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Northwestern and Graduate Student Union Have Finalized an Initial Contract

Dear members of the Northwestern community, 

Today, the graduate student union (NUGW-UE) informed the University that a majority of its voting members voted to ratify their first collective bargaining agreement with Northwestern. A robust graduate community is a vital component of a world-class teaching and research enterprise, and this agreement demonstrates a strong commitment to this shared value.

The new agreement covers graduate students in most schools when they are providing research and instructional services for the University. The contract continues to provide support for fully funded PhD and TGS MFA students in the form of tuition assistance, competitive annual stipends and health benefits, and it expands on those supports by providing annual increases to stipends, increases to hourly wages, enhanced dental and vision insurance coverage and enhanced support for international students. The agreement, which was the result of a strong partnership with NUGW-UE during the negotiation process, goes into effect immediately. 

Creating a graduate student union and implementing this first contract is new to the Northwestern community, so groups have already begun work to ensure that implementation is transparent and as smooth as possible. To that end, we will update the University’s graduate student unionization website next week with details of the agreement, guidance and frequently asked questions. We will refine this website over the coming weeks and months, and we encourage community members to submit questions or feedback through the online form

Northwestern looks forward to continuing to partner with NUGW-UE to implement the terms of the agreement and to provide for the academic and professional development of our graduate students. 

Thank you, 

Kathleen Hagerty
Provost and Professor

Kelly Mayo 
Dean of The Graduate School and 
Associate Provost for Graduate Education