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Sep 16, 2016 06:48 AM EDT

Union Reaches Agreement With Long Island University After 12-Day Lockout

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A lockout for nearly two weeks has been cut short after Long Island University and protesters have reached an agreement. This comes after about 400 faculty members were locked out of campus for rejecting the school's proposed contract.

The Associated Press reported that a 12-day lockout of professors at Long Island University has ended. This comes after the professors, represented by the Long Island University Faculty Federation, have reached an agreement with the school.

The teachers' contracts have been extended to May 31, 2017, which gives them more time to bargain with the school. About 400 faculty members were locked out of the school before classes started last Sep. 7. Apparently, the professors rejected a proposed contract that would cut salaries for new adjunct teachers while offering each existing faculty member an average raise of 13 percent over five years. Also, the union has confirmed that Long Island University has accepted their proposal to engage as a mediator between both parties.

"Surrounding students with the uncertainty of five more weeks of bargaining, which could still result in a strike -- as has been the pattern in five out of the last six contracts with the Brooklyn faculty union -- is not in the best interests of our students," Gale Haynes, vice president, chief operating officer and university counsel at LIU, said in a statement defending the rejection of the faculty union's proposal last week. "We believe the time to resolve is now and will continue to negotiate in good faith."

According to Kevin Pollitt, a labor relations specialist with New York State United Teachers, via The Nation, this appeared to be the first time that higher education faculty have ever been locked out. He also noted that the school has been putting economic pressure on the faculty, which began with LIU president Kimberly Cline's administration.

Students were also reported to have walked out on the second day of professor lockout, Gothamist reported. They protested the administration's continued lockout of the professors, which they deem as compromising their education and the rights of both students and teachers.

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