Heading Towards Unionization?

More Cornell grad student unionization news: Cornell has signed an agreement recognizing the rights of grad students to unionize, and that they will recognize any union the students vote into place. I’m not surprised – too many other peer institutions have been forced to ultimately capitulate. Of course, the announcement of the agreement, despite admiting that Cornell was the first school to act so openly towards a unionization effort, makes sure to shade Cornell as the hostile oppressor against which a union is the only solution for meeting grad student needs. On the plus side, the agreement makes it very clear that the union will only bargain on “wages, hours, and conditions of student employment” and spells out clearly the academic issues on which the union will not bargain.
The election is scheduled for October 23/24. I’ve yet to see a wide, public debate on the issues surrounding unionization. I’ve certainly see no information from the unionization effort about how our particular union would be organized, what precisely it would be focusing on, what distribution of representation across the university there might be. I don’t understand how anyone could vote for a union without knowing how that union would be run and how they would be represented.

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