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LIU Brooklyn faculty to protest lockout after rejecting contract

Unionized faculty at LIU Brooklyn will rally outside the school’s campus Wednesday morning — the first day of the fall semester — to protest a lockout, the latest development in a monthslong contract dispute.

Dozens of faculty members are expected to rally at DeKalb and Flatbush avenues from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a roster of speakers starting at 11:30 a.m., officials from the Long Island University Faculty Federation confirmed Tuesday. The LIUFF contract with the school expired Aug. 31 without a replacement and faculty have been locked out of the campus since Saturday, after a contract negotiation session failed.

“We want to teach our students under a contract that affords us dignity and voice. That is why we’re fighting back,” Jessica Rosenberg, LIUFF president, said in a statement.

Gail Haynes, university counsel, said in a statement the university would continue to bargain with the union until the issue was resolved.

“It’s disappointing that the LIUFF has rejected a contract offer that the university believes is generous and highly competitive. The university will continue to bargain in good faith, with the goal of welcoming its valued faculty back to the classroom upon timely resolution of the contract,” Haynes said Tuesday.

Faculty and university officials disagree about how best to handle a pay parity issue between Long Island University’s Brooklyn and Post campuses.

University spokeswoman Jennifer Solomon said in an email Thursday it was the first time the university had instituted a lockout in response to a contract dispute, adding that school administrators had expected professors to strike and were trying to prevent class disruption.

Solomon said in a separate email the school had a contingency plan that included recruiting additional faculty to teach classes.

In social media posts throughout the weekend, LIU Brooklyn officials urged faculty to ratify the proposed contract at a meeting held earlier Tuesday.

Deborah Mutnick, LIUFF spokeswoman, said Tuesday afternoon the union voted 226-10 to reject the contract proposal and a faculty senate meeting afterward concluded with a 135-10 vote of no confidence in LIU President Kimberly Cline and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeff Kane.


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