I want to begin by saying thank you to the union bargaining team for their steadfast work on behalf of the membership in an extraordinarily difficult environment. I hold Kim Cline and the board of trustees solely responsible for the production of the contract we are facing today, one that attacks the most vulnerable members of our unit and pits worker against worker over crumbs while Cline and her team spend $4 million dollars on a racquetball club on Long Island. I want to be clear that I see her and her management team as the enemy today. The anger I have seen and heardRead More →

My life has been about union work since we were locked out at the start of the academic year. I am not on the bargaining team and I am not the president, but I am the secretary, and I am an academic worker at LIU Brooklyn, and the future of the university and the union matter a lot to me. I have been a librarian these past few months, yes, and my career continues to be my career. I have a family and a mom back in Idaho and part ownership in a racehorse and television shows I love to watch. But union work hasRead More →

The exhaustion, my goodness. Everything hurts and I was always tired. But I want to remember The wariness as I come into contact again with the people who weren’t locked out. Their wariness with me. Their experiences were different. Some of them are angry at me, at the union, at all this brouhaha. Mom calling to say she saw me quoted in the New York Times. Saying to a reporter after we’d been on the phone awhile, you’re with PSC-CUNY? No, ma’am, I just dropped out of Hunter and started this online news site with a friend of mine who’s still at Hunter I’m aRead More →

Today my brain is not on fire but it is sunk about halfway into mud. What kind of long haul are we in for? I was able to synthesize a cover letter for a job application so that I can truthfully respond to the questions on my unemployment claim next week. But I don’t want to forget the start of week two. Taking off my glasses and sinking my head into my hands and Richelle and Katy asking me if I’ve eaten anything today. Derek giving me the rest of his fries with thousand island dressing. Start date: September 1, 1999. September 1, 1985. SeptemberRead More →

When LIU Brooklyn locked out its faculty, they sent us out onto the sidewalk with all of the skills we use every day to make teaching and learning great in the heart of the Blackbird Nation. As we use these skills to organize effectively against them, it is clear that they have made a critical mistake. I am a member of the faculty locked out at LIU Brooklyn. I am a librarian, and we have faculty status at my university. I am also secretary of the Long Island University Faculty Federation, a role that includes lots of minutes taking, organizing agendas and files, and communicationRead More →

My brain has fallen out of my skull out onto the sidewalk, so there’s no synthesis happening anywhere around here right now. I can say with all honesty that I am spending pretty much all of my waking hours organizing to get our jobs back. But I don’t want to forget: Talking to Klaudia on the phone about filing for unemployment due to a lockout (turns out it’s complicated) and before she hangs up she says, about tomorrow’s action, Emily, wear a hat. Talking with Richelle and Jessica at the diner next door about organizing communications for tomorrow’s action and ordering a slice of peach pieRead More →

I just got back from my four mile run, the first four miles in a 38 mile week. We’re just nine weeks out from the New York City Marathon. I have been training for fifteen weeks so far. My dad drove out from Boise to watch me run this race in 2015. Six weeks later, he was killed in a Los Angeles crosswalk by a driver turning left in a Ford F150. We had started plotting a strategy to get me down under five hours for a marathon about ten minutes after last year’s race ended. So since December: dropping weight, speedwork during base building, a fucktonRead More →

The #liulockout has so far meant many things, and many of those have to do with affect, something I might write about in a theoretical way if I was currently being paid to be a scholar and a teacher, but instead am experiencing acutely right now. This is terrifying. We talk a lot about privilege in my circles, and the way that privilege insulates people like me from encounters with raw, brutal power, how terrifying and total it is, how people in power can make the difference between living and dying in instants. This is one of those encounters with brute power and its capacity toRead More →

Implementing this lockout must be costing the university an awful lot of money. They had to advertise for, recruit, hire, and process paperwork for a ton of replacement workers to “deliver services” in our classrooms. They had to give all these scab hires ID cards and give them tours of the library. They calculated individual lost wages for each faculty member and coordinated to send targeted emails to each one of us threatening us with big scary personal numbers. Every single faculty member is receiving an overnight FedEx copy of the email that went out yesterday notifying us of their intent to lock us out. ThisRead More →

Long Island University, Brooklyn faculty will be locked out by management as of 12:01am September 3rd, in other words, late Friday night. This is an aggressive act against the membership by management, and it is equal parts enraging, terrifying, and sad. It feels like a betrayal, really, and worse than thing felt when we went on strike five years ago. Faculty have a contentious relationship with administration at my campus, and the relationship keeps getting worse. I’m secretary of the union because in my life I tend to be secretary of all the things. That means I’ve spent an awful lot of time taking notes,Read More →