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Trade union formalises move to recruit architects

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Construction trade union UCATT has lodged a formal policy to recruit architects, after stating last year that it wanted to unionise the profession.

The move by the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, forms part of a wider strategy of many trade unions to recruit from what they perceive as 'white collar workers' (Construction union opens door to architects.

If UCATT is successful then it would be the first time that architecture has had any significant union representation since the break-up of the local authority architecture departments.

UCATT national policy organiser Jim Kennedy told the AJ that the idea of recruiting architects was an important policy priority.

'This forms a part of the strategic plan for the next 12 months for the union and it's in the strategy.

'We've had some interest for the proposal from the profession,' he said. 'We are keen to look into how to recruit more architects and quantity surveyors.'

'We've had interest in the idea from architects and one even offered to take over the idea,' Kennedy added.

Speaking last year, Chris Roche, the principal of 11.04 Architects, said the idea of unionising the profession would be a good one.

'The move is long overdue,' he said. 'Architects have not really had a voice to represent their concerns. It is still a very male-dominated industry, and ethnic minorities and women still have a hard time.

'If architects want to be taken seriously by the government they need to demonstrate connections with unions. I'll happily be president,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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