British artists recently launched their first trade union for artists, Artists’ Union England (AUE). Already, the union unites 600 members.
We already are familiar with artists’ unions like the Musicians Union, or the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU). Now, joining them, is the AUE, a new union representing all artists whatever their practices or disciplines. The union will be representing artists for all negotiations, paying attention to defend remuneration and working conditions. In a press release, the brand new union announces: “A new landscape for artists now exists: where these core workers now have a trade union to represent them, which will work for better pay and conditions across England ; where they can work together to challenge exploitative practice, be represented independently and democratically and raise the bar for artists.”
And their first demand? The AUE has denounced the fact that artists are being paid less and less for more and more work, issuing the reminder that the average yearly salary for a British visual artist is between £5,000 and £9,000.