Download the statement here
AUE response to structurally f~cked
Artists’ Union England welcomes Industria’s report
“a failure to acknowledge artists as workers and pay them for
their labour perpetuates a precarious and fundamentally
exclusionary sector” [Industria 2023]
AUE fully supports Industria’s report ‘Structurally Fucked’ published recently by a-n. The report highlights precarious and under-paid working conditions, and the unsustainable impact that these conditions have particularly on artists from the Global Majority, those with caring responsibilities, Disabled artists or those from other minority groups.
AUE welcomes the report identifying joining a union as the first suggestion for a way forward. We believe unionising is key to creating change within the visual and applied arts, and that being part of the union movement allows us as artists to act in solidarity with other low paid and precarious workers through our membership of the GFTU (General Federation of Trades Unions) and the TUC (Trades Union Congress).
AUE is active in trying to change the working conditions Industria’s report identifies. We do not accept that our working conditions need to remain this way.
As a grassroots, membership-led union we try to create change any way we can – including through:
* publicising and promoting our Rates of Pay which we increase with the rate of inflation and encouraging our members to negotiate with them
* case work on behalf of members, actively intervening on their behalf to stop exploitation
* our partnership with Morrish Solicitors who take on legal work to protect members
* our Good Practice Charter which defines the good practice we expect from the organisations our members work with
* our Studios Checklist that helps identify key issues for an artist renting a studio space
* our working group about the Universal Basic Income
* lobbying, campaigning and more…
In response to the report:
1. We call on publicly funded arts organisations in the sector to stop paying lip service to
paying artists and to put their words into action.
2. We call on Arts Council England to follow Arts Council of Wales’s policy of refusing to fund applications paying below union rates.
3. We call on Arts Council England to do a detailed audit of all the organisations they support to find out how much they pay in artists’ fees, and to make these findings public.
We’d like to thank the artists who form Industria and the editor of the report Charlotte Warne Thomas for their membership and support of AUE, and to take this opportunity to encourage other artists to join the union. Together we are stronger.