I am pasting below an email exchange with Ann Larson from earlier today. I replied to Ann, and included my union colleagues and those who have invited me to speak on these experiences. I am aware she will be waging a public campaign on social media against me and my work. I have her blocked on social media and am aware that they are happening. Please do not forward these attacks to me.
I am writing to let you know about a public disagreement regarding the lockout and contract campaign at LIU Brooklyn last year. There were disagreements regarding the direction of the campaign and decisions about whether we should ratify the final offer that our bargaining team was able to negotiate with management, or vote it down. I advocated for signing the contract. The strike is indeed a powerful weapon, but I did not believe we had organized sufficiently to go out. The contract was recessionary, especially around adjunct issues.
Due to the lockout and management behavior, the size of the university has contracted, and adjuncts and non-tenured faculty are currently losing their jobs. I am working to push the union to address these concerns through organizing and the grievance procedure.
Ann Larson, whose email I am forwarding, believes that a no vote and a strike would have pushed management to honor our demands around adjunct issues. We disagree. I know that union work elicits these kinds of disagreements. Ann is not a member of the unit, and did not organize with me. I have only met her once. She suggested that unless I stop speaking about my experiences with LIUFF, she will notify all of you of this disagreement. I thought it would be more expeditious to simply forward her email now.
I plan to be at Labor Notes next weekend, and look forward to seeing you all soon.
I am writing to let you know that I am committed to making sure people hear another side to the story you are telling in your public talks about the LIUFF. Many confused people voted to ratify the contract but none except you have been shameless enough to speak or write publicly about that fact. Public speaking invites response. This should not be a surprise to you. But some of the people you harmed are too afraid to speak out, as they need to keep the jobs they have or find others in the immediate future as the cuts keep coming at LIU. Since I have no fear in that regard, I am taking the lead here.
I notice that you are on the program at the upcoming Labor Notes conference. I am writing to advise you to withdraw from the conference and not go to Chicago. If you decide to speak, I will write personal emails to the conference organizers as well as to your co-panelists describing the recent contract negotiations and your role in those events from the point of view of a group of adjuncts with whom I am working. They are putting together statements detailing the disgraceful campaign that you helped lead to fear-monger and pressure others. I will share these statements as widely as I can. Here is an excerpt from one of them:
The LIU union could have used a strike or other work action to demand a fair contract for all. They could have said: we stand together, full-time and part-time, as had long been the credo of the LIUFF. Instead, what ensued was a deliberate misinformation campaign spread by a faction of full-time faculty members who convinced many full-timers who were very unclear on what might happen to think they could serious pay cuts or even get fired. As an officer of the LIUFF, Drabinski knew better and had it within her the capability to dispel such unfounded claims and lay the falsehoods to rest. She certainly did nothing of the kind and advocated voting the contract up in the final hour at the meeting.
If you speak at Labor Notes, I will also send the adjunct statements to all the board members of Radical Teacher.
If you speak at the conference, I will also tweet using the conference hashtag on the day of your talk letting people know that they should not be fooled by your craven attempt to claim some kind of status as a union organizer when you are actually quite the opposite.
Going forward, if you continue to speak in public about the LIUFF and your work as an “organizer,” your audiences and your colleagues will hear the other side of the story both via email and via social media.
Let me know by Monday what you decide to do. If you do not reply, I will presume you are headed to Chicago and will begin sending out the statements next week.