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New Contract for LIU-Brooklyn Professors Ends 6-Day Strike

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

education, classroom, school, school supplies, class, teachers, students (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Professors at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University are back in the classroom after ratifying a new five-year contract Monday, ending a nearly week-long strike. 

Under the plan, faculty salaries will increase 6.5 percent over five years and professors will pay between 18 and 25 percent of their health care premiums. These terms were better than the initial offer, but a step down from what the professors received under their previous contract.

“Our wage increases are small, and we did have to make some concessions,” said English professor Melissa Antinori, the grievance officer on the faculty’s negotiating team. “I think that we did the best that we were going to do.”

Antinori said the contract negotiations — which she said were “contentious” at times — did produce some significant gains.

Faculty members now have a dental plan fully paid for by the university, and part-time faculty will have pension contributions matched. Both were firsts.

“We got a healthcare package that we can live with,” said communications professor Ralph Engelman, spokesman for the faculty union. “Much better than what was originally on the table.”

Classes had been scheduled to start on September 7.

During the interim, adjunct professors not covered by the collective bargaining agreement taught some classes.

For classes where no qualified professor was available to step in, administrators came to class to answer students’ questions about the ongoing contract negotiations.

A spokesman for the university said the administration was satisfied with the final deal.

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