Dear UFCT Member:
As you’ve probably heard, our fellow Brooklyn faculty colleagues at LIU are on strike.
Calling a strike is never a cavalier move, or is it a stunt; but only called for when management chooses to be completely intractable with respect to collective bargaining. The LIU faculty union had been negotiating for a new contract in good faith w/LIU’s management since late spring and throughout the summer. They have come to an impasse as LIU’s management is demanding: ‘0’, ‘0’, ‘0’ in wage increases for three years, and greater give-backs and contributions from the faculty for the cost of health benefits; hardly ‘reasonable’ or ‘benelvolent’ demands. When push comes to shove, LIU’s union has every right to consider, and thus call for, a strike…
In response, flunky administrative personnel have been dispatched to replace faculty in the teaching of classes, demonstrating all too clearly LIU’s lack of respect for their students in addition to their faculty.
Pratt and LIU are affiliated in many ways other than being the rare private-sector faculty unions — for both full-time and part-time faculty — in Brooklyn, much less, the country, as they were for a short time (in the early 70’s) in our own Local 1460, and in fact, used Pratt’s CBA as a model for their own contract. In addition, LIU spear-headed what is an ‘Alliance’ of all higher-ed faculty unions in the tri-state area irrespective of private or public-sector (i.e. SUNY, CUNY…), or each union’s affiliation w/NYSUT, NEA, AAUP, etc. We are thus “allied.”
In any event, I’m asking that you consider lending some support and solidarity to our Brooklyn brethren. They are holding pickets at Flatbush and DeKalb each day at 8:00 a.m. and 1p.m. I will be joining them tomorrow, Friday, September 9th, at 8:00 a.m.
Please understand that you are completely free to picket and/or rally at any time, but cannot ‘skip’ the teaching of your classes at Pratt to do so (that would be considered a ‘strike’ and we are prohibited from “lending a strike”…!) Moreover, there is a huge rally scheduled for next Monday, September 12th at 3:00 p.m., Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church: 85 South Oxford St., Brooklyn, NY.
There will be a number of speakers at Monday’s event. I have been invited to speak as well, and I’m more than happy to do so.
—— President UFCT Local 1460