Artists’ Union England (AUE) has been certified as the first trade union for visual, applied and socially engaged artists in England.

The formal ‘certificate of independence’ provides recognition that the union operates democratically for and on behalf of its professional membership and that it is independent of employers’ influence.

On receiving its certification, a statement from AUE said that the new trade union would “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”.

The AUE was initially launched in May 2013 although the process of obtaining the certificate from the government’s Certification Office began in 2013.

The cost of the process was covered by donations by other trade unions, including the well-established Scottish Artists Union.

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