March 29, 2017

Graduate assistant vote on unionization is inconclusive

Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, sent the following message to the university community March 29:

On March 27 and 28, a secret ballot election was held to determine if Cornell Graduate Students United (CGSU), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) would serve as the exclusive collective bargaining representative for Cornell University Graduate Assistants on the Ithaca and Geneva campuses who hold titles under University Policy 1.3. At this time, the result of the vote is inconclusive.

Approximately 80 percent of all eligible voters cast a ballot. Of the 1775 counted ballots, 919 voted against representation by CGSU/AFT/NYSUT, 856 voted for representation by CGSU/AFT/NYSUT. An additional 81 ballots remain unresolved. Because the number of unresolved ballots is greater than the voting margin, resolution of the outstanding ballots is  subject to post-election procedures overseen by an Arbitrator according to the May 2016 agreement between Cornell and CGSU/AFT/NYSUT and following standards applied by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to the extent those standards are otherwise consistent with this agreement.

It is anticipated that the review process and determination of final outcome will occur within the next month. The Arbitrator will notify both Cornell and union representatives when the challenged ballots have been resolved and a final outcome has been reached.