faculty in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Every two years for over a decade, delegates and participants from these three nations have been coming together at conferences in order to share information and analysis, promote activism, and advocate on behalf of contingent faculty in North America and beyond.

This is a call for papers by individuals and organizations that represent contingent faculty in higher education in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Presentations should not exceed 5 pages (time: 10 minutes) and should address one of the three over-arching themes of this conference. Workshop presentations should have a experiential and practical focus, that can be applied by contingent faculty in diverse situations.

Abstract proposals are to be submitted to the COCAL X Organizing Committee, by May 15, 2012 at the email address indicated at the end of the PDF document linked below.

For more detailed information, download the complete PDF of the Call for Papers:

COCAL Updates: June 13, 2012

Links to stories of interest

COCAL Updates: June 15, 2012

Links to stories of interest