BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: 2013 BAJR Grades
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BAJR Wrote:I just had an email from a digger bemoaning a non RO who pays fieldstaff lower than BAJR rates in order to win the fieldwork. strangely I had heard about the same company from a project Manager who complained about the how it was difficult to compete with them, given they had to pay higher rates.

It seems we should put this debate on some kind of rotary until such time the situation is resolved, if ever. Because until then it just goes round and round and round........

I read in this mornings newspaper that the Labour party's next manifesto will contain a commitment to 'name and shame' companies who voluntarily don't pay a 'living wage'. At the same time they are refusing to make a manifesto commitment to raise the level of the minimum wage to reflect 'living wage' reality.....My first thought was: the Labour Party must be taking advice from IfA council!!.

RAO status is voluntary.....As you rightly say David any number of persons or companies can drop off the consensus without fear of sanction. In reality it even allows unscrupulous RAOs to intimidate the IfA, by threatening to drop out, if demands for wage restraint aren't met. Clearly nonsense from both parties, because there is nothing in reality that IfA can do about wage levels, other than bluff that it has some influence.

The only way that archaeological salaries will ever rise significantly is if a compulsory, rather than voluntary, licensing system is introduced. If the UK archaeological profession, including IfA council or the majority of IfA members wanted to raise wages through regulation, they should be campaigning for a licensing system and not for voluntary lip service. IfA pay grades in that sense are a specious red herring!! In recognising this fact IfA should end this farce and drop out of the wage level recommendation business completely. Leave it either to the market or to regulation.....

PS: Same advice to the Labour party by the way!!
Quote:The RO scheme is an excellent system for maintaining professional standards in the broadest sense. Increasing pay minima is likely to endanger the scheme. The withdrawal of significant and influential ROs from the scheme is one probable short-term consequence of an increase in the recommended salary minima. In addition there may be pressure on individual employees within ROs (or former ROs) to leave the IfA, as their individual acceptance of the Code of Conduct would be incompatible with the adjusted wages policy for these firms.
says Paul Belford in his post.

I can't disagree more. as it suggests that companies currently do not see a correlation between fair pay and standards. If companies decide to leave a SCheme that promotes professional standards because they feel that a decent wage is unacceptable... then what does that say? WE are ( please tell me we are ) all in agreement that the wages are artificially and often ludicrously low. So to have a stance that suggests we can be cheap professionals is simply baffling.

As BAJR... I do some very complicated maths looking at company sizes, predicted turnovers, staff costs and additional costs. I then plug that through a series of percentile permutations to arrive at something which is in the realms of possible and also a step forward as opposed to a step back. This then gets sent out for comment... to every company that advertises on BAJR - to have their say. IT is also published here and on the Facebook page. According to some early calculations. a company with a yearly wages bill of circa 200-250k per year ( a medium sized company of 10-12 people) would need to find an extra ... wait for it! ?3500 - 4500 per year to meet a 1.7% rise. Given that a rule of thumb on turnover to salary ratio is circa 32% - 40% ( according to some statistics and available sources that I can view lets make it top whack for simplicity - 40%) then this means a company such as this would have to turnover circa ?500,000-?625,000 per year Gross to cope with a wages bill of 200-250k per year this in turn means in that 500-625k turnover... they have to find ... up to 5000 extra a year. Hmmmm copable with?

I think so. and if not... then think about why not. ??
The problem it appears we are trying to tackle with the pay grades works on the basis of restructuring the heritage sector.

By and large this comes down to wether the work is undertaken to privately fill a nieche, publicly provide a service of data accumulation (exponential) for interest purposes, educationally improve the cognition required to compile said data and then predominantly negotiate the dynamical structure we are parts of.

The principle issue exists at the Small scale of the SME, where accrued debts and profit appear on balance sheets as liminal market outliers of significance to bank managers, whilst the clustered incidents of such businesses formulate standards in high risk competition states on balance sheets.

The issues arise when profit is amassed to offset, or extract company dividends.

The ethics within this are generally based upon cultural character norms and individualised pressured character factors.

It is at this point you have the disjuncture between the interests of public interest data accumulations and operational culture operatives.

So in returning to pay grades the IFA plays the role of professional interest in negotiating between Prospect and FAME.
The removal of the IfA removes this element to restructural sector politics in garnering support etc.

Conversely this then asks the IfA if their position is vocally apparent 'to' and 'for' whom.

This introduces the Prospect debate where there is disquiet about whom is represented.

Admittedly, at this point the only sector quiet at this stage is the educational aspect, whilst it being based within University facilities would belie that to being 'silent/observational/omnipotence'.

This is especially apparent when research remains outside of the norm interests, or worth while vocal participation when there are inter-departmental publication competitions.

Its almost like their just abscent but whilst perpetually represented.


Now to move on about whom has the right.

whose interested in talking about balance sheets, overheads, margins and strategy?

My bet is not.
According to the caculations of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation all the minimum salaries, current and proposed, are simply inadequate. I quote from their 2012 report (available here: 'A single person in the UK needs to earn at least ?16,400 a year before tax in 2012, to afford a minimum acceptable standard of living'.

PIfA level is not unskilled manual labour, and it is no simple matter to achieve this professional grade (nor should it be). My point is simply this - No unit will 'go to the wall' if every unit has a clear and fair minimum living wage scale because those will be the only options (units could then be chosen on the basis of the quality of their work, not 'affordability'). It is a bit sad to hear 'lets not push to hard', etc when what is being pushed for is so low. If BAJR and IFA will not stand up for a living wage at the bottom of the pay scale we can be sure that government and industry will not. It is this level of pay that needs to be addressed, not all of those that are higher, so an increase here should be affordable and give those higher up the scale a nice warm glow inside.
If Supervisors are AIfA then PIfA is a skilled grade.

If Supervisors are PIfA then PIfA is a skilled grade.

Policy drives are not un-noticed
Thank you for that post. as it accurately reflects my own personal views.

I am considering a curved rate increase... with 2.5% at the lower end and tailing off further up.

Quote:'I am considering a curved rate increase... with 2.5% at the lower end and tailing off further up'.

It almost feels like we're haggling here. In which case I would shout back - "3% and you're on"!

Seriously, I think that a curved rate makes sense - it would also have the benefit of engaging more PIfAs in the pay debate from which, perhaps they feel marginalised. Afterall, it is management-level archaeologists who have the power here. Maybe archaeologists on ?16k don't expect very much from debate beyond a low wage now and a low wage in the future. And remember - ?16.4k is a living wage in 2012: we can't expect it to be one in 2013 with the recent rises to energy prices and stealth taxes that will only come into force in Aprill.

BAJR (David) I agree, in principal (I'm no financial expert), that a curved rate is both financially viable and ethically sound. Clearly we need both these elements because they are mutually dependant. However, I would reiterate that those on low pay are on a poor-footing in two respects - 1) it is not their decison what they are payed, but the decision of people who do not necessarily share their interests; 2) noone is arguing for a living wage but a 'fair', or 'minimum' wage. Not the labour party, not the IfA, not BAJR ...
I would support the, errr, Nike model as propsed by David . PIFA's tend to be the group on the lowest pay, short contracts, less stable in their careers etc..
As rather a vocal opponent of the IfA in the past I have to admit that when considering this point there is a stronger argument for compulsory membership in order to improve pay. Whilst there is the option to simply opt out of the pay minima then there is a real danger of pricing out of the market for RAOs in certain areas. I know of one company paying ?65 a day self employed - and the model of having self employed staff seems to be becoming more common and not just amongst small one (wo)man bands. But then for larger units to be using their size with the threat of leaving to manipulate the institute brings me back round to the cronyism and self interest that puts me off.......

But this cannot put people off fighting for a real improvement in wages within the profession and I myself would be tempted to push for the 3.5% rise. A small increase can work out very small indeed to those with short term work and long periods of unemployment - I don't have the solution it is just hard to ignore how small real term gains can be. It would almost be worth sugguesting a higher rate for contracts of say less than three months? :face-thinks:
How do salary scales apply to self employed staff who negotiate their contracts? As far as I can see there would be nothing to regulate what individuals charge their services out for. Not that I think people who are forced to go self employed deliberately undercut. There are indeed more organisations using the selfemployed and agency route to get out of having rolling contracts of employment that accrue the rights of full employee over time. There are lots of insidious perfectly legal ways that employers are finding to get round having fully time employees.
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