Mission Statement

We, the members of Northwestern University Graduate Workers (NUGW), are dedicated to building a diverse and democratic union of graduate employees at Northwestern. Through our teaching, grading, and research, we make vital contributions to university life; we should therefore participate fully in all decisions that directly affect our working conditions and professional development.

We are united in the goal of achieving formal recognition from Northwestern’s administration so we can collectively bargain for an inclusive, collaborative workplace in which all graduate students flourish. Specifically, we advocate for

  • A democratic union that empowers students to advance their interests as equal participants in the university’s decision making process and holds the university accountable to its core mission of research and education
  • The needs of our diverse student body, especially the needs of historically excluded and underrepresented groups. We strongly oppose discrimination and harassment in all forms
  • Safe, reasonable, and comfortable working conditions
  • The financial security necessary to enable academic success, including adequate healthcare, childcare, and a living wage
  • The intellectual and academic freedom of graduate students to teach and research topics of legitimate scholarly interest without fear of reprisal

NUGW exists to preserve and expand our rights as employees, graduate students, and members of Northwestern’s academic community. We stand in solidarity with workers and students everywhere organizing for a just and equitable system of higher education.