June 5th Bargaining Update

Our First Bargaining Session!

June 5th, 2023


  • The bargaining train has left the station day one of bargaining is complete! 
  • We gave admin our language proposals which you can view in the live bargaining tracker. 
  • We have scheduled 5 more bargaining dates from June - August. 
  • For a detailed update and to help strategize next steps, come to the CAT meeting this Wednesday at 12pm!


First day of bargaining complete! 


Congratulations, all! We as graduate workers have completed our first day of bargaining! This momentous occasion was made possible because of thousands of graduate workers organizing over the last seven years. The work everyone has contributed to over the past few months–from card signing, to voting in the election, to launching CAT–has led to this moment. We were so energized and motivated by all of us wearing stickers across campus – our energy was well represented at the bargaining table. Stay updated with what’s happening at the bargaining table through the bargaining tracker!


What happened on day one?


The bargaining committee (BC) presented our language proposals; you can view them on the bargaining tracker here! We also presented opening statements to admin, articulating the issues behind our members’ demands. “All graduate workers deserve the right to feel safe and comfortable in their respective work environments, ” argued Lauren Johnson (English). As Peter Cummings (Clinical Psychology) put it, “the best way to ensure that these positive impacts are maximized and the longevity of the union is ensured is to cover all graduate workers with unfettered union security language.” Elisabeth Latawiec (Chemistry) summed up the issues grad workers face: “We’re motivated to take pride in our work and this institution. But we cannot do this if we’re struggling to afford housing, food, and healthcare.” We emphasized that to keep Northwestern a world-class university, we need a contract that gives us what we organized around in our platform. 


Northwestern admin proposed ground rules dissuading us from sharing details of bargaining sessions to membership and the press and from inviting membership into sessions. We asserted our commitment to transparency and accountability to our membership and declined these ground rules. We are encouraged that the admin is taking our demands seriously, and we are excited to continue good faith negotiations. 


Future dates, and we need you in CAT!


We are looking forward to the next steps! Both parties have committed to five more bargaining dates through the summer from June - August (June 28, July 3, July 27, August 9, and August 23). While Northwestern admin only offered us half-day sessions, the union will keep pushing for full-days to accelerate the bargaining process. To hear more details about the first bargaining session, and help us strategize over the next three weeks: come to the CAT meeting this Wednesday (6/7) at 12 pm on Zoom! We’ve only made it to this point through our collective efforts, and we’re excited to continue to organize and build our strength together with you alongside us. We strongly encourage you to attend the CAT meeting to learn how you can be involved in these efforts!


Signed, the NUGW-UE Bargaining Committee: Alejandro Abisambra (Management and Organizations and Sociology), Jade Basinski (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Maddie Brucker (Computer Science & Learning Sciences), Lawrence Chillrud (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Peter Cummings (Clinical Psychology), Adam Goldsmith (Communication Studies), Jack Hamill (Music), Reem Ibrahim (Interdepartmental Neuroscience), Lauren Johnson (English), Cataldo Lamarca (Materials Science and Engineering), Elisabeth Latawiec (Chemistry), Thomas McKenzie-Smith (Physics and Astronomy), Behailu Mihirete (Communication Studies), Ben Oxley (Chemistry), Summer Pappachen (Political Science), Sebastian Poblete (Economics), Andrew Poverman (Physics and Astronomy), Adrian Ray-Avalani (Linguistics), Jakob Reinke (Materials Science and Engineering), Mounica Sreesai (Anthropology), Drew Weidner (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Teke Wiggin (Sociology), Ruoxi Zhu (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Kavi Chintam (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Esther (Em) Kamm (History)