Jan 10 Bargaining Update

Thirteenth Bargaining Session Complete


  • Admin came back to the table with more unsatisfactory counterproposals and made minimal movement yet again. TAs today. 
  • Despite NU’s lowballing, we are all still committed to settling a contract. In a show of our seriousness, we presented a reasonable counter on compensation, including 48.8k in annual pay, and await admin’s response. 
  • So, now what? Commit to attending the General Membership Meeting on January 29th at 5pm where we will launch a strike pledge to show admin that we mean business (and not business as usual). RSVP here!

Today, we completed our 13th bargaining session. Unfortunately, this was the first session in which we did not reach any tentative agreements. Despite our reasonable demands and active negotiating, NU continues to make almost nonexistent moves, exemplifying the need for us and you to turn up the heat and escalate. You can view the text of all proposals exchanged on the bargaining tracker. Our next bargaining session is a FULL DAY session on February 1st. Before that – come out to the biggest General Membership Meeting (GMM) of the year on January 29th.



After extremely insulting status quo counterproposals from Northwestern at the end of the year, we returned to the table to be met with minimal movement yet again. NU offered no concessions on dependent healthcare coverage, no concessions on relocation assistance, and minimal movement on dental/vision coverage and childcare assistance. It is clear that admin think they can draw this fight out; and it’s even more clear that grad workers must show that they can’t. 



Despite NU’s lowballing, we are all still committed to settling a contract. In a show of our seriousness, we presented a reasonable counter of $48.8k coming down from $50k, and await admin’s counter. We also concentrated the benefits for international workers sprinkled through our proposals into one article on international worker needs. NU’s counter showed clear disrespect, offering a mere total $30k to cover the exorbitant fees that plague over 1000 international workers. We understand that negotiations require movement, but does NU admin?



In the words of our co-chair Esther Kamm, “We don’t think that a strike is inevitable, but we do know that grad workers will not settle for a slightly spruced up status quo.” Experience has shown us that admin only responds to escalation, and with the end of our contract fight on the horizon, we need to prepare seriously for a potential strike in the event admin continues to lowball us. Winning a fair contract now depends on our willingness to stand together to show that we will STRIKE IF PROVOKED.

So what’s the first step? Join your coworkers at the General Membership Meeting (GMM) on Monday, Jan. 29th where we will launch our STRIKE PLEDGE together! https://bit.ly/jan-gmm-rsvp 

Feeling REALLY fired up? Commit to attend a Strike Assessment Training this coming Tuesday, Jan. 16th to learn how to talk to your friends and coworkers about why committing to a strike is so important to winning the fair contract we deserve! 

Located on the Chicago campus? No problem! Commit to attend a Chicago-specific Strike Assessment Training this Friday, Jan. 12 from 4:30-5:30pm in Simpson Querrey Auditorium, SQBRC 1-230, followed by a happy hour at Timothy O'Toole's.



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)