It's About Fairness
In recent years Cornell graduate workers have won the right to workers' compensation coverage, improved dental insurance, and expanded childcare and parental leave benefits. But two years ago all of these benefits were provided only in trivial amounts, or not provided at all (for instance, the dental plan was literally worthless). And still our dental plan does not cover major services, workers comp provides uncertain coverage and only the minimum state-mandated level of benefits, and families have significant difficulties raising children with the current level of child care/parental leave benefits. We deserve benefits on par with the value we produce for our University.
Most importantly: these gains have been the result of our own grassroots labor activism--they were not granted benevolently by the administration, and may be rescinded at any time. The University can and does make decisions unilaterally, like when it reduced RA stipend rates in 2014. The clarity, predictability and security of a collective bargaining agreement will enable us to continue to improve these benefits and make sure they remain available to ourselves and future grad workers at Cornell.
Voting yes for our grad union will enable us to secure fair and safe labor conditions for ourselves and future grad workers.
Check out some benefits won by other grad unions!