NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - When I was a kid I used to love substitute teachers. But we aren't in high school and this isn't one teacher, it's 400. When students arrive for first day of fall semester at LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday, they will have questions. Among them: who is my teacher?
If it is a math course maybe it is Hyam Zuckerberg you're looking for. English professors Maria MacGarrity and Jonathan Haynes, 14-plus years each. Neither will be there Wednesday. Neither will Chair of Media Arts Department Larry Banks.
On the Friday before Labor Day, in the midst of negotiations, school administrators officially locked out all 400 members of LIU Faculty Federation. No pay. No benefits. No access to email. I caught up with many of those locked out outside a church in Fort Greene.
Union President Jessica Rosenberg said this is about professional respect.
The vote was two-fold: rejection of the offered contract and overwhelming vote of no confidence for LIU's president.
The school sent Fox 5 a statement: "In the interest of providing stability for students and remain steadfast in our commitment to tuition affordability, the University was forced to develop a contingency plan - bringing in a qualified and temporary teaching staff to ensure classes could start as scheduled, and avoid being rendered powerless in ongoing negotiations - which we hope to resolve shortly."
It will be interesting to see how well-prepared school is and how impacted students will be. Union negation will continue on Thursday.