Long Island University faculty declared victory on September 14 after the university ended its 12-day lockout at the Brooklyn campus. The lockout prompted LIU students, local officials and other unions, including the PSC, to join the faculty protests.
The agreement to end the lockout extends the expired contract until May 31, 2017, giving the union and the administration more time to secure a new collective bargaining agreement that addresses the union’s demands to provide salaries on par with those for faculty at LIU’s other campuses and not to introduce a lower salary for newly-hired adjuncts. LIU’s Brooklyn campus enrolls a far greater proportion of students of color than its Long Island campus, a difference that many faculty cited as a factor in the wage disparity.
Long Island University Faculty Federation (LIUFF) President Jessica Rosenberg said in a statement, “The whole LIU Brooklyn community, and the larger labor community of New York City, the state and the nation, came together to tell the administration to end this lockout. After 12 days of intransigence, the LIU administration discovered that denying students the education they deserve is never a successful strategy.”
Students who joined faculty on the protest lines expressed outrage at the idea of unqualified replacement teachers, many of whom were administrators, leading courses. Many observers called the administration’s action unprecedented, as lockouts are prevalent in the industrial sector but not in the university setting, where a lockout of faculty ultimately also means the withholding of promised educational services to students.
LIUFF struck for six days at the beginning of the Fall semester in 2011, which ultimately achieved higher wage increases than the university had initially offered.