BAJR Federation Archaeology
unit database idea - Printable Version

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unit database idea - chiz - 11th September 2008

I've worked for a load of units over the years -all with slightly different recording systems, ways of digging sites, pay and holiday regs and ways of interpreting people's jobs. Moving from one unit to another can often involve learning new systems, conventions, and, god forbid, having to use a levels register.

I'd be interested in seeing a UK wide database of what systems which units use, and what their standard methodologies are. This could include pay rates, pension, holiday/sick, driving time etc, and what different grades of employee are expected to do -a Supervisor for one unit is a Field Officer for another, what fields would be of interest? The Digger used to do an unofficial survey of a unit every issue, could be like that but more definitive?

I don't know if this info exists within BAJR or not, but maybe a couple of hundred non-judgemental words on every unit, maybe submitted and checked by the unit themselves -anyone think it could be a useful resource to find out what different units are like and how they operate?

What do you all reckon?

unit database idea - Austin Ainsworth - 11th September 2008

Sounds like a good idea, why not have a chat with Hosty when he gets back from Jerash?

[Image: OzinLondon.jpg]

unit database idea - chiz - 11th September 2008

I will talk to BAJR, but what would YOU like to see in any such listing? It would have to be non-slanderous and factually correct but would be useful to compare pay/conditions/practices, and to help transparency/improve conditions. I'm not aware of anywhere that lists all the wage rates etc for all the units (although there is an out of date and partially complete site).
I don't know how many units would want to provide details? But if they are good employers then what have they got to hide!

as a rough idea:

Grimsville Archaeological Trust
Medium size unit based in Grimsville in the heart of clay-with-flint country, works across south east, with most work within 10 miles of Grimsville. Insert company waffle about what they think they do/cringeworthy mission statement here.
About 100 employees (60 field staff).
Mostly urban excavations, also foreign jollies for favoured employees.

Uses single context recording (MoLAS based system), with some digital capture. Survey done by supervisors. Photography done by supervisors and specialist staff

35 hour week, half hour tea break, half hour lunch, tea and coffee provided, knock off early fridays. 20 days annual leave, full sick pay after probation
stay away pay of £10 a night, 40p a mile, site vehicles provided,
will pay for CSCS
Training opportunities: CSCS, confined space, FAAW, CAD
weekly by BACS, company pension (6% employer contribution)
archaeologists (grade x): £18,500pa, 3 month probation. Diggers expected to be fully able to deal with urban excavation and recording
supervisors (grade y-k): £21-25,000. Temporary appointments for length of contract, permanent after 9 months. All supervisors write up own sites and are responsible to a project manager
Project managers (grade JJJ) £far too much
all posts 3 increments of 1.5%
extra 3 days leave after 5 years
contact: Fieldwork manager XXXX

etc etc etc

unit database idea - Gilraen - 12th September 2008

The only problem with this would be units sometimes change their methods and equipment and SOPs - who would update it?

unit database idea - chiz - 12th September 2008

In my experience the terms and conditions don't change that much. Pay goes up, hopefully every year. Inertia within units is massive, and things don't change too often. I worked at one unit for ten years, over that time the unit moved address once, changed its pay structure once, invented two new job categories- other than that little changed (particularly the pay!)

You could have a simple annual update pro-forma that could be sent out, if its not updated, it says so on the form. Units *want* to attract good staff, so setting out their stall properly works well for them and shows up the poor employers and champions the best. If it was done as a simple system you could query and rank by pay/location/pension etc and easily compare units.

Another possible problem is all the small units (and specialists/freelancers like me) that don't really fit in, but as we aren't really employers that may not be a real problem.

It wouldn't have to have all the pay etc stuff -although I think that would be ideal- at its simplest it could be some additional text on the contractors list on BAJR.

But to get back to the crux of the matter, what do you want to know about a potential employer, and how important is to be able to readily compare units???

unit database idea - BAJR Host - 14th September 2008

Hi bob..... and thanks to those who hav also contributed... (ps... I am in hot inernet caef, with a keyboard that is ... a bit nkackered) I am actually preparing just such a poposal.. and am waiting on return t o ask ... it may not be just such qustion.. though does go on principal that it should help everyone.. inclding the unit... ie... get them jobs... as with out units then many of us would have no work. Perhaps you could talk with me on the phone when I get back... and the specialist question is already sorted.. (can't say too much, as I don't want to spoil the surprise) it is howevr, going to gie real info, easy access, opportunities for both employmnt and be a souce for contract work.....

I don't want to go down the road too much of pay... as to be on this th group would have to be paying the minimum for the BAJR grade... etc....

so the short answer is... it is already ready for beta testing..... some have already seen a sneak previeww, and all agree... this will be helpfull for everyone... from digger to cotnraacting unit, from speclaist to curator and developer... It has been a year in the creation... so has been well thought through.. howevre, I would like to chat with you as well bob...

right.... back to paradice!

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."

unit database idea - chiz - 15th September 2008

cheers for the reply Dave, I'm glad you've been looking into this as it is hard to get concrete info on units at the moment. I really look forward to seeing what you've come up with.

Personally I would have pay details in there, as meeting BAJR rates/IFA minima is not the be all and end all of decent pay and conditions -above and beyond a living wage the devil really can be in the detail of a unit's conditions and their attitude to staff. You can't even just compare salaries as different units have different hours and demand you drive to work, whilst others will always put you up etc. Its hard to put all this in definitive terms often, but they should be selling themselves as employers as much as we have to sell ourselves as employees.

Hopefully talk to you when you get back, meantime enjoy the site

unit database idea - gumbo - 23rd September 2008

hi bob, there is the below which Kevin has done:

this sorta does the wages bit you asked for, although im not sure how updated it is.

unit database idea - chiz - 24th September 2008

ta for the link, that was the one I was referring to, be good if was updated/linked to a map/could be queried etc

unit database idea - monty - 24th September 2008

Can't wait to apply for work with the Grimsville unit ! dream on ......dream on ......