A Northwestern graduate worker at a protest holds up a sign for 6th year funding


NUGW is a social movement of graduate workers fighting for other graduate workers. Join NUGW today to transform your working conditions and your campus into an environment that truly supports you.

Graduate workers walk in a picket line in downtown Chicago

Fund the Fight

Graduate workers at Northwestern are unionizing, but we need your help. Donate or become a dues paying member today to fund the fight for full funding, equitable working conditions, and justice on campus.

Two graduate workers hold up signs at a protest. One reads "6th year funding is a mental health issue." The other reads "A guarantee now!"

What Unions Do

Explore resources to help you understand how a graduate union on campus could increase wages, create an arbitration system, and build structures to support parents, BIPOC, workers with chronic disabilities, international students, and every graduate worker.

Northwestern works because we do.

Northwestern University Graduate Workers (NUGW) is an antiracist, feminist labor union fighting for better working and living conditions for all graduate workers. We understand that the material conditions of our academic lives, and the right to a collective voice in decisions that affect these conditions, are inherently issues of racial, gender, and decolonial justice. We are dedicated to building a diverse and democratic union that centers the needs of historically excluded and underrepresented graduate students, particularly Black, Indigenous, POC, queer, trans, undocumented, low-income, first-generation, parenting students, and students living with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

NUGW is currently working toward contract recognition with Northwestern University to lock in and guarantee our wages, benefits, and workplace protections. Become a member to support our efforts and get involved!

New Op-Ed on President-Elect Blank

By NUGW | October 29, 2021

Northwestern Graduate Workers have published an op-ed in The Daily expressing concerns about incoming president Rebecca Blank. You can read the Op-Ed in The Daily Northwestern. For questions, please email us at nugraduateworkers@gmail.com

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University Finances

By NUGW | January 7, 2021

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…

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Building an Abolitionist Graduate Workers Union

By NUGW | October 26, 2020

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…

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Northwestern University Graduate Workers Letter Expressing COVID-19 Concerns for STEM Graduate Researchers

By NUGW | October 9, 2020

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:…

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Northwestern University Graduate Workers Statement on Milestone Extension

By NUGW | October 9, 2020

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…

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Northwestern University Graduate Workers Statement on ICE Modifications to Student and Exchange Visitor Program

By NUGW | October 9, 2020

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…

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Call for Northwestern to invest in Black students, divest from law enforcement

By NUGW | October 5, 2020
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Northwestern University Graduate Sick-Out Demands

By NUGW | October 5, 2020

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…

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Northwestern University Graduate Workers Statement Regarding COVID-19

By NUGW | October 5, 2020

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…

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COVID-19 Impact Statements

By Communications Committee | April 4, 2020

Read NUGW’s Statement Regarding COVID-19 and leave your own comments here.

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Letter to Provost Holloway from Department Chairs

By Communications Committee | May 21, 2019
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University Finances 2019

By Communications Committee | March 1, 2019

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…

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Support for the campaign to form Latinx Studies and Asian American Studies Departments at Northwestern

By Communications Committee | January 29, 2019

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…

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NUGW Stands in Solidarity With Trans* Students

By Communications Committee | January 29, 2019

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…

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Interdisciplinary Assistantships

By Communications Committee | May 26, 2018

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…

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By NUGW | February 22, 2018

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,…

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DMA Continuation Fees

By Communications Committee | October 17, 2017

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…

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By Communications Committee | March 16, 2017

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…

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Fall 2021 General Member Meeting (GMM)

By NUGW | September 28, 2021

Welcome-Back Happy Hour & Picnic!

By NUGW | September 13, 2021

Meet the new Co-Chairs – Thurs. 06/10 @ 5pm

By NUGW | June 10, 2021

Organizing 101 – Sat. 04/17 @ 11 am and Sat. 05/22 @ 1 pm

By NUGW | April 17, 2021

Spring 2021 General Membership Meeting – Wed. 04/14 @ 5pm

By NUGW | April 14, 2021

Who’s Got Your Back: A Week of Reflection on the One-Year Pandemic Anniversary – Starting Mon. 03/29

By NUGW | March 29, 2021

Unions 101: Building a Radical Union – Thurs. 02/18 @ 2pm

By NUGW | February 18, 2021

Winter 2021 General Membership Meeting – Wed. 02/03 @ 5pm

By NUGW | January 25, 2021

Unions 101: A Political Education Event – Fri. 11/13 @ 3pm

By NUGW | November 13, 2020

NUCNC March + Teach-in – Fri. 10/30 @ 3pm

By NUGW | October 6, 2020

Fall 2020 General Membership Meeting – Wed. 09/30 @ 5pm

By NUGW | September 30, 2020

Spring General Membership Meeting

By NUGW | April 17, 2020

Spooky Work-In!

By Communications Committee | October 8, 2019

Work-In / Comment-In

By Communications Committee | October 8, 2019

General Member Meeting

By Communications Committee | September 16, 2019

Welcome Back Happy Hour

By Communications Committee | September 16, 2019

March for a Guarantee

By Communications Committee | May 21, 2019

Sixth Year Funding Rally

By Communications Committee | April 10, 2019

Public Forum on University Finances

By Communications Committee | January 29, 2019

NUGW Winter Social

By Communications Committee | January 27, 2019

Work-In: Making Grad Labor Visible

By Communications Committee | January 26, 2019
NUGW logo of purple fist with pencil and motto: Whatsoever is just