Local News: April 16, 2024

Graduate students at Cornell are pushing the administration to act more quickly in negotiations with their union.

According to the Ithaca Voice, last week about 200 graduate students rallied at Day Hall. Organizer Sadie Seddon-Stettler said that the university isn’t making contract negotiation a priority. The union maintains a dashboard showing the status of various proposals it’s made to the university. It shows 21 specific articles the union proposed on March 25, and only two being actively negotiated. One defines that the union exists, and another defined its membership. Cornell media relations says that it is “actively engaging” with the union but that reaching a contract could take a “significant amount of time.”

Pete Meyers of the Tompkins County Worker’s Center says its reasonable for the students to be pushing for prompt action from the university. He says there are other tactics that can be used to move negotiations forward. In 2017 Ithaca College contingent faculty had unionized but were working without a contract.

He told WRFI, “The administration...dragged their feet until my organization the Worker Center’s along contingent faculty leadership basically decided to strike and actually not teach and so the administration came to table very quickly at that point.”

Cornell’s grad students voted to unionize in a landslide election in December.

Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca was a target of a bomb threat last week. According to the Ithaca Times, the threat was emailed to a new organization outside of the area and was directed at the store’s embrace of the LGBTQIA community. Area police agencies and the NYS Police responded to the situation and found no evidence that the threat was credible. The store is reviewing its security policies but is confident that customers are not in immediate danger. In a statement they said, “If anything, the threat only increases our resolve to continue doing things that we believe improve lives and spread love through books in our community, including Drag Story Hour."

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