Our demands

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On the Tuesday 4th August, the closing day for the RIBA presidential nominations, we demonstrated outside the RIBA, 66 Portland Place to make heard our demands for change in the architectural profession:

– We DEMAND an end to discrimination at every level of the profession

– We DEMAND an end to the mental health crisis in education and work

– We DEMAND an end to unregulated, unsustainable and unhealthy working hours

– We DEMAND an end to unpaid, obligatory overtime

– We DEMAND fair, transparent and structured pay scales

Alongside our demands, we delivered and read out our Open Letter along with the following statement:

We demand representation of the interests of those who do the work of architecture, be we assistants, technicians, admin workers, designers or architects!

The election statements of the RIBA presidential candidates reflect on the pressing need for RIBA’s relevancy. As it has done in the past, today RIBA for many workers is a fund into which they contribute money, but see little done in their interests! RIBA is not relevant to architectural workers!

We demand an end to underpay! RIBA has mandated the Regional Living Wage but does not actively enforce it! Our colleagues who are admin workers and architectural assistants are still often paid less than £19,000 a year, which is not enough to survive on! RIBA takes the side of the boss and places the onus on the exploited worker to report their practice, risking their employment! Previous RIBA Presidents have been known to underpay their workers. What will you do to proactively ensure we can live from our work?

We demand an end to endemic overwork! Far too many of our employment contracts have been signed with the disposal of Working Time Directives, eroding the protection of the 48hr maximum working week. Overtime is seen as part of the job – but this is not regulated, and is often unpaid. Overtime is unsustainable, exploitative and unfair!

We demand an industry that supports those who are working class, BAME, muslim, disabled, women, trans, non-binary, queer, parents and carers, those with mental health issues and learning difficulties; not one that systematically excludes us from both education and practice!

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Below is a more extensive list of the demands collected from a workshop held on Wednesday 30th May: What are our demands for (change) in architectural work?

PAY

– No unpaid overtime

– RIBA to produce genuine salary guidelines/ pay-bands

– Union Rates of Pay

– Pay Transparency within the office and between practices

– Living Wage for all working in the industry

– Salary to be based on working roles, not level of ‘experience’ (PI, PII etc)

– More pay for less work!

– 4 day working week with no cut in payments

HOURS

– Flexible working hours

– Maximum working hour week

– No signing away of working time directives in contracts as conditions of employment

WORK

– Automate mundane tasks

– Union / Worker Control in decisions for which jobs practices take

– No bullshit jobs!

– No pointless back-dated work for the client

PRECARITY

– Abolish or shorten probation periods

– Minimum contract

– No participation in unpaid competitions

ACCESS

– Halt the domination of the industry by white middle-class able-bodied cisgender men

– Genuine equal opportunities

– equal gender hiring policy

– Shared maternity/paternity leave

EDUCATION

– Education reform at all levels, shortening the course

– Abolish fees for Part III

ETHICS

– Accountability and disciplinary actions for unethical practice

– Change ARB Code of Ethics

– Protection and solidarity in calling out ethical practices

– Right to organisational transparency

– Right to withdraw from unjust work

– Right not to be monitored by my employer

UNION

– Pay while striking; a strike fund

– Union representation in reviews

TOOLS FOR CHANGE

– Universal Basic Income and Universal Basic Services; economic and material stability, to bolster labour bargaining power

– Reaching Out: Connections with other groups

– ‘Design’ Alternatives: How do we want to live and work?

– Learning groups

– Exhibitions

– ‘Counter’-Proposals