Feb 01 Bargaining Update

Fourteenth Bargaining Session Complete


  • ESCALATION WORKS! Our 1000+ strike pledges led to big wins, including 100% dental and 100% vision coverage.
  • Admin continues to lowball us in compensation and support for international workers. But now we are in a better position than ever to put their feet to the fire.
  • All hands on deck! We have three weeks to secure a majority number of strike pledges before our LAST bargaining session.

Today, we completed our 14th bargaining session, on the heels of over 1000 strike pledges collected in just 48 hours. As a direct result of our historic strike pledge launch, admin conceded more than they ever have. As of now, we have ONE remaining bargaining session on the books: February 21st. And that is one last chance for admin to come to the table with acceptable proposals that meet our demands. You can view all the proposals exchanged on the tracker.



Our strike threat was loud and clear today. Dozens of grad workers lined the hallway leading to the bargaining room with a scroll of over 1000 names of those who pledged to strike since this Monday’s mass General Member Meeting (GMM). The outcome speaks for itself: you scared admin into delivering!

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We also won huge increases on childcare support ($5,000 for one child, $8,000 for two children, and $12,000 for three or more children) and an additional annual payment of $100 for all employees to be put to any purpose, including commuting or retirement savings. Additional wins include provisions for Senior and Adult Care, as well as an Adoption Assistance policy on par with faculty and staff benefits.


Admin offered an 11% increase on compensation (to $41,000) but with the threat of over 1,000 strike pledges, we held our ground and countered with a $48,000 base stipend beginning September 1, 2023. With the power of our organizing only growing, we are gearing up to wage a big fight.


We had to make difficult decisions today, in particular regarding dependent healthcare, where admin drew a hard line. With so many articles still on the table and membership’s demands for fair compensation and support for international grad workers - who account for 40% of Northwestern’s grad population - at the forefront, we took the route that sets us up for a strong next session on February 21st. It is indisputable that today’s substantial wins would not have been possible without the groundswell of energy apparent in the strike pledge launch and pack the halls action.



We have THREE weeks to build up as much momentum as possible before our last scheduled bargaining session on February 21st. Escalation works! You saw how over 1000 strike pledges moved admin, so now is the time to get all hands on deck! SIGN THE STRIKE PLEDGE and text it to two friends! Go on a walkthrough, attend a phonebank, or stop by Contract Action Team (CAT) next Wednesday (at 5 PM in TGS commons). Each conversation with a coworker and each grad worker who pledges brings you closer to the contract you deserve. Let’s get this bread!



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)