FAQS

Why should workers join? What support can SAW give?

Workers themselves need to unionise their own workplaces. We don’t believe in unions being arbitrators between workers and their employers. Unions are a community of workers themselves who support and empower each other to take action and win. When workers unite and pool resources we can build the power to effectively challenge the boss and the political elite.

What is a trade union?

A trade union is a group of workers organising for better working conditions. As members of SAW we look after the interests of workers and support each other with workplace issues, as well as organising for wider changes in the sector. General information about trade union membership in the UK can be found here

Who can join?

Anyone working in the architecture sector who doesn’t have the ability to hire or fire. Including but not limited to: architectural assistants, model-makers, BIM technicians, admin workers, architects, landscape architects, students, visualisers, receptionists, interior designers, cleaners and sole-traders.

  What is UVW?

United Voices of the World (UVW) is our parent union and is a member-led, direct action, campaigning trade union. UVW brings together workers across many sectors including cleaning, security, catering and portering. Several Sector Groups have formed within the union including: Design and culture workers, sex workers, childcare workers, gender-based-violence workers, architectural workers, charity workers and legal sector workers.

Do I need to tell my boss if I join?

You are not legally obliged to tell your boss if you are a member of a trade union, nor are they allowed to ask. SAW members will never contact your boss without your consent. It is illegal for your boss to treat you unfairly or differently for being a member of a trade union. More information on UK trade union rights can be found here

What if I have a workplace issue?

As a member you should get in touch using this form with the Worker Solidarity Working Group who will work collectively with you, and your coworkers, to fight for the outcome you want. Members of SAW share their experience, time and knowledge to resolve issues together. UVW’s team of organisers, legal caseworkers, and communications workers also help with resources relevant to your issue, be that going to Employment Tribunal or launching a public campaign.  

Does UVW-SAW represent members from across the UK?

As a member you will join architectural workers in all regions of the UK. The pandemic saw an expansion in membership outside of London, and we passed a motion at our last AGM to ensure all decision-making aspects of the union remain online. The goal of our members is to strengthen worker power in the entire architecture sector, regardless of geographical location.