It’s About Democracy

Cornell Graduate Students United strives to create a democratic and inclusive graduate union: a place where we all participate in making the decisions which affect our work and livelihood. It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve faced clear opposition from the administration. We’ve navigated an uncertain legal environment. We’ve struggled through the logistic and procedural challenges of any growing organization. But since our first meeting in a basement apartment on Seneca Street in 2014, we have maintained the core democratic principles embodied in our Constitution and Bylaws.

In 2015, after extensive research and discussions with several national unions, CGSU members voted to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), and their state-wide union, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).  In our agreement with our union affiliates, we ensured CGSU would be an independent local union able to fully make its own decisions democratically and internally.  We are proud of the successful partnership we’ve formed with AFT and NYSUT, grateful for their unwavering commitment to standing up for our rights as graduate workers and appreciative of the organizing support they are able to provide as we move toward a union recognition election. We work in solidarity with the American Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers as we strive to create a legally-recognized and democratically-run, independent local union of Cornell grads.   

Voting yes for our graduate union is a vote for a more democratic and inclusive Cornell.