The Island Now

LIU lockout ends with compromise

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Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:49 pm

Long Island University last Wednesday ended the faculty lockout that barred the staff of the Brooklyn campus from going to work the first week of classes.

The decision to lock out the staff came after the university’s administration and faculty union couldn’t agree on terms for a new contract. The faculty threatened to strike. 

The administration brought in replacement faculty for the start of fall classes, and hundreds of staff members took to the streets in Brooklyn to protest.

“We have won a victory,” the Long Island Faculty Federation said in a news release.

Administrators agreed that a professional mediator will be used to ensure a fair contract is reached, the release said.

LIU officials said their unwillingness to approve a more generous compensation package was based on their commitment to not raise tuition through the year 2020. 

Because the majority of LIU’s revenue comes from tuition, the faculty requests couldn’t be met without affecting the tuition cap, a release  from the university said.

The union said it was an unprecedented action for a major institution to lock out its staff.

“The union’s unfair labor practice complaints relating to the lockout and our arbitration on pay parity remain active and will be vigorously pursued,” the union’s release said.

The Faculty Council from LIU-Post passed a resolution expressing no confidence in  the university’s president, Kimberly Cline, after the lockout.

A news release from the council said Cline was the cause for “a significant decline in student enrollment, unprecedented firings of personnel, and ineffectual management of the institution.”

The resolution said Cline’s part in the lockout reflects a disinvestment in academics and student needs.

Long Island University includes two main campuses, LIU-Post in Brookville and LIU-Brooklyn, with satellite campuses in Brentwood, Riverhead, Rockland and Westchester.

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