BAJR Federation Archaeology

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The Recorded meeting at Nottingham that continued the discussion on Unionisation in Archaeology

Letters and details have been sent to all relevant bodies.

Below are attachment links to a doc version and a pdf version

(please consider taking a copy to the site hut and discuss)

There is also an mp3 of the final summation

can you make sure that any spokesperson/media face is above board and signed up to decent pay rates? Especially for temporary 'self employed' staff.
Preparing for the Charter now... to provide a list of potential campaign issues. You should get involved.
Your support is needed.
There will be full consultation... AND we can do this together.

A survey will be coming online soon... help us make this work.
Now quite a lot of this I am liking most muchly.......

One thing that immediately springs to mind is this.....
If we are to impress upon the outside world the value of what we do, we should really express this in a meaningful, incisive and comprehensive way. And, augment this with an overview of the potential for archaeology in the wider community and a social context. Integration with education systems, schools, probation services, community projects, town planning etc etc... We have to get away from the misguided perception that we simply exist to entertain sofa occupants and whilst Tony Robinson is indeed high profile- he is hardly a Brian Fox now is he? Arguably, the PPG/PPS documents at least recognise enough of what we do to slide us into the planning system which is a good (ish) start but...... I wonder how many members of the public realise that unlike any other age in British history, our collective heritage is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate and that without a firmly established recognition of archaeology as a vital profession...public support may be a bit patchy and non-committal to say the least.

Whilst the diggers charter is a cracking idea and way overdue, I am uncomfortable with the feeling that any wish-list concentrates solely upon our needs/desires as workers. If we are to entice diners to eat at our table, surely we should be laying the table first. Have BA cabin staff been lavished with public support? No. Have Railway workers found a place in the publics heart? No. These professionals provide transport, something that the public see as a right and not to be interrupted. Archaeology has enormous potential to resonate with the public sense of what is ethically and morally right and after all is fundamental to any notions (misguided or otherwise) of national "Identity". Archaeology (if presented in its most beautiful and engagingly profound forms) simply has meaning. Planes, trains and automobiles do not. Archaeology should be seen by the public as the national treasure to be cared for properly-not simply thrown to the dogs of competitive tendering in an atmosphere of secrecy and disposed of in a manner largely dictated by consultants and civil servants who simply don`t grasp the gravitas of their responsibilities to the tax-payer.
I think that it is mightily well said Troll. :face-approve:
Am also in complete agreement with troll - if we intend to get support then these are important issues
Indeed. I too agree. and this is what is needed. This can't be a single issue campaign, can't be a single group campaign etc. The raft of changes that are required, and the joined up consultation that is required is an important step. As Troll says, it is laying the table. The Unionisation campaign is actually one of the three legs and in an Esher type way) each legs requires the other to act as interconnecting support for the whole. Thus Unionisation gives a proper voice and negotiation strength to the worker in general (though we cannot get away from the fact that fieldstaff are the worst affected by the whole thing we call commercial archaeology) This gives power to FAME to act as a fully functioning employers body, and allows the IfA to act as a standards and guidance organisation, steering clear of the pay and conditions controversy that has often caused so much trouble. Skills and Training become an important aspect of both university and working life, benefiting everyone, with a skilled workforce... a skilled and valued workforce not only do a better job, but feel like doing a better job, where minimum standards become the lowest you would ever think of going... and the norm becomes best job that can be done. Public are integrated in whatever way is possible, as the support of the public is esential, the benefits to the client and community are offered as tangible benefits. And while we are at it, we start acting like professionals, with PPE that fits... with an attitude that we are there to do a job (one that we love) but a job that we need to do - AND is needed.

Unionise now... this is part of the start!
This is a continuation of efforts started a decade ago...dispirate workplaces, organisations and individuals need to be brought closer together...goals, aims and methods need to be synchronised.
I am slightly reticent to raise this as an issue for fear of having all kinds of poop and insult heaped upon my character, but......perhaps I can just throw this out as a general question.

To implement an agenda for change is it necessary to restrict/limit/licence or impose quotas on the 'quantity' and 'quality' of those who wish to follow archaeology as a profession?

(And I intend this discussion only to apply to those who follow archaeology as a career and not in any way to restrict amateur or local/community or popular involvement with archaeology)
Having actually seen positive benefits of unionisation for the first time in my entire life...... I have just joined Prospect. A union that I have demonised for years. How things change.........
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