More than 6 Months Later, CGSU to Determine Next Steps for Union Recognition Election

For more than six months since the union recognition election in March, Cornell Graduate Students United and the University have been negotiating terms for a new agreement that would ultimately establish conduct for another union recognition election. With negotiations at a “standstill,” CGSU is bringing the possibility for a re-election to its membership with a referendum vote.

According to Michaela Brangan, grad, former member of the Union Management Committee, the referendum will allow CGSU members to vote on three options: to file objections with the arbitrator, to accept the settlement that has been reached in negotiations or to accept the results of the election.

As it stands, the election has not been certified by the American Arbitration Association as the two parties have been in negotiation. When the ballots were counted in March, 856 voted in favor of establishing a graduate student union and 919 voted against it.

If members were to vote to accept the results of the election, the remaining 81 contested ballots would be determined and the results would be then be announced and certified. These challenge ballots have been put aside during negotiations, according to Brangan.

Negotiating began following the recognition election after arbitrators gave CGSU an indefinite amount of time to decide whether to file objections with the University. This process also came following an announcement by the American Federation of Teachers — the union with which CGSU is affiliated — saying they were considering filing objections.

During negotiations with the University, the two parties — through communication primarily between their lawyers — have attempted to settle terms of a new agreement that would establish guidelines for another union recognition election.

Negotiations has “reached an impasse” at this point with neither side “willing to compromise any more,” said Hao Shi, grad, UMC member. For this reason, CGSU…

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