October 19 Bargaining Update

Tenth Bargaining Session Complete


  • THREE Tentative Agreement today: Discipline & Discharge, Workload, and Labor Management Committee!
  • TWO language proposals left: Union Security and Nondiscrimination
  • Economic proposals have reached the table 
  • Come out to our Speak Out/Scavenger Hunt on Friday (10/20) to speak out about Union Shop, Nondiscrimination, and NU Finances! 
  • Pack the halls for our 11/1 Bargaining Session – sign up here!

Today, we completed our tenth bargaining session! We reached Tentative Agreements on Discipline & Discharge, Workload, and Labor Management Committee; you can view the text on our bargaining tracker. Our next bargaining session is a half day session on November 1st – read on to see how YOU can show your support and presence that day during bargaining!

Cooking up Tentative Agreements

Today, we reached THREE tentative agreements(!) - WORKLOAD, DISCIPLINE & DISCHARGE, and a newly introduced article, LABOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE. This article establishes a joint committee between NUGW-UE and Northwestern’s administration to discuss and make recommendations about issues of concern. This gives us an important recourse for resolving current and future issues that may arise, including our ongoing concern around the University’s unwillingness to provide us with an up-to-date and accurate list of members of the bargaining unit (after more than 3 months, they came back with an even smaller list!) 

Keep up Northwestern!

We’re down to two (BIG) outstanding language issues: Union Security and Non-discrimination. 

Even as our sibling unions MIT and University of Chicago win universal membership, Admin won’t get in line with their peers and give us the fundamental right to sustain our union and collective strength! “Union shop is fair, union shop is just. MIT understood this. University of Chicago understood this. I hope, our members hope, that Northwestern can come to understand this as well,” Peter Cummings (Clinical Psychology) asserts at the table. Union shop means union power and we’re not backing down!

Despite many outstanding lawsuits clearly highlighting the failure of their current procedures, Admin still does not want to give us the right to address discrimination and harassment under our hard-won grievance procedures. “What our members both want, and what they deserve, is exactly that, a binding contract clause on this matter, an unambiguous promise. It is a simple ask: we must together ensure that this pervasive culture, of negligence and failure to help those most vulnerable and abused by this system, ends now,” Adrian Ray-Avalani (Linguistics) emphasized.

Even though there are two BIG proposals still on the table, admin continues to offer almost exclusively half days for bargaining. With 3 half days (12.13, 1.10, 2.21) and just one full day (2.1) scheduled until the end of February, we only have 20 hours of bargaining scheduled in what is essentially an academic quarter. Is NU dragging their heels in this contract negotiation process? 

D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-drop the economics!

After several weeks of town halls, office hours, walkthroughs, and incorporating feedback, we surpassed quorum on our Economics Platform approval vote!! After approval by the membership, we executed on our plan and DROPPED the economics proposals at the table today. 

Bargaining committee members made statements citing our demands and made it clear that what we’re asking for is both REASONABLE and NECESSARY for us to live and do the world-class research Northwestern is known for. Ky Lamarca (MSE) spoke on the need for a $50,000 stipend: “Our demands … recognize the value of our labor that just last year brought Northwestern $1 billion dollars in research funding, and are abundantly affordable for the University.” Jade Basinski (CEE) spoke on the need for covered dental and vision insurance: “The articles that we present to you are not unreasonable; they are the basic necessities for all employees.” We also pushed for issues that affect subsets of our community. As Elisabeth Latawiec (Chemistry) stated in terms of better support for caregivers, “Graduate school should not be a time when workers are forced to put their lives on hold, or a time when workers’ families are put in a place of hardship and struggle.” On the exorbitant fees international workers are forced to pay on top of regular expenses, Behailu Mihirete (Comm Studies) maintained that “No person in our Bargaining Unit should have to pay to work here.”


Get activated!!! 

We are having a speak-out tomorrow (10/20), 12pm, at three locations: the Arch, in front of Norris, and in the Tech Front Courtyard. Drop by and sound off about winning what we deserve: non-discrimination measures, building strength through universal membership, and an economics package that meets our needs!


PACK THE HALL for our 11/1 bargaining session by repping your department and lining up outside of TGS Commons to show admin our collective strength! Sign up here!


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)