Lockout: LIU Brooklyn Student Fact Sheet

Sep 1, 2016 by


As you may have heard, the LIU administration plans to lock out faculty starting tomorrow, Friday, September 2, at midnight. This unprecedented, hostile action by the administration was taken while the faculty union—the Long Island University Faculty Federation (LIUFF) continued to negotiate its contract in good faith. Here is some information that will help you understand what is happening in the very likely event of a lockout:

The faculty is the heart and soul of any university. Without us, higher education is meaningless. The LIU Brooklyn faculty union continues to bargain in good faith. We WANT to start the semester on Wednesday, September 7. ADMINISTRATION IS LOCKING US OUT.

  • NYC Public Advocate Leticia James and seven other elected Brooklyn officials wrote a letter to LIU President Kimberly L. Cline in early August warning her that any move to hire replacement workers would “only exacerbate your administration’s troubled relationship with labor in New York City.” Five campus unions are currently without contracts.
  • If you support the faculty and, like us, want to start classes and get on with your education, please call or write to President Cline at 516-299-1926 or 516-299-4177, fax 516-299-2137. Tell her that you and your parents are appalled by the administration’s actions and that you stand in solidarity with your professors.
  • Administrators and/or replacement workers will be sent to your classes. THESE ARE NOT YOUR PROFESSORS. Many of them are completely unqualified to teach the course. Some of them do not have higher degrees. Nor is it their choice to replace professors; they have been ordered to accept these classroom assignments or be fired.
  • These same administrators will not be able to do their jobs, all of which exist to serve you, the students. THUS, IN ADDITION TO SENDING UNQUALIFIED REPLACEMENTS INTO THE CLASSROOM, THE ADMINISTRATION IS PREVENTING STAFF FROM DOING THEIR JOBS.
  • Check your email for communication from your professor. He or she may attempt to communicate with you about the situation before we are locked out.
  • Join us on Wednesday for an all-day protest rally and picket at DeKalb and Flatbush Avenues. And pass along this information to your friends, family, and elected officials.

For more information, regularly check the LIUFF Facebook page and the LIUFF website at http://www.liuff.net.

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  1. Marcia E Deer

    I am very concerned about this situation

    • Sara Campbell

      As are we concerned, Marcia. Please join us along with fellow students at the all day protest Wednesday, beginning at 10:00 AM at Flatbush and DeKalb.

  2. John Doe

    If this issue doesn’t resolve within a week of classes, this will be my last semester at LIU Brooklyn. Enough is enough

    • Sara Campbell

      We understand your frustration, John, and we also hope for a quick resolution to the lockout. Come join us Wednesday for the demonstration in front of the main entrance at Flatbush and DeKalb.

  3. Benjy Etienne

    I was supposed to Register for a class, what do I do now? It’s a class only the professor can enroll me in and I haven’t heard back.

    • E. Drabinski

      I would suggest contacting the registrar’s office at 718-488-1013. Unfortunately, faculty are not allowed to work as of midnight tonight due to this action by the administration, so may not be able to follow up with you.

  4. Tom

    This is unacceptable. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars, moved my entire life from across the country to achieve my degrees here only to have it all threatened by some half-ass replacements? Paying 50,000$ a year should be worth more than was already offered, not less.

    • E. Drabinski

      We agree. Faculty continue to bargain in good faith, and we hope to be back in your classroom soon.

  5. Kassandra

    It is very upsetting to find out about this. As students we shouldn’t be concerned whether or not we will have a professor in the classroom on our first day back. With as much tuition as we pay our professors should be paid decently to share their knowledge and should not be kept out of campus.

    • Sara Campbell

      Thanks for your support, Kassandra. We want to be in the classroom as much as you want us there! Let’s hope the administration allows us back soon.

  6. ana farashian

    How can this happen one week before classes start? We pay this much money for what? We need good professors and not administration to teach us. Classes are picked money is paid and this is when you let us know that there are problens with faculty members? Was planning to stay for pharmacy school here in LIU, but if I do not get professionals to teach me, I better pay money to a different school. Which respects its faculty members and us! Very disappointed!!!

    • Sara Campbell

      We commiserate with your plight, Ana. As of today, we are totally locked out of campus, and this blog is really our best means of communicating with you. We will update the Facebook page and LIUFF website with any news. If possible come out Wednesday for our demonstration. Thanks for your post.

  7. Jane

    Resolution should of been made before the contract expired as to ensure continuation of student learning. I blame both faculty and administration for failure to agree on a resolution. Elementary school teachers teach for over a year without a contract out of a commitment to their students.

    • Sara Campbell

      Hi Jane. Yes, indeed, we could have kept working without a contract, but we have been locked out. We did not go on strike. Please join us Wednesday for our demonstration; we’ll be there to answer your questions.

    • Bruno Mitchell

      Great point, Jane.

  8. Ashley-elora Svendsen

    Please find a way to keep in touch and update students while this is happening. Especially if you are unable to check your email. We cannot help if there is no contact to facilitate communication between staff and students.

    Thank you

    • Sara Campbell

      Hi Ashley-elora. This is the best way to keep in touch; we’ll update the LIUFF website and Facebook page as events unfold. We have been locked out of LIU email and Blackboard. Please come out Wednesday for our demonstration; we can provide you with more information in person. Thanks!

  9. George

    Guest Blogger / 6 hours ago

    Guest blogger Deborah Mutnick is a long-time professor at Long Island University’s Brooklyn, NY campus.

    As of 12:00 a.m., Saturday, September 3, my colleagues and I were locked out of our University in the midst of contract negotiations between our faculty union and management. The letter I got from the administration told me I have “to cease performing services for the University.” Sunday morning the first thing I did—and I suspect many of my colleagues did as well—was to try my LIU email account. Locked out. The union-busting tactics we all feared have now come to pass.

    The idea that faculty and students are the heart and soul of a university is in jeopardy everywhere of late, it seems, in higher education. But for the past three years, Long Island University has strayed so far from this ideal that we barely have a seat at the table anymore. The faculty and few remaining longtime staff members, who once worked together collegially, if not always efficiently and effectively, are survivors of a destructive campaign waged against us since President Kimberly L. Cline’s 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 “disruption.” Her first year in office, she recklessly restructured the University and brutally fired dozens of low and middle level staff members. In addition to those she fired, many longtime employees left because they were no longer comfortable working at LIU, resulting in an appalling loss of institutional memory.

    Locking us out is an aggressive, hostile move on the administration’s part that “may be unprecedented,” according to the American Federation of Teachers. Although management claims it is responding to the strike authorization vote taken last May by the union, they know it is a pro forma part of the process and many successful contract negotiations have not involved strikes.

    To quote from the lockout letter, “as the commencement of classes grew closer, and with the historical likelihood of a strike approaching, the University was forced to make the difficult decision to impose a lockout …” They preempted a strike they did not know would happen, and they took actions all summer long to prepare for it.

    They “deactivated” classes—not cancelled, just bizarrely removed from the schedule—without notifying deans, chairs, or affected faculty. They posted erroneous materials on course management websites. And they placed ads for replacement workers on Monster.com while scrambling to assign Brooklyn administrators as well as those at LIU Post to teach our classes.

    One young staff member is assigned to teach a Master’s program class in which she is enrolled as a student. An undergraduate who wants to minor in French found out that unbeknownst to her an advisor had dropped her French tutorial and given her a physics class. Administration is holding “on boarding sessions” 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, working class students, and the four other campus unions—secretaries and staff, carpenters, engineers and building maintenance workers, and janitorial staff—that have been working without contracts.

    On Tuesday, September 6, the faculty union will meet to vote on the University’s proposal and discuss our options in response to the lockout. If the membership votes against ratification, and if we continue to be locked 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 Flatbush Avenues.

    That they locked us out on Labor Day weekend is indeed an irony, one I doubt ever crossed the minds of Kim Cline and the other members of her team—at least until they started seeing the press coverage. Instead of waiting to see if a settlement could be reached—which obviously could have been the outcome of the contract negotiations—they revealed their true union-busting colors, forcing a crisis and a new opening for us to organize. Happy Labor Day!

  10. George

    Call Paul Thompson at NY State Department of Education and tell them your concerned that non-qualified staff will be put in charge of courses which they are not qualified to teach and have no related PhDs

  11. Gary Bono

    What time is the rally on Wednesday?

    • Sara Campbell

      10:00 AM and will go on all day. Main LIU entrance at Flatbush and DeKalb.

      • Sara Campbell

        We have changed the start time of demonstration Wednesday. We’ll begin at 8:00 AM.

  12. Secret

    I think it’s sad the LIU tries to pit students against professors by saying that “any more money allocated to professors is money that’s taken away from the students”. Perhaps afministration should reduce their overinflated salaries and purchase their office furniture from IKEA instead of with luxurious furnishings and equipment.

  13. EZ

    This is beyond ridiculous. It’s a shame that a school with such a high reputation would be so unprofessional and nasty. Our tuition gets higher while the quality of our education gets lower. I am so sorry that the teachers at LIU are going through this. This is no way to treat the backbone of your entire institution. I pay out the nose expecting a quality education and this is not what I paid for. It is my last year in my grad program at LIU but if they can’t get their sh*t together i’m going to look into options for transferring out. What’s the point with sticking with a school that just sticks it right back to you? Horrible.

  14. Jane Doe

    This is just ridiculous, administration is not even taking in consideration how their actions are affecting their students, not only are our professors being treated without respect and unfairly, they are also sending replacements that are not qualified or ready, i actually had a professor tell me she was not even a statistic professor and she is not even sure how long she would be there, and since she was not ready for class, it was over within 10 min, which affected my whole day because i had to stay in campus till my next class starting two hours later, i have a one month old baby and i find it extremely unfair that i’m sacrificing my family to get an education, when im not even getting it… honesty rethinking my decision of staying in LIU next semester

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