News Release

The Brookings Institution and Staff Union Reach First Agreement

May 1, 2023

Washington, D.C. – The Brookings Institution and Brookings United, its staff union, are proud to announce that they have reached an initial one-year agreement governing certain terms and conditions of employment. This is the first time in Brookings’s 107-year history that such an agreement has been reached.

In September 2021, Brookings voluntarily recognized a union affiliated with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). This initial agreement includes provisions on a range of issues, such as wages, union representation, and a safe and healthy workplace. It also establishes the groundwork for future negotiations. The agreement is a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between the institution and the union and demonstrates a shared dedication to promoting fairness, inclusion, and respect in the workplace.

Interim President of Brookings Amy Liu underscored the importance of the agreement, stating: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Brookings United. From operations and facilities to research, communications, and more—our union staff is critical to all aspects of our success. The Brookings Institution is committed to fostering an inclusive workplace in which world-class talent can thrive. This agreement reinforces our ongoing efforts to ensure that all of our employees are valued, engaged, and supported.”

“Brookings United is proud to have achieved a first contract that secures key worker protections and provides a seat at the table for discussions on the institution’s future. This agreement will help ensure Brookings can continue to be a democratic, equitable, and sustainable workplace for all its employees and we look forward to building upon this foundation in the future,” said the Brookings United Bargaining Committee.

NPEU President Hayley Brown added: “Congratulations to the members of Brookings United on the ratification of a strong first agreement. This historic first reflects a commitment to the organization’s success by ensuring that staff have what they need to thrive. We look forward to building on this agreement from a place of mutual respect.”

As Brookings continues to tackle the world’s most important issues, the institution and the union are both committed to maintaining a positive and collaborative relationship, and to working together to build a better future for Brookings and all its employees.


About the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union:

The Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU), a local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, represents employees at over fifty nonprofit organizations, including Food and Water Watch, the Center for American Progress, and Action Squared. With over a thousand members, NPEU gives nonprofit workers a voice to strengthen their workplaces and continue to do work that makes a difference in people’s lives.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.