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Diggers' Forum response to the IfA Statement on archaeological salaries
#1
The Diggers Forum have sent (26th November 2009) the attached response to the IfA Statement on archaeological salaries.

Response:

'This is a brief initial response from the Diggers' Forum to the IfA Statement on archaeological salaries (10/11/2009). The issues raised clearly warrant further in-depth discussion. Diggers' Forum looks forward to working with the IfA Executive Committee to look at ways of implementing improved measures to tackle the poor state of pay and conditions within the profession.

Discussion of such important and emotive issues should be carried out in a transparent manner. We would suggest that organisations or individuals proposing drastic change to IfA policy should state their case publicly on a platform where the wider membership can gain a clearer understanding of the arguments and have the opportunity to respond accordingly. We would like to see the IfA facilitate an open discussion by calling an Extraordinary General Meeting and/or opening a public forum on the IfA website, specifically devoted to discussion of the salary minima issue within a set timescale.

IfA Council posed itself four questions and drew various conclusions, which are summarised within the statement. Three DF members were present at the Council meeting, but their views were not necessarily the same as those reached by the Council as a whole. The following section presents a Diggers' Forum response to the four questions:

1) Should IfA be involved in matters relating to the remuneration of archaeologists?

We believe it is crucial the IfA takes a lead role in matters relating to remuneration of archaeologists. Pay levels are appalling, particularly within the Field sector. The IfA Benchmarking Salaries Report ( 2009 ) identified an increase of 13-53% required to bring archaeological pay in line with comparable professions. Diggers' Forum strongly supports unionisation within commercial archaeology, but at present union representation is limited and fragmentary. We acknowledge that tackling the pay issue within the competitive-tendering system is a complex, difficult and challenging prospect for commercial units. However, we see little or no evidence of the necessary commitment and motivation needed to achieve the percentage increases outlined in the Salaries Report. We believe that standards of archaeological practice are directly linked to satisfactory pay levels, with particular regard to staff-retention and the advantages of maintaining an experienced and highly-skilled workforce. In our view the IfA is currently best-placed to provide a framework in which pay, conditions and standards of archaeological practice can be worked on, managed and improved. We would urge all archaeological contractors, whether within the IfA as ROs or individual members, or operating outside the organisation, to work with the IfA towards an improved pay structure.

2) Are the salary minima the best way of effecting improvement?

We believe the best way of effecting improvement is maintenance of salary minima with built-in annual above-inflation pay increases that work towards the percentage pay increases outlined in the Salaries Report. The increases should be phased in within set timetables and ultimately should aim towards the increase at the top end of the scale, rather than just focussing on 13% at the lower end.

3) Should compliance with salary minima be a requirement of registration?

We believe that compliance with salary minima should be a requirement of registration and that it should be strictly adhered to. However, we would stress that current IfA salary minima fall well-short of acceptable pay levels. They should be considered the bare minimum, a safety-net, and the IfA should introduce phased above-inflation increases (as described above) at the earliest opportunity.

4) What should any recommended minima be for 2010-11?

In our view, the recommended minima should at the very least include an increase in line with inflation.'
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#2
A serious reply... I would like to add my support to the Diggers Forum. The new clarification statement is interesting when seen alongside this.
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#3
I can see what they are saying about the barest of minimum of salary improvements, but I don't know how we can adopt to either the CPI or RPI, when the world economy as was and is are not confined within those parameters any longer.

however, I would not place the future of my mortgage upon a non-change perspective, nor would i wish to be lead weighted to another.

I would however prefer a situation where the minima, should be adhered to, but that should be as situationally responsive as the the newly outlined heritage planning policy statement is intended to be.

But the probblem shall lie within the realm of unpredicability for mortage replayments, unless we are locking the industry into 2yr mortages, which will not be as benificial, or preferable as long term forecasts could potentially be.

I think that such IFA EGM's should be called in response to when the situation changes

however for now the issue remains within the area of membership employees having their employers firmly recognise those skills on their CV's.

BUT

this requires the CDP recognition to already be institutionalsed within all organisations.

so this will return to my dialogue (or hoped for dialogue) upon the issues around contracts, intellectual property and CDP's

but this seems still to be at the far off out of mind principle

why discuss something which is perceived to have no baring?


anyways i retire from this debate
txt is
Mike
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#4
however returning to the minima, I do think that a responsive minima is a good idea in principle, but i do not see a fair outlook in terms of retaining regular employment having such a responsive sysytem in place.

this is as was and probably always will be when it comes to field staff, but what of office or senior staff with greater responsibilities and a greater need for stability.

those field staff of today are the long term management of tomorrow so.............

what they get used to will be the status quo of tommorrow.

how about a series of developmental pay scale bands.

a very complex notion indeed.


intellectual property rights included as sub banding.

its very dangerous and experimental, but why should we remain a static system to 5yr plans?

if we want stability what risks are we going to face, but if we want more money are we willing to face that other much starker instability if we get used to the monies associated with those comparable salaries?

if we often ask what do we do for society and people often ask what can we bring to society?

we cannot simply answer that we are pointless and meaningless.

the heritage position in the national identity debate, can only justify so much, but a salary system with greater renumeration benifits must not be a glass floor or plank for us to blindly follow to the precipis.

we need a heritage sector that can also act as an experimental ground for other developing industries, that can use low investitue and low returns as a basis for building business plans.

if we fear the alternatives of not working in our industry, why not make the industry into a series of models for developmental industries and other major employers so as to build a conscientious patform from a foundation of knowing whom we affect as opposed to a distanced and isolated corporate giant perspective.

we must look at the risks and take the chance, for if we do nothing and wait for further changes, what could we take to future employers. I am talking about a serious skill for working with responsive business plans, within a structured system.

I won't lie to you on this, its scary, its un-nerving but if you could take a small industry and multiply that experience into any other industry the returns and long term veiw would be considerably less confining to one destination and a reckless youth.

we could take our own futures into our own hands and take the risk.

Advisedly though i would stipulate, that for the senior staff and the lack of any safety net, this maybe unwise or even reckless.

so here i ask the Digger forum what do you say of a new breed of experience and responsibility to our own destinies?

would you risk it all in one pitch and toss of the die?

:face-huh:
txt is
Mike
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#5
I ran this through the Babelfish translation service :

and came up with this....

However returning to the concept of minima, I think that although responsive minima is a good idea in principle, i do not see it as a longterm solution in terms of retaining regular employment.

This situation probably always will be when it comes to field staff, but what of office or senior staff with greater responsibilities, liabilities and a need for stability? The field staff of today are the management of tomorrow so what they get used to now will become what they will carry with them into their future management positions.

I would suggest aseries of developmental pay scale bands, which is, I realise a complex notion.

If we want stability, what risks are we going to face?
If we want more money are we willing to face that other much starker instability if we get used to the monies associated with those comparable salaries?
If we ask what we do for society as a whole, can we answer it?

We cannot answer that we are pointless and meaningless ? can we!

The heritage arguement in the national identity debate, can only justify so much, but a salary system with greater remuneration must not be a glass floor or plank for us to blindly follow to the precipice. We need a heritage sector that can act as an experimental ground for other developing industries, that can use low investment and low returns as a basis for building business plans.

If we fear the alternatives of not working in our industry, why not make the industry into a series of models for developmental industries and other major employers so as to build a conscientious platform from a foundation of knowing whom we affect as opposed to a distanced and isolated corporate giant perspective.

I won't lie to you on this, its scary, its un-nerving but if you could take a small industry and multiply that experience into any other industry the returns and long term veiw would be considerably less confining to one destination and a reckless youth.

we could take our own futures into our own hands and take the risk.

So I ask the Digger forum what do you say of a new breed of experience and responsibility to our own destinies?

Would you risk it all in one pitch and toss of the die?
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#6
Like to offer a ringing enorsement of the Diggers' Forum statement. This is the perspective that Council ought adopt if it is serious about to resolving the issues highlighted in the Salary Benchmarking Study.
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#7
I also agree with the Digger's Forum points. Although I note that they want discussion and transparency rather than coming up with specific industry-wide proposals.

I would make the point (which I seem to do a lot) that this only relates to ROs. What about everyone else? There are still lots of people who work for organisations who do not sign up to even the minima mentioned here. You can't look to IfA to enforce anything on those, they're not in it.

The quote says: "Diggers' Forum strongly supports unionisation within commercial archaeology, but at present union representation is limited and fragmentary."

Prospect (in it's former guise of IPMS) has been around and had an archaeology branch since at least the early 1990s (I know because I used to be a member!). That's not that much shorter time than IfA. How come no-one's having a go at them about how bad the situation is? Where are their suggestions and proposals? Perhaps they ought to be looking at our sector and bringing their experience of similar sectors to bear, rather than everyone assuming that IfA (whose membership is also apparently fragmentary - especially within the 'diggers' ranks) should come up with and then enforce (how?) the answer.
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#8
Clare King Wrote:Prospect (in it's former guise of IPMS) has been around and had an archaeology branch since at least the early 1990s (I know because I used to be a member!). That's not that much shorter time than IfA. How come no-one's having a go at them about how bad the situation is?

Oh... tempt me..! I have found them unable to return calls, unable to investigate claims, unable to come up with solutions etc. I am sure they do some good, but as far as archaeologists are concerned.. I am not sure what it is? And what is their stance on this ? ... tumbleweed... they should not even need to be asked, as they are supposed to have finger on teh pulse... ahem... rant that could go on.

I don't think this is have a go at the IfA thread... after all it is the IfA dealing with the IfA.

And if people know of companies who are not ROs who pay under the minima... then let us know... its not against the law to tell a truth. Concerning the safety net for non-ROs that'll be BAJR.

It seems to have passed by the 12 point grading system that is already in place here on BAJR. has been for years, and is accepted by all who advertise. (or else !)



Clare King Wrote:You can't look to IfA to enforce anything on those, they're not in it.
it nearly did not have to... but democratic process won by a tail. As teh DF say.. something like this should not be just for the IfA council to discuss. It was too big a deal for everyone (both in and out of the IfA)

A strong IfA and a sense of cooperation and transparency.
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#9
Don't worry, I wasn't saying this was a 'have a go at the IfA' thread - I think I was making the point that it's not just the IfA that should be looked to for solutions - or for discussions or transparency.

BAJR Host Wrote:A strong IfA and a sense of cooperation and transparency.

I can agree with that. And would also make (another) point that I make a lot. (anyone asleep yet! Sorry!) Democratic bodies - you've got to be a member of the body to have a vote and a say. If you are a member, you can stand for Council and the committees. If you want an organisation that represents all parts of archaeology, all parts of archaeology need to be engaged with it in one way or another...... (Can I have a 'power to the people' smiley with a cap and a raised fist please??? }Smile )
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#10
THis will have to do. 8D
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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