Donate as generously as you can to the AFT’s solidarity fund. Our colleagues in Brooklyn are without their salaries and without health insurance.
Back in July, we told you about how LIU-Brooklyn’s administration was actively recruiting part-time “replacement workers” (read: scabs) even though they were in the middle of negotiations with the Long Island University Faculty Federation (LIUFF), which represents LIU’s full- and part-time faculty. The LIUFF asked for people to spread the word about this, which we did, reporting what the union believed at the time, i.e., that the administration was preparing for a strike in the event that a new contract had not been agreed to by the start of Fall 2016.
As we’re sure you’re aware by now, the LIUFF was wrong! LIU-Brooklyn’s administration was preparing not for a strike, but for the lockout—unprecedented in higher education as far as anyone can tell—that’s been in the news since at least Tuesday, September 6th.
There is a lot to say about the lockout and the circumstances and politics surrounding it, from questions raised in The Atlantic and The Nation about the corporatization of the university to a recent piece in Inside Higher Ed about LIU’s strategy of giving faculty syllabi—just like the ones we submit each semester—to the scabs who are ostensibly teaching in place of our locked-out colleagues. We will likely blog about some of these issues in the coming weeks, but, for now, the image of LIU faculty going en masse to apply for unemployment speaks to their most immediate bread-and-butter reality: In locking them out, LIU has deprived its faculty not just of the opportunity to teach, but also of their salaries and health benefits.
In solidarity, the AFT has set up an online donation center, where it is collecting money to help our union colleagues and their families through this extremely difficult time. Please donate as generously as you can. You can also send a letter from AFT’s Action Center demanding that LIU end the lockout. Also, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for other solidarity calls as they become necessary.
Further reading (in no particular order):
- From The Gothamist: Hundreds of LIU Students Walk Out On Second Day of Professor Lockout, LIU Brooklyn Locked Out Its Professors On First Day Of Class
- From The New York Times: L.I.U.-Brooklyn Locks Out Professors Amid Contract Dispute
- From NYSUT: LIU administrators lock out faculty in unprecedented hostile move
- From Inside Higher Ed: Labor Day Lockout
- From the Fort Greene Patch: LIU Brooklyn Students Walk Out in Support of Locked Out Faculty
- From The Guardian: Locking out professors is an affront to education
- From the AAUP: Statement on LIU Brooklyn Lockout
- From Academe Blog: Who Is the College: Straight from the LIU Lockout
- From LIU’s Faculty Senate: A letter to LIU’s Board of Trustees
There are also articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education, but you need a subscription to click through to them. You can go to the link in the “Publications” folder on the NCC faculty portal and get on to The Chronicle’s site from there.
Featured image source: NYSUT Communications