GUEST ROOM | A Call for Change in CGSU

To our fellow Cornell graduate students and broader Cornell community, 

Last November, the Cornell graduate students voted to certify the Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America as our representative for collective bargaining with the University, making Cornell Graduate Students United a local UE chapter. 

We are a group of grad students who support the principle of collective bargaining and acknowledge the majority support for unionization, but who feel obliged to express our concerns about certifying CGSU-UE as our representative. Specifically, we want to point out the financial imprudence of this decision, our compulsory endorsement of UE’s international political agenda and CGSU’s lack of transparency, undemocratic operation and unprofessional conduct. In light of these objections, we are especially worried about CGSU’s proposal to bargain for union shop, a policy which will require all grad students, regardless of union membership status, to pay dues as a condition of earning a Cornell degree. Joining CGSU should be a choice. If CGSU demonstrates results, grad students will join without coercion. We ask grad students to reject a union shop clause in the final contract and demand transparency and accountability from CGSU.