Read testimonials from graduate workers at Northwestern about why they are working to form a union. We teach classes. We perform experiments. We serve on committees. We staff conferences. We supervise students. We manage lab safety. We help shape the reputation of Northwestern. We are parents. We are first-generation students. We live with chronic illness. We come from many countries. Together, we can improve standards and working conditions at Northwestern.

four nugw members smiling and holding up flyers they are passing out

Union power derives from broad participation and the difficulty in replacing labor, so the more graduate workers that join a graduate union and actively participate the more you can achieve.  But most people in the United States don't understand the power of unions. How does a graduate union work? Why is it so important that you join? What can a graduate union achieve? What have other graduate unions already achieved? Get answers to these questions and more on this page. 

Graduate workers have the legal right to support a union and engage in collective bargaining. Learn more about the rights of graduate workers and the restrictions on employers, including Universities and advisors, here.

NUGW members passing out information about the union at a table on campus
a classroom full of nugw members learning how to organize their peers

 International students are protected by the same rights as all other workers. Learn about your right to unionize and what you can do if your rights are violated by the University or your advisor. 

Northwestern has repeatedly demonstrated anti-union stances including opposing the SEIU effort to organize non-tenure faculty and the CAPA effort to organize the football team. When graduate workers gained the right to unionize NU was quick to make claims about the potential “drawbacks” of such organization. They also claim they don't have the financial ability to support better worker conditions. Get the full information about unionization at Northwestern.

NUGW member talking to administration