Late yesterday, Cornell administration announced a change in our health insurance benefits, significantly reducing the cost for care received outside the Ithaca area. We’re excited to see that the Graduate School is already moving to improve grad benefits, even before our union election concludes. It’s a sign of the power we can have when we stand together, united, and push for what grads need.
The administration is clearly looking for a way to dissuade you from voting for your union, but it won’t work. This announcement is a victory, and it would not have happened in the absence of our campaign for union recognition. Now, it’s up to us to take the next step and secure this win in a legally-binding collective bargaining agreement, then build on it to win even more improvements. Just think: if this is what the administration is willing to do before the votes are even counted, what might they be willing to do once we actually win recognition?
We had an incredible showing of support for CGSU as soon as the polls opened yesterday, and our path is clear: a yes vote means more power for grads, and more power means we can preserve what we like while making improvements to what isn’t working. We can come up with our own ideas together and present them to management instead of just waiting for emails from the Graduate School. And that will make Cornell a better university for us, our families, our research, and our students.
Now, for some real talk: This election is going to be really close. Hundreds of grads were out voting yesterday, and it’s likely that hundreds more will vote before polls close at 10pm tonight. For us to win recognition for our union, it’s going to come down to each and every one of us getting out and voting yes.
So if you voted yes yesterday: Congratulations! You’ve joined the hundreds of us who already have voted yes and taken a step toward our collective empowerment. This vote is our chance to win the right to negotiate real improvements to our wages and working conditions and build a strong, independent union that raises our voices.
That’s why I’m asking you, as a fellow grad, to help us show overwhelming support for our union. Will you take a photo of yourself with a sign saying “I VOTED CGSU YES”, text it to us at (607) 319-2982 for us to share, and share it on your own social media?
Voting yes means a vote for fairness, respect, and democracy. It means a real voice and real power to push for the things we need to make Cornell better. Now is the time. Let’s make history today and finish our election with a strong CGSU YES vote.
Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology
P.S. Don’t forget to text your photo to (607) 319-2982 so we can share it!