Update: Cornell Resident Advisors Suspend Strike Threat

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Updated: 8/20/20 – 5:40 P.M.

TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – Resident Advisors at Cornell University have suspended their threat to strike over concerns about reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Cornell Residential Advisors (RAs) had announced demands related to reopening via their Instagram page. (screen cap, Celia Clarke/WSKG)

The RAs posted to Instagram that university officials have engaged in positive conversation over the issue.

RAs announced on Wednesday their intention to stop working unless certain demands are met.

The group wanted a meeting with university administration to discuss several issues. They asked for access to more PPE, they wanted to lower the amount of time they are required to meet with residents during the semester, and they wanted a pay increase that is “commensurate with raises in tuition, workload and daily task related hazard.”

In addition to PPE, they asked for increased sanitation equipment throughout buildings.

They are also asking for include greater communication about their duties before they are publicized to the whole Cornell community and clear job descriptions.

The RAs planned to keep doing their duties until August 22 at 11:59 PM at which point they will “cease trainings, staff meetings, on-call, and coordinating with out supervisors” until members of the Cornell Administration meet with the group.

According to Cornell officials, Ryan Lombardi, Cornell’s Vice President of Student & Campus Life, responded to the RAs request on Wednesday.

“This fall has presented Cornell with unprecedented challenges and it is critically important that all who play a role in reopening our campus to feel they have the information and support to safely perform their jobs,” Lombardi wrote to the RAs.

He said a meeting between himself, several other university officials and the RAs representatives be scheduled “as soon as possible.”

Lombardi further stated that all RAs should have already received a PPE kit including more than one face mask, hand sanitizer and a thermometer. He also addressed some of the RAs other requests concerning sanitizing materials in buildings and increased sanitizing schedules.*

*This story has been updated to reflect the RAs decision to suspend the strike threat.

Full Disclosure: Cornell University is a WSKG Underwriter.