Official Dates Decided for Union Recognition Election

Dear fellow graduate workers,

I’m Michaela, PhD candidate in English, CGSU member and our Administrative Liaison.

Photo credit: Maria Sapar, CGSU

Photo credit: Maria Sapar, CGSU

On Wednesday, we marched together to deliver our solidarity petition to Mary Opperman, the head of Cornell Human Resources. The significance of our rally and march is twofold. The march was a public display of our solidarity, creativity and power. But the delivery also marks the beginning of the next exciting phase in our campaign: our official vote to form a union.

The Union-Management Committee on which I sit, Cornell, and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) have agreed that the vote should take place over two days: Monday March 27 and Tuesday March 28 from 10:30am – 2:30pm and 4pm -10pm. The votes will be in-person, at four convenient locations on the Ithaca campus: Room G01 in Biotech, B73 in Warren Hall, Goldman Lounge in Duffield, and in the former Temple of Zeus space in Goldwin Smith Hall.  One location on the Geneva campus will be open for a half-day of voting from 10:30am - 2:30pm on Tuesday the 28th. Grads will be assigned to different polling sites based on their campus locations.

Some have wondered why we are having on-campus voting, although online voting is available. We decided on in-person voting with Cornell when we negotiated our election agreement in May to preserve voters’ rights and security.

Soon, you will receive a notification from Cornell that, for the purposes of voter verification, and to ensure that voters receive crucial information in advance of the election, a subpoena has been issued requesting that Cornell provide your contact information to the AAA and CGSU. This information is for the purposes of the election. The word “subpoena” may cause some alarm, but we know you understand that to have an informed electorate and to have all votes counted, it is necessary that we have accurate information. We hope you will explain this to your colleagues should questions arise.

You will likely see member and staff organizers around campus as well, and may even receive a house call. We want to hear from you, find out what your concerns are, and what you hope to see in a contract. To that end, CGSU members have prepared a bargaining survey to compile data on grad concerns and preferences ahead of the election! Please take some time to complete our survey, and don’t forget to check the box at the end, adding your name to our list of public supporters!  

Thank you for reading. Feel free to email me with any questions at

In solidarity,


Michaela Brangan
CGSU Administrative Liaison