|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Learn] LIU Lockout
|From learn-bounces-at-nylxs.com Tue Sep 6 08:16:48 2016
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From: Ruben Safir
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Subject: [Learn] LIU Lockout
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LOCKED OUT ON LABOR DAY: FACULTY AT LIU BROOKLYN FIGHTING FOR A FAIR CONTRA=
CT AND THE FUTURE OF OUR CAMPUS
Guest Blogger / 6 hours ago
Guest blogger Deborah Mutnick is a long-time professor at Long Island Univ=
ersity=E2=80=99s Brooklyn, NY campus.
As of 12:00 a.m., Saturday, September 3, my colleagues and I were locked ou=
t of our University in the midst of contract negotiations between our facul=
ty union and management. The letter I got from the administration told me I=
have =E2=80=9Cto cease performing services for the University.=E2=80=9D Su=
nday morning the first thing I did=E2=80=94and I suspect many of my colleag=
ues did as well=E2=80=94was to try my LIU email account. Locked out. The un=
ion-busting tactics we all feared have now come to pass.
The idea that faculty and students are the heart and soul of a university i=
s in jeopardy everywhere of late, it seems, in higher education. But for th=
e past three years, Long Island University has strayed so far from this ide=
al that we barely have a seat at the table anymore. The faculty and few rem=
aining longtime staff members, who once worked together collegially, if not=
always efficiently and effectively, are survivors of a destructive campaig=
n waged against us since President Kimberly L. Cline=E2=80=99s appointment =
in September 2013.
In this era of corporate-driven, administratively bloated higher education,=
Cline made clear from day one of her administration that she believes in =
=E2=80=9Cdisruption.=E2=80=9D Her first year in office, she recklessly rest=
ructured the University and brutally fired dozens of low and middle level s=
taff members. In addition to those she fired, many longtime employees left =
because they were no longer comfortable working at LIU, resulting in an app=
alling loss of institutional memory.
Locking us out is an aggressive, hostile move on the administration=E2=80=
=99s part that =E2=80=9Cmay be unprecedented,=E2=80=9D according to the Ame=
rican Federation of Teachers. Although management claims it is responding t=
o the strike authorization vote taken last May by the union, they know it i=
s a pro forma part of the process and many successful contract negotiations=
have not involved strikes.
To quote from the lockout letter, =E2=80=9Cas the commencement of classes g=
rew closer, and with the historical likelihood of a strike approaching, the=
University was forced to make the difficult decision to impose a lockout =
=E2=80=A6=E2=80=9D They preempted a strike they did not know would happen, =
and they took actions all summer long to prepare for it.
They =E2=80=9Cdeactivated=E2=80=9D classes=E2=80=94not cancelled, just biza=
rrely removed from the schedule=E2=80=94without notifying deans, chairs, or=
affected faculty. They posted erroneous materials on course management web=
sites. And they placed ads for replacement workers on Monster.com while scr=
ambling to assign Brooklyn administrators as well as those at LIU Post to t=
each our classes.
One young staff member is assigned to teach a Master=E2=80=99s program clas=
s in which she is enrolled as a student. An undergraduate who wants to mino=
r in French found out that unbeknownst to her an advisor had dropped her Fr=
ench tutorial and given her a physics class. Administration is holding =E2=
=80=9Con boarding sessions=E2=80=9D for the replacement teachers. Everyone =
is miserable. The faculty is fighting not only for a fair contract but also=
as much if not more so for the future of our university, our diverse, work=
ing class students, and the four other campus unions=E2=80=94secretaries an=
d staff, carpenters, engineers and building maintenance workers, and janito=
rial staff=E2=80=94that have been working without contracts.
On Tuesday, September 6, the faculty union will meet to vote on the Univers=
ity=E2=80=99s proposal and discuss our options in response to the lockout. =
If the membership votes against ratification, and if we continue to be lock=
ed out on Wednesday, September 7, the first day of classes, we plan to hold=
a protest rally outside the University at the corner of DeKalb and Flatbus=
That they locked us out on Labor Day weekend is indeed an irony, one I doub=
t ever crossed the minds of Kim Cline and the other members of her team=E2=
=80=94at least until they started seeing the press coverage. Instead of wai=
ting to see if a settlement could be reached=E2=80=94which obviously could =
have been the outcome of the contract negotiations=E2=80=94they revealed th=
eir true union-busting colors, forcing a crisis and a new opening for us to=
organize. Happy Labor Day!
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
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Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
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