Members Newsletter March 2023

Members Newsletter March 2023

Here's our March Newsletter from your Artists Union; with information about new Learning Events, links to Practical Support sessions for our Members, and other relevant information.
Here's information about two new SAU Learning Events that you can sign up for :

Anarchic Agreements with Seeds for Change 

Friday 17th March, 10am-12pm 

Free, online via Zoom 

This two-hour online workshop is based on the book Anarchic Agreements: A Field Guide to Collective Organising, and led by one of the co-authors from Seeds for Change. 

By instinct, people in non-hierarchical groups often reject rules along with authority figures and top-down systems for controlling people. In practice however, most groups need to reach shared agreements in order to collaborate effectively. This practical workshop explores how to create 'rules' and hold each other to account, in a way that doesn't replicate authoritarian or bureaucratic systems. There will be chances to share your own experiences with other people working in a similar field, and explore how the ideas can best be applied in your context. 

This workshop will be particularly useful to workers in the arts and culture who run collaborative, non-hierarchical projects such as artist run initiatives or forms of social/community based practice. 

Negotiation Training with Joshua Becker 

Friday 31st March, 2-4pm 

Free, online via Zoom 

We're very excited to bring this course to workers in the arts & cultural sector, where workers are routinely disadvantaged by exploitative employments and freelance contracts. This course will equip participants with effective tools to bargain for better working conditions for themselves and their peers. 

A wee reminder that your SAU Membership will renew on 1st April

All memberships are due for Renewal on 1st April 2023. 

(Fees are currently £72.00 per year - this can be paid as a one-off yearly payment each April, or split into monthly instalments of £6.00 per month.) If you have any issues to do with your membership, then please contact [email protected]

Support session

Practical Support for Members 1-to-1s

Do you have questions about calculating what to charge for a project with our rates of pay, need help completing a contract template or advice on artist's insurance?

We are trialing some new 1-to-1 online sessions, with Scottish Artists Union staff to help our members with practical support. Taking place on the first Thursday of every month, with the next sessions on Thursday 6th April from 11-12 noon. You can select a 20 minutes slot hosted via Zoom, if demand is high we will add more slots so do add your name to the waiting list.

Here's the Eventbite link to book your slot:

Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund

Creative Scotland and Engage Scotland are pleased to announce the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund 2023 is now open for applications.  

Visual arts freelancers in Scotland can apply for £500 to travel within the UK to support their work. Unable to travel? You can still apply to develop your digital connections!

Deadline 5pm, 20 April. Further information via the Engage website here 

The fund provides support to freelancers / self-employed people working in the visual arts in Scotland, to connect with peers across the UK, and enhance their creative and professional development.  

Artists, curators, producers, writers, educators and others, at any stage in their career, can apply for awards of up to £500 each.   

Those who have experienced limited opportunities to travel to develop their practice are particularly encouraged to apply, including people who are not in a position to travel due to a health condition, disability and/or caring responsibilities.   

The fund will support people unable to travel physically, to connect digitally.  

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Thursday 20 April 2023  

Amount awarded: up to £500 each to 10 individuals (the total funding is £5000)  

Eligibility: freelance / self-employed people working in the visual arts in Scotland.  

Creative Lives in Progress

The team at "Creative Lives in Progress" contacted us and would love to hear from any of our members who are in the first few years of their creative career, and who would like to talk about how being in the union has benefitted or supported them. If you would like to take part in an interview please contact [email protected]

Alternatively if you know someone we should feature on Creative Lives? Tell them about them here! You can check out their website here


  • COME ALONG TO OUR NEXT 'Climate & Sustainability Sub Group'

The next meeting of the C & S Sub Group will be online on Zoom, on Wednesday 5th April 5-6pm. All Welcome! Come along and get involved in the discussions on Climate Change and how it is affecting you and your practise. Meet other artists who share similar concerns.

  • COME ALONG TO OUR NEXT Intersect Sub Group meeting, where we will discuss the 'Structurally F-cked' report (see below for more information)

The next meeting of the Intersect Group will be online on Zoom, on Wednesday 12th April 5-6pm. All Welcome! Come along and get involved in the discussion.

Please contact [email protected] for a Zoom link for both these meetings, or to be added to our mailing lists.

Just out this week 'Structurally F-cked' Report: our friends at AN/AIR have commissioned this report by Industria - "an the inquiry into artists’ pay and conditions in the public sector in response to the Artist Leaks data.' You can download the report here
This report into artists’ pay and working conditions published by Industria and published by a-n The Artists Information Company reveals the extent of underpayment of artists in the UK’s public art sector. Structurally F–cked draws its title and data from testimonies gathered through Artist Leaks, an anonymous online survey of visual artists conducted by Industria.

Artist Leaks received 104 responses from artists who had been contracted to deliver projects by publicly funded galleries in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The projects ranged from major commissions and solo exhibitions, to talks and education workshops. 

The artist contributers - Lola Olufemi, Juliet Jacques and Jack Ky Tan.  Design by Rose Nordin.  Editor Charlotte Warne Thomas.


You are invited to a FREE art materials swap event in collaboration with the Circular Arts Network (CAN) from 11am-3pm on the 18th March @ Wasps Inverness Creative Academy.

Find a link to the Eventbrite Information HERE

New, low-cost counselling service for people who work in the arts

SAU recognise that some of our members are currently experiencing significant life struggles, which may lead to stress, anxiety, depression or problems with addiction.

In January 2023, an organisation called Wellbeing in the Arts has launched a new low-cost counselling service aimed specifically for people who work in the arts.

Please see this link for more details here.

Merch!! Support Your Union!! 

Also don't forget that we have a growing range of SAU merchandise in the form of T-shirts and Totebags available to purchase from our online shop. These make great presents, while helping to promote our union, and all proceeds help us to support artists and makers in Scotland. 


Due to the unprecedented levels of inflation we are currently experiencing, we have decided to raise our Recommended Rates Of Pay for Freelance work for the remainder of this tax year, we are therefore applying an average increase of 10% to all our previous hourly rates, compared with the rates for 2021/2022. (Earlier rates for 2022/23 are now in brackets). Usually our rates are increased in time for the new Tax Year at the start of April, so these rates will be increased again at that time, (so watch out for new ROP at the start of April!)

To see these updated rates check out our Webpage HERE, the ROP information is also available as a downloadable PDF HERE.

Here are links to this years Insurance Documents 

Here's a link to this year's Insurance Documents, which comes as part of you membership and that you can download when you need them. (We have stopped sending these out as paper documents in order to save on unnecessary paper and postage). N.B. You will need to log in to the website to access these.

Have you checked out our list of Members Discounts? As well as the free Insurance and legal advice that comes with your membership, you can benefit from big savings on art and materials supplies and various other relevant services.

Also: The Edinburgh International Festival have informed us that SAU members qualify for a 30% discount on tickets for Art Workers at this years EIF. Go to their website for more information. Tickets are subject to availability.

Show your solidarity with fellow artists by using our "I'm a Member Sticker". 

N.B. You will need to log in to the website to access these.

Have you tried using our 'Fair Work Contract Templates'? 

Our 3 FWC Templates can be used for creating or checking contracts for Exhibitions & Projects; Sales & Commissions; Workshops & Events; and are available for our members to download from the Resources section of the website HERE.

Brexit information for creatives working in the Arts in Europe


Please help us promote the activities of the union on social media by following and sharing posts. 

@SCOArtistsUnion | FB: ScottishArtistsUnion | Instagram:

Support Your Union!! Together We Are Stronger!!

We are here to help. We are a small team of part time workers, all artists and creatives, and a voluntary executive, currently email is the best way to get in touch. 

Stay warm, safe & healthy everyone.

Keep on Keeping on!!

Yours in Solidarity, 
Everyone at Scottish Artists Union


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