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IFA Minimum Salaries: a consultation
#31
The simple and plain truth is... we allow companies like this to carry on operating. We will gripe, whinge and moan on vox-pop cyber-sites, but then then settle back in the office chair and then get on with another other internet trawl (or maybe even some work). Our dismay about system may result in a polite email to the IFA... they will look at it, ponder it for a while and then (just like us) get back to the day-job or even trawling the internet. Unfortunately... through a combination of not wanting to upset the archaeological applecart, not wanting to lose a job, trying to cling to whatever scrap of security there is and yes, sorry, general apathy (on behalf of ourselves and our supposed regulatory body) archaeology is in a poor state and has been for some time. Sometimes I think we are sheep in sheeps clothing, managed and run (on the whole) by sheep. Yet there is the odd place where the wolves live. Even a few managerial types still think that archaeology is a vocation, not a job... we (as employees) should be happy with our lot. "If you wanted proper wages and proper conditions, you should have become accountants or lawyers."

On the whole, the people that run these units fall into four broad camps. I've experienced them all:
1. have the interests of some (if not all) of their staff at heart, but the company is struggling and the money just ain't coming in like it used to. "Sorry, for some of you (generally supervisors/project officers and above) we just have to cut corners and give you sh*t pay and conditions... it's the way things are at the moment" - cue whatever excuse is prevalent at the time (the latest is Credit Crunch). We'll carry on doing this until there is an upturn in the market. "Unfortunately, for the rest of you (digging staff) the general rule is those last-in are those first-out... so so-long, thanks for your contribution and good luck". We moan, we gripe, but we don't really mind because we accept it... 'tis the way things are. We'll just move on to the next unit / employer hoping that things will be better next time.
2. out to make as much as they (personally) can from what is a generally non-profitable sector and don't really care about their staff (except for mates and those that bring the jobs in... "Oooh, corporate lifestyle... I'm gonna get a Range Rover!"). They'll cut every corner and bend every rule (except those stipulated in stone by those nasty government types... Minimum Pay, Statutory Sick Pay... Bah Humbug!). They may be nice people on the inside but, hey, business is business. I'm all right Jack, shame about you. We moan, we gripe, but we don't do anything about them because we are timorous sheep and they are proto- or fully fledged wolves.
3. just plain apathetic. We gripe, we moan... but whatever.
4. incompetent. We moan, we gripe but we can't do anything against blind stupidity.

The IFA - composed of mostly camp 1, a few (increasing?) camp 2, a sizeable proportion of camp 3 and, yes (sigh), the odd camp 4. Things may be different in the IFA, but nothing has changed.

Back to work!
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#32
Part of the problem is the preservation in situ attitude used to justify commercial archaeology which just about stymies any archaeological get up go when the easy contracts are not coming in, but you never know if the brown turn is severe enough they might bring back manpower services and we can start the whole sheep thing all over again.

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#33
Bring back Manpower Services? Dear God, never again!

Getting back to Mr Hostie's points, on point 2 the only way we (in EH) managed to get a substantial pay hike for our site staff a couple of years ago was to go through a thorough revision of our site staff job descriptions, analysing the skills required for each post using the National Occupational Standards. These job descriptions were then compared against other EH professional posts using JEGS, and that resulted in an upgrading of the posts. This sort of approach might be useful for others tied to Local Authority or similar payscales, but it won't stop them being undercut by cowboys...

Brian

Resistance is futile. Your project documentation will be MoRPHE-compliant.
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#34
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Weegie

Bring back Manpower Services? Dear God, never again!

Getting back to Mr Hostie's points, on point 2 the only way we (in EH) managed to get a substantial pay hike for our site staff a couple of years ago was to go through a thorough revision of our site staff job descriptions, analysing the skills required for each post using the National Occupational Standards. These job descriptions were then compared against other EH professional posts using JEGS, and that resulted in an upgrading of the posts. This sort of approach might be useful for others tied to Local Authority or similar payscales, but it won't stop them being undercut by cowboys...

Brian

Resistance is futile. Your project documentation will be MoRPHE-compliant.

I understand it was perhaps not what you meant, but I do resent the implication that only non-govt based organisations can be 'cowboys'.

Moving on, when it comes to pay, it's often been those organisations based within local/national authorities and universities which have claimed that they couldn't raise pay levels because 'they' wouldn't let them. JEGS, NOS etc are indeed a good way of playing large organisations at their own game, but it is also important that, when re-grading happens, the tenders that will pay for it have been costed with those pay rises in mind.

I've never agreed with the payscales being tied to local govt and welcomed the suggestion some time ago that Prospect and SCAUM could look at negotiating profession wide, especially as the RAO/SCAUM crossover is certainly not 100%.

But, as mentioned many times before in these annals, at the same time people need to take a bit of responsibility for themselves too. Only an individual can make the choice about their individual circumstances and what works best for them. For example, a local organisation may pay less but be more amenable to flexible or part-time working or offer a better overall package.

And I agree on MSC!
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#35
Quote:quote:Originally posted by oldgirl
I do resent the implication that only non-govt based organisations can be 'cowboys'.

I do too (although I'm sure that wasn't what was intended). From the examples I've heard the worst cases of poor conditions, bad pay, and enforced self-employment (see other thread), particularly in relation to those on the lowest rungs of the ladder, have been dished out by Council and University units. If private companies have to cut their costs back to the bone to compete with that it's hardly surprising.
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#36
Oldgirl, Red Earth, I can assure you that that was most certainly not what I meant. Apologies for any unintended offence.[:I]
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#37
Most local government organisations should have, over the last few years, undertaken the single status review. This is a scheme designed to merge, what were previously, separate manual and clerical work grades. Most organisations will already have done this or are risking considerable litigation under equal opportunities legislation.
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#38
No problem Weegie, I think I might have been having a caffeine deprived moment......

That's useful to hear Historic Building. Do they use a JEGs type system for that? (For those that don't know, JEGs is - I believe- Job Evaluation Guidance. I cam across it working in National Govt in the 1990s and it looked at things like level of autonomy of decision making, levels of responsibility etc).

And also, is it just a straight comparison between job types to see if they should be on the same level, or is it an objective look at each role to see if it's appropriately graded? (I'm thinking - is this dinner lady the same as a dustman? or is the dinner lady and the dustman assessed seperately? - and I know I've not been gender neutral, that's deliberate!)

I'm not grinding an axe with that by the way, I'm genuinely interested as I haven't had any involvement with this type of review.


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#39
Quote:quote:Originally posted by oldgirl

No problem Weegie, I think I might have been having a caffeine deprived moment......

... is this dinner lady the same as a dustman?

I think I might have been having an excess caffine moment...

Is this dinner lady the same as a dustman? I don't know what your local authority is like but that doesn't sound very sanitary. Still, cut backs I suppose...

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#40
Quote:quote:Originally posted by RedEarth

Quote:quote:Originally posted by oldgirl

No problem Weegie, I think I might have been having a caffeine deprived moment......

... is this dinner lady the same as a dustman?

I think I might have been having an excess caffine moment...

Is this dinner lady the same as a dustman? I don't know what your local authority is like but that doesn't sound very sanitary. Still, cut backs I suppose...

Is it me or is this food rubbish??? [:o)]
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