The first meeting of the RIBA Council 2011-2012 was held on 6th October, in which a number of issues were brought to the attention of the council by student and associate (RIBA Part 3) members.
The main proposal was that there should be a formal routine for publicising architectural practices that do not pay students the minimum wage, a problem that has been ongoing for some time (see article). Students feel that companies who engage in wage abuse need to be publicly shamed through the architectural press as a way of tackling the culture of ‘free student labour’. Indeed the council reports that there have yet to be any practices ‘struck off’ the RIBA register since the ruling was passed in July 2011, although there are a number under investigation. On a positive note it was suggested we also celebrate the firms who treat students very well to show that the ‘free labour’ abusers are not the majority.
The student representatives on council will be endeavouring to seek out student opinion on this matter in the coming year. If you, or somebody you know, have experienced architecture firms paying little or no wage please inform us and your report will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. These companies are damaging the industry and students must have the confidence to stand up and fight for the pay they deserve.
The next council meeting will be held on 6th December 2011, if there are any issues that you would like brought to the attention of council please get in touch with the ‘Ask a question’ link at the top of the page, leaving your email so I can get back in contact.