The membership of the Long Island University Faculty Federation, which has been on strike since the first day of classes at LIU last week, has just ratified a new five-year contract with the university. Following the vote, taken at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Fort Greene, classes will resume tomorrow.
A quick perusal of the approved contract reveals that the LIUFF, however, caved on a major point they’d been fighting.
While striking last week, one of the most common signs faculty were carrying was about the administration’s desire to tie raises to tuition hikes. Many protesters were opposed to this, feeling opening that door would turn professors into “micro-entrepreneurs,” as negotiating committee member Michael Pelias put it. Many picketers vociferously said they wouldn’t stand for this.
But that’s what happened, in part. Forgoing any raise in the first year of the contract, the LIUFF agreed to small guaranteed raises in each subsequent year. But they also conceded to LIU’s demands that additional raises be determined by “gross tuition revenue” increases, i.e. tuition hikes. It’s quite a turn of events, considering LIUFF president Edward Donahue told us on Thursday that he didn’t know how he could trust LIU to even share accurate information about their total revenue.
Speaking of those students (whose tuition makes up 84 percent of LIU’s operating budget), LIU wrote this to them in a statement:
Missed classes will be made up by extending class hours or by scheduling make-up sessions. Students will not be financially liable for those make-up sessions, nor will any other penalties be incurred. The deans and the academic vice president expect that all students will be able to complete the semester, meet accreditation and New York State requirements, and graduate on time. As always, personalized academic counseling, free tutoring and academic support services will be available to students to ensure that they are on track to successfully complete their coursework.