BAJR Federation Archaeology

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The next IfA conference should be used to push through a timetable for future pay increases.

The average diggers salary has remained frozen/gone down when compared to inflation for the last three years. The archaeology units and the IfA have already indicated that pay shall remain frozen after April.

However, the IfA a few years ago now indicated that pay needed to increase by at least 10% above inflation across the heritage sector to bring it in line with comparable professions (and unskilled labourers).

The next IfA conference should bee seen as an opportunity by Prospect/The Digger Forum and even the archaeology units to bring into a place a timetable. This timetable should allow the units time to adjust there tenders accordingly and not disadvantage any Unit with the timescale. However, this change should still be in place by 2012.
Funny, I was just talking about that with maggie yesterday evening..

The benchmarking took place, the support was gathered, the need for above inflation increases agreed... the methods worked out... and then....

So yes... the iFa conference would indeed be a good place to start asking... what's happening.

I promised to hold off any BAJR pay increase until April, when contractors and employers were better able to understand the position. I must say that from what I am hearing now the 'crisis' is not on DEFCON1 any more. indeed several companies I have spoken to recently are turning away work... So yes... where is the promised benchmarking increase.
Sadly as there is no real cross unit union and the units are going all out to keep costs (AND STAFF MORAL) down, the only real way to force the benchmarking increase, is through the IfA.
There may well soon be a national unionisation - first meeting 27th FEb.

However, you are right. It will take IfA, BAJR, PROSPECT, FAME and others to work together to make this happen --- working together
A provisioinal timetable for change should at least be agreed by the end of the conference. With the intial increase possibly pencilled in for six months later (This should be enouth time for tenders to be altered accordingly) and stepped increase every six months after this to the end of 2012 (which is not very far away now).
Kevin wearing his party pooper hat says: I totally agree with the feeling behind Monkey's suggestion, but the IFA April conference is not the place for it to happen,. The IFA constitution does allow for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to make the kind of decision that Monkey suggests but it wouild require 1/20th of the members to request an EGM, and unless it was called by the IFA Council, requesters could be held liable for the cost of the meeting.

A more practical suggestion would be to 'target' the IFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September 2010 with a 'Resolution for Change' and to spend the next 7 months preparing the ground for the passing of a positive resolution.
That is true. The conference would still make the ideal staring point. With Prospect and the Diggers forum all being well represented. I'm sure there will be the usual side meetings during the conference, where the groundwork for a 'Resolution for Change' should begin.
It would be a good place to start a 'Resolution for Change' campaign....but I don't see anything in the conference programme that is remotely related.

Monkey: I wasn't going to attend the conference, but I would be interested in travelling up for the day and attending a fringe meeting if that is what you are suggesting. Do you have a time and venue in mind?
Remember Remember?

Petiton for Change
October 2003

Quote:The IFA is grateful for the support that the letter and petition indicate for its long- running campaign to increase wages in archaeology. Until the profession can successfully address this issue, archaeologists will continue to be rewarded below the level we merit, driving talented people out of the profession before they can establish a career. This situation prevents us from serving either our commercial clients or the public as well as we should.
It is apparent from the letter that there may not be universal support for the IFA?s tactics, but we can all agree on two things: that pay in archaeology is scandalously low, and that the IFA recommended minima are much lower than we would all like them to be. Unfortunately we are up against some harsh realities in terms of market forces, with an oversupply of archaeologists and an undersupply of work.
Or this one?
Archaeology Petition
July 2007

[/B]With over 1800 signatures

Of course in 2002

Quote:The APPAG report 'The Current State of Archaeology in the United Kingdom' (2002) states:
[INDENT]"There is an urgent need to improve pay and conditions for employment in field archaeology so that they are commensurate with graduate entry level in allied professions such as local authority planning officers, civil engineers and university lecturers. The IFA, working with English Heritage (EH) and the other national heritage agencies and Prospect, should create a structure for training and qualifications related to career development that will set standards for best practice in archaeological work, one in which employers are obliged to support the continuing professional development of staff. Only those contractors that meet these standards should be eligible to bid for developer-funded work. In the longer term, the current fragmented commercial unit system which has resulted from competitive tendering should be replaced with a more stable regional, or more local framework of archaeological organisations."
[/INDENT]Of course in 2004

IFA News : Archaeological pay and conditions: IFA AGM report September 2004

What we realised we needed was a 3-legged stool, that could support us all firmly if each leg was in place, but would collapse if one failed.

? we need agreed and enforceable high standards
? we need to have those standards insisted upon by curators and national bodies if organisations are to continue to win contracts (?quality-based barriers to entry?)
? we need a formal process for negotiating pay and conditions to make sure we have the right happy and well qualified workforce.

Go back further?

Working in field archaeology and the Institute of Field Archaeologists 1996

Quote:In 1993, the director of a major English archaeological field unit wrote:

Professional archaeology has now progressed enormously in the realisation that it would neither attract nor retain the best qualified staff on a subsistence-level wage. Archaeology is now an accepted profession that commands reasonable fees. (Lawson 1993:149)

A series of surveys before and since has refuted this view and the results have shown that pay is poor, conditions of employment are far from ideal, and that many within the profession are unhappy about this state of affairs (Spoerry 1992, Aitchison and Anderson 1995, Reeve 1995, Drummond-Murray and Wooldridge 1996, Turner 1996).

Need I go on.

This is talked about and resolutions are made, ideas are bounced about, working parties are set up, benchmarks are created...

There is a way... and this is it.

Workforce is wholly Unionised.
Employers(FAME) and Unions talk about pay
Pay is raised
Conditions are set (accommodation, Subs, travel etc)

companies not adhering to these conditions are named and shamed....

Quality and Workforce training is seen as standard... and Curatorial services accept only work that is of the highest standard... not the minima.

Lets stop talking about it... and do it.

As I said before... this is a joint initiative... to make it work ... BUT... if I see another working party or discussion... I will scream... I am bored of waiting and angry that I have had to.
Move towards unionisation within archaeology is glacial.

An IfA resolution at the AGM , with a timetable for changed attached, may be the only way in the short term to go.

A rise of 2.5%-5% every six months after the AGM, until we comparable to similar professions would be a necessary timetable.

This increase would also have to include the actual fall in pay against inflation since the beginning of 2007.
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