At this point, it’s been six days since Long Island University locked out the faculty at its Brooklyn Campus. The Long Island University Faculty Federation (LIUFF), our faculty union, had been negotiating with the university all summer. The LIUFF wanted to begin early, but the university administration dragged its feet. On September 2, I received a FedEx parcel with a document detailing the “generous” concessions that LIU was offering. It also said that I’d be locked out of campus as of 12:01 AM September 3, 2016. What that meant was that I wouldn't be allowed on campus and not allowed to teach my graduate students. I wouldn’t have access to my email or other university accounts. I’d be assessed a per diem fee for not working. My health insurance policy for my wife, my daughter and myself would be cancelled...Access to my email was terminated as of 12:02 on September 3. At 12:03, I began to apply for unemployment.
Initially, a lot of people assured me that this was just a bluff; this is how business is done - empty threats to distract people from the real issues. In the past, when the LIUFF had negotiated with LIU, there were always threats on both sides. But this time, the university elevated this issue to a personal level.