Sign up to Fight for a Great Contract! Join the Contract Action Team (CAT)
As the bargaining process develops, the responsibilities of CAT members may vary.
Potential actions include flyering, event turnout, bargaining updates, and more.
By structuring this work in the CAT, the goal is to create an accountable structure that allows everyone to play their part in the union, no matter how much time or how many spoons you have.
Every bit counts to help win the contract we have all been fighting for!
Explore resources to learn why a graduate union on campus can increase your wages, create an arbitration system, and build structures to support parents, BIPOC, workers with disabilities, international students, and ALL graduate workers.
Become a Member
Beyond signing a card, the number one thing you can do to stay involved is to become an official member of NUGW. If you are able, you can elect to donate a monthly amount to help support the fight to form a recognized union of graduate workers at Northwestern.
Donate or become a dues-paying member today to support the fight for more pay, more say, equitable working conditions, and dignity for all graduate workers on campus
Know what you need in a contract? Let us know today!
The best way to make sure your needs are met by a contract is making sure your colleagues know about your priorities! Let your fellow organizers and your bargaining committee know issues you are facing via our "Contact Us" form.
Bargaining Sessions are Going on Now!
Follow all our updates on the bargaining tracker!
5 Point Platform for Grad Worker Rights
Competitive Pay through Graduation Day
Higher base stipend with yearly raises, stable funding past Year 5, and a free opt-in U-Pass for all graduate workers.
Professional Standards in Labs & Classrooms
Guaranteed time off, paid sick days, and extra pay for heavy teaching loads or work outside of standard responsibilities, like lab safety designates.
Vision, dental, and dependent insurance at no extra cost, and no lapses in health coverage during medical leave.
Support for International Students
Legal support for immigration, visa processing, and tax filing available in multiple languages.
Power & Protection in Our Workplace
Work conditions negotiated democratically, collectively, and transparently by graduate workers, faculty, and administration. Independent processes to protect grad workers from abuse, harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
Why We Unionize
NUGW is built on grassroots organizing across every department and graduate program at Northwestern. Hear from your department organizers about why they dedicate their time to bringing their fellow graduate workers together to win a collectively bargained contract.
Eleventh Bargaining Session Complete TLDR: We PACKED THE HALLS and GOT RESULTS! FOUR Tentative Agreements today: Non-Discrimination, Union Security, Management Rights, and No Strike, No Lockout ALL language proposals have been TA’d FULL FOCUS to econ now Big wins in agency shop and ability to grieve abuse of authority…we deserve and need these protections and…Read More
Tenth Bargaining Session Complete TLDR: THREE Tentative Agreement today: Discipline & Discharge, Workload, and Labor Management Committee! TWO language proposals left: Union Security and Nondiscrimination Economic proposals have reached the table Come out to our Speak Out/Scavenger Hunt on Friday (10/20) to speak out about Union Shop, Nondiscrimination, and NU Finances! Pack the halls for our 11/1…Read More
Ninth Bargaining Session Complete TLDR: ONE Tentative Agreement today: International Employee Rights! We’re waiting on admin to deliver counters to our articles and information we need. The fall is heating up! Make your voice heard-fill out the wage survey (MEMBERS CHECK YOUR EMAILS!), join walkthroughs, attend walkthrough trainings, and come to the NUGW-UE history session on…Read More
Eighth Bargaining Session Complete! TLDR: FOUR Tentative Agreements today and ALL language proposals are being actively negotiated! (check them out on the bargaining tracker) We reached a TA on Appointment Notification, giving workers much clearer information about job expectations and responsibilities for TA and RA positions. We continue to fight for a range of employee…Read More
Seventh Bargaining Session Complete TLDR: Three Tentative Agreements today, the most we’ve ever had in one session! HUGE win for upper year grad workers in cases of terminated or canceled appointments Admin continues to ignore the inextricable link between our roles as students and employees in our Discipline & Discharge article…and we continue to fight…Read More
Sixth Bargaining Session Complete TLDR: One more Tentative Agreement today, and it’s a BIG one: the Grievance Procedure. Check details in the bargaining tracker. Admin gave us an egregious counter proposal on international worker rights. Give us your testimonies to read at the table next week. Of the 22 articles on the table, we have…Read More
Fifth Bargaining Session Complete! TLDR: 1 more Tentative Agreement today! Check for updates in the bargaining tracker The athletics scandal has exposed Northwestern’s inadequate harassment prevention policies to the national eye. We continued to push for non-discrimination language backed by a grievance procedure to ensure a safer future for graduate workers Open shop outrage: NU…Read More
Fourth Bargaining Session Complete! TLDR: Two more Tentative Agreements today! Check for updates in the bargaining tracker. Admin questioned the validity of our democratically elected union in an effort to push back against union shop Admin proposed censoring our ability to have union conversations on “company time” Union Wednesdays begin next week for the whole month of August! Meet before…Read More
Third day of bargaining complete! TLDR We reached two () Tentative Agreements today! Check for updates in the bargaining tracker. Admin introduced counter-proposals that would remove protections for discrimination based on race, gender, and other protected classes from our proposed grievance procedure. Hot off the heels of bargaining day , come to our CAT meeting today (at TGS Commons or on zoom) at…Read More
Second day of bargaining complete! TLDR We reached two () Tentative Agreements today! Check for updates in the bargaining tracker. Admin introduced counter-proposals that would remove protections for discrimination based on race, gender, and other protected classes from our proposed grievance procedure. Hot off the heels of bargaining day , come to our CAT meeting today (at TGS Commons or on zoom) at…Read More
More than 1600 graduate workers at Northwestern University have pledged to vote yes in our union election. The MAJORITY of graduate workers at Northwestern are saying a resolute YES TO OUR UNION! We are voting YES because we deserve: Competitive Pay through Graduation Day Comprehensive Healthcare Support for International Students Professional Standards in Labs…Read More
Happy Holidays to those who celebrated last week, or continue to celebrate this week. If you haven’t heard the news, our union election will take place in just a few weeks on January 10th and 11th! If you haven’t yet, take a minute to look up where your polling place will be and what times…Read More
Our union election will take place on Tuesday January 10th and Wednesday January 11th A supermajority of you signed cards authorizing an election, over a thousand of you have pledged to VOTE YES, and when we come back from Winter Break it will be time to vote! Over the last several weeks, your coworkers on…Read More
NUGW Union Election Basics We are having an election to ratify our Union and secure our collective power! Come out and Vote YES for NUGW-UE on Jan 10 and Jan 11, 2023! This is our chance to secure our collective power and earn real wins for grad workers! Voting times and locations depend on your…Read More
Together we sent a powerful message of solidarity and unity by having a supermajority of 2000+ graduate workers sign cards authorizing a union election in under one month! Our colleagues, friends, and coworkers called in a united voice for an election, and we have earned that election. Now every grad worker has a chance to…Read More
You all should know how truly astounding it is that 2000+ of us signed cards authorizing a union election in under one month. Now, in two weeks almost 1000 of us have already pledged to vote YES on election day. We are the third largest union filing in the country in 2022, only trailing our…Read More
In just one month, a supermajority of over 2000 graduate workers across all departments and schools at Northwestern signed their union cards and made it clear that YES we want a graduate student union. Now, we are standing together as we prepare to vote YES when the union election day comes. We’ll soon have more…Read More
NUGW Launches Union Drive with UE Today, October 6th is the official start of NUGW’s drive to form a legally recognized union of graduate employees. Hundreds of graduate workers are coming together at noon on Deering Meadow to fight for More Pay & More Say. Northwestern graduate workers are organizing to make sure that we…Read More
In early November 2021, writing on the Rock celebrating Native American Heritage Month was vandalized. Shortly thereafter, student activists stormed Ryan Field during a football game to protest the university’s harmful investments. Guess which one was condemned by the administration? This statement was jointly written by NUGW members in order to contextualize emails the Northwestern…Read More
Here you will find NUGW’s 2020 analysis of Northwestern’s finances. You can download our full, updated report, as well as the financial data used for analysis, below. Included within, you will find: Facts about NU’s finances and what these numbers mean for our demands. Data analysis of NU’s finances according to economic principles of management…Read More
Dear NUGW members, For the past two weeks, Northwestern University Community Not Cops (NUCNC) have been holding actions at Northwestern and the broader Evanston community to bring attention to their demands for NU to invest in Black students and abolish NUPD. NUGW as an anti-racist, feminist graduate worker union unequivocally supports NUCNC. NUGW has supported…Read More
Northwestern University Graduate Workers Letter Expressing COVID-19 Concerns for STEM Graduate Researchers
July 27th, 2020 Dear President Morton Schapiro, Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Graham, Interim Provost Kathleen Hagerty, Interim Dean Kelly Mayo, Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, Vice President for Research Milan Mrksich, Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Risk & Compliance Officer Luke Figora, Director of Environmental Health & Safety Gwen Butler:…Read More
July 9th, 2020 Earlier today, July 9, 2020, Interim Dean of TGS Kelly Mayo announced that in response to COVID-19, TGS would automatically extend the milestones of all graduate students by one year but explicitly declined to grant a one-year funding extension to all graduate students. This policy change is completely insufficient to meet the…Read More
Northwestern University Graduate Workers Statement on ICE Modifications to Student and Exchange Visitor Program
July 6, 2020 U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has just announced that international students with F-1 and M-1 visas taking a fully online course load must leave the United States or else face deportation. This unconscionable and draconian policy affects nearly ⅓ of the Northwestern’s graduate student population and nearly ¼ of its entire…Read More
Northwestern University must meet the following demands: Funding: Provide a universal one year funding extension to all currently enrolled students; extend all time-to-degree deadlines by one year; and guarantee six years of funding for all graduate students entering Northwestern in Fall 2020 or after. Remove all eligibility restrictions on GA-ships and remove limits on the…Read More
Northwestern faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students: You can show support by signing this document here. Dear President Schapiro, Dean Woodruff, Provost Holloway, Members of the Northwestern Board of Trustees, Deans, and Administrative Officials of Northwestern University, Over the past few weeks, Northwestern University was forced to drastically reorganize its operations in response to the…Read More
This is our 2019 report, kept here for archival purposes. Follow this link for our latest report. We have updated NUGW’s 2019 Financial Report in light of the University’s statements regarding COVID-19’s financial impact. You can download our full, updated report, as well as the financial data used for analysis, below. Below you will find…Read More
Support for the campaign to form Latinx Studies and Asian American Studies Departments at Northwestern
We, Northwestern University Graduate Workers (NUGW), endorse the Latinx Asian American Collective’s endeavor to establish Latinx Studies and Asian American Studies Departments at Northwestern University. We call upon all graduate workers to express their solidarity for this endeavor by signing the Collective’s petition and by partnering with organizations who have likewise endorsed this endeavor. We…Read More
On October 21, the New York Times reported that a memo written by the Department of Health and Human Services sought to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, stating, “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identified by or before birth.” It further clarified, “The sex listed…Read More
On May 10, graduate workers in the humanities and social sciences received an email from Dean Woodruff regarding eligibility requirements for TGS-funded interdisciplinary graduate assistantships. According to the email, TGS will no longer approve these assistantships for students beyond their fifth year. This policy and its abrupt enforcement put many graduate workers in a precarious…Read More
This year, members of NUGW have had hundreds of conversations with you, our colleagues. Based on your feedback, it’s clear that Northwestern’s student healthcare plan does not meet our needs. Some of you have paid out of pocket for MRIs or have faced high premiums to add spouses and children to your insurance policy. Furthermore,…Read More
Thanks to the hard work and organizing efforts of the Doctor of Musical Arts candidates and their colleagues at the Bienen School of Music, the fee structure for the Doctor of Musical Arts program will now be reduced to be equitable and competitive with Northwestern’s peer institutions. The reduction of these fees will help alleviate…Read More
UPDATE: We won! TGS announced that going forward all PhD students will be guaranteed five full years of guaranteed funding. Thank you to the hundreds of people who signed our petition and contributed powerful testimonials, you made this victory possible! Currently, not all Northwestern University graduate students are funded five full years, even though over…Read More