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.
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.
A majority of grad workers have pledged to vote YES!
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
Major Update: Election on Jan 10 and 11th!
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
Support for International Students
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
Fight for professional standards in labs & classrooms
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
Is our pay competitive at NU?
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
Survey on Graduate Needs
A crucial survey for assessing graduate student needs, organizing goals, and support for a legally recognized union at Northwestern.Read More
2021 University Finances
NUGW shares this year’s annual report on Northwestern’s finances.Read More
Fall 2021 Statement On Protests, The Rock, & Admin Messaging
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
New Op-Ed on President-Elect Blank
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 email@example.comRead 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
Building an Abolitionist Graduate Workers Union
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
Northwestern University Graduate Workers Statement on Milestone Extension
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 Graduate Sick-Out Demands
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 University Graduate Workers Statement Regarding COVID-19
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
COVID-19 Impact Statements
Read NUGW’s Statement Regarding COVID-19 and leave your own comments here.Read More
University Finances 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…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
NUGW Stands in Solidarity With Trans* Students
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
DMA Continuation Fees
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