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, sharing notes, turning notes into emails, sharing emails, turning emails into notes, etc. Our negotiating team was told about the lockout last night and since then it has been non-stop. We have two more days of access to our offices and email, and I am trying to communicate as much and as often as I can until the clock stops. I have applied for a bullhorn permit, told the police to bring barricades to our upcoming rally, sent the President’s contact information to a thousand people, answered queries from faculty that range from does the lockout mean we can’t use the parking garage? to wow will I be without health insurance? to what can we do to help? That last question is the hardest. Overthrow global capitalism? Reduce corporate power in higher education? Replace my lost wages? We’ll be out in the streets next week, and I’m guessing I’ll put in some donut orders.
In the meantime, it helps a lot to hear from people in all kinds of ways, and it helps to have them spread the word. We’re posting updates on our website, and I’m tweeting up a storm like I always do. I’m even writing some about my feelings. I would love to see and hear more outrage about a faculty lockout on Labor Day by an administration ostensibly interested in teaching and learning and the lives of students. Thank you for spreading the word.