Students protest LIU faculty lockout
Unionized faculty members at Long Island University in Downtown Brooklyn have not yet been in the classroom two weeks into the new semester due to a lockout imposed by administrators.
That means hundreds of professors have been barred from teaching, or even passing through the campus gates. They also can't access their medical benefits.
Students like Marilyn Solares say they're being cheated out of an education.
"We pay so much money for this nonsense," she says. "It's ridiculous."
Solares, a biology major, says she pays almost $40,000 a year in tuition. And she has a big problem with her temporary instructors, who she accuses of being unqualified for the job.
"I have a biology class, and my professor is not teaching us biology," she says. "He's teaching us chem, for instance, and it's two different subjects."
Other students are equally frustrated.
"We pay so much money," says Sally Zarbailova, another student. "I feel they care more about profit than students' education."
The university says the lockout is part of its contract negotiation process. Management has told News 12 throughout the ongoing contract talks that it would negotiate in "good faith," but faculty members dispute that as well.
Bob Barry, a union member with 30 years on the job, says administrators are trying to get rid of tenured teachers and bring in cheaper replacements, allegedly to line their pockets at the expense of everyone else.
"It's so poisonous and nasty," Barry says. "If we at least got to look at the contract, we could have voted yes or no for it. But we didn't get to do that until after the lockout."