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SECTORS

Section of Architectural Workers (SAW)

UVW-SAW is a newly-formed member-led trade union for architectural workers in the U.K.

ABOUT SAW

SAW collectively take action and fight against the negative impacts of architectural work on workers, communities, and the environment.

Members of SAW are architectural workers and include: architectural assistants, model-makers, BIM technicians, admin workers, architects, landscape architects, estimators, students, visualisers, researchers, receptionists, university workers, interior designers, freelancers, cleaners and sole-traders. Members are at all levels of professional qualification, across migration statuses, and contract types. Members are not those with the power to hire and fire.

WHAT WE DO

Members of SAW organise both in their workplaces and across the sector around overwork, under-pay, unstable employment, a toxic workplace and university culture, discrimination and unethical practice. Members facilitate collective casework, host training and events, and run campaigns.

HOW WE ARE ORGANISED

SAW is organised into Workplace Branches and Working Groups. In Workplace Branches, members and colleagues organise in their practices. Working Groups are for organising across the sector: workers from different workplaces work together, share tools, tips, & training and coordinate actions.

Worker Solidarity, Outreach and Communication Working Groups, as well as Freelancer, Students and Universities, and BAME Caucus Groups carry out research, communication, and member-to-member support. The Coordinating Group is made up of representatives from each of the Working Groups and meets fortnightly. 

Monthly Branch Meetings are a forum for peer-to-peer exchange and workshops. SAW’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a space for election and consensus decision-making on issues which affect the whole of SAW.

OUR DEMANDS

End Overwork
Employers should observe existing working time regulations, such as the 48 hour maximum week. Overtime should be optional, pre-agreed and paid. Lunch breaks, annual leave, and TOIL must be properly facilitated. 

Transparent and Sustainable Pay
At least Living Wage for all employees, freelance and outsourced workers. An end to all unpaid work, including un/under-paid overtime, internships. Wages should be transparent and in accordance with company pay scales. Discrimination is not acceptable.

Fair Employment
Architectural practices should move towards being democratically controlled by their workforces: as employee-run-trusts, cooperatives or via worker’s councils. Studios must end hiring and firing cycles, and the use of punitive probation periods. Employers should facilitate career and education development. Architectural work should be accessible to all, regardless of disability, race, parental status or age.



SUPPORTERS

  • Adam Nathanial Furman, Artist & Designer
  • Anna Minton, writer, journalist and Reader in Architecture at UEL
  • Architect’s Climate Action Network (ACAN)
  • Bob Shiels, Former Chief Architects for the GLC (1975-89)
  • Chris Stewart, Director of Collective Architecture
  • Douglas Spencer, author of The Architecture of Neoliberalism (2018) 
  • Elsie Owusu, RIBA Council Member and Director of Elsie Owusu Architects
  • Professor Harriet Harriss, Architectural Educator
  • Jack Self, REAL Review 
  • Kate Macintosh, Architect of Dawson’s Heights and Macintosh Court
  • Peggy Deamer and Keefer Dunn – The Architecture Lobby
  • Robin Nicholson, Cullinan Studio and Convenor of the Edge
  • Tom Woolley, part of BDS-TASS (a trade union for private sector architects in the 1970s-80s)
  • Thandi Loewenson, Prof Jane Rendell and David Roberts, Bartlett School of Architecture

GET INVOLVED

BECOME A MEMBER

Join UVW-SAW today and fight for your rights!


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CONTACT US

saw@uvwunion.org.uk

SAW website

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