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Who will stand with me?
I thought the tile of this thread was 'Who will stand with me' not who has no faith in change,


I am sorry that you seem so negative about archaeology, i take it s based and years of trying and not getting anywhere, but you could help by passing on what avenues and pit falls you incountered in carrer when trying change things for the better, this may help people who are now looking at similar problems and are trying to do some thing about it

It's great to hear that acidemics are using 'grey literature' in your area, i am fed up of the same old tied explanations for the area where i live, which haven't changed since 1970's regardless of all the excavations carried out since then
Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.
Before everybody accuses grindlecat of excessive negativity, it's important to acknowledge that they make several valid points on issues that we will have to overcome if we wish to change this "profession" for the better.

Firstly, I don't believe that all is currently absolutely lost and I don't subscribe to the idea that investing in and deploying new technology is pointless; on the other hand, not valuing your field staff - those who actually understand the ground and what it is telling them - is profoundly stupid. But heyho there are many archaeological units who do just that.

Bizarrely there is now one JV running where, if you happen to work for one company, you are paid not just marginally higher wages than if you happen to work for the other partner company (which in the scheme of things isn't that important), but an extra ?60 weekly in subs and have accomodation provided and paid for! Go figure that one! Ah but we're hiring people locally, the less generous company replies. Hmmm. My old darlings, very few of the new intake lived locally before this project started. And the company in question have very recently been opening new offices all over the country with cheekily gay abandon. If that's not using the recession as an excuse, and targetting poor desperate employees to pay for your business plan, I don't know what it is. And you can bleat about tax all you want, but the fact is, you're being very naughty boys and girls and we can all see through it! When work picks up, what kind of a rep are you going to have? Because everybody knows that archaeology is a very small world.

Secondly, here's my twopence worth on a strategy. Firstly, ideally everyone joins their union and thus forces their employers to recognise it. Watever else, you now have a network across the industry, so that people can start thinking, talking and acting as archaeologists rather than simply as employees of whatever company. Now the IfA. Through the union branches we begin a concerted campaign to use the IfA. But we can only do this effectively if we act in a united fashion and counteract the institutional bias built into the IfA (which has arisen partly through our inaction as field archaeologists it has to be said.) A pro forma letter could be drawn up and accessed via the union branches, which everyone sends off along with their application form to join the IfA. Basically, giving notice of membership conditional on a list of demands - to be provocative I'd demand setting the IfA minimum at ?17 000 or so, not least in order to catch almost every unit in the country. If enough of us do this, the IfA will see a massive spike in membership but, more importantly, will have to decide whether it is an Institute for Archaeologists or an Institute for Archaeological Companies. The extra revenue may help to concentrate minds further in this regard. The units will complain. This is good, this is democratic debate - something that was underhandedly absent from last years shenanigans. And we do have to listen to valid commercial demands, which undoubtedly exist - valid ones, mind, not the addled bleatings of a few incompetent managers. But I think it's worth a go and I'd love to hear what people think about this, with its potential problems and strengths appraised in the open so they we can hammer out something with which we all agree. And finally, enough about the sniping against academics. Many of them, it's true, don't know the realities for archaeologists working in the commercial sector. But, I bet if they did, there's enough troublemakers, unreconstructed lefties and generally good eggs with a nose for natural justice which it would be great to get on our side.

Great post - nothing more to add to that. :face-approve: :face-stir:
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
I do believe that there may be a very interesting discussion on the cards here. It has to be said that this is the place to host it. Jeremiah and Grindlecat have raised some extremely important and controversial points. Whether we agree with them or not is in my view irrelevant-the fact that we have an opportunity to enter into constructive dialogue on these issues is far more important. Being pro-active is all about expressing an opinion and short of standing on street corners dishing out leaflets...the BAJR forum is the best option by far. For me, as I have been out of the country for a few years after taking a "sabbatical" to the beach in the Med, Im not really well-informed enough on current conditions to comment so forgive me for not having an opinion for now.

That said, these last posts by Jeremiah and Grindlecat ring a few of my old bells namely..... the feeling of absolute exasperation, isolation and worthlessness on the part of coal-face field staff, the feeling of being utterly let-down if not ignored by a professional Institute and frankly, more than a bit miffed. Many of the issues raised by these posts have (for some) underpinned archaeology for years if not decades. One thing that strikes me is that despite the obvious frustration of the subscribers, yet again, field staff are the ones who seem to push for real tangible progress and not just in terms and conditions of employment. As I said earlier, I`m a returner to the industry so the meat and two veg of the issues are for others to comment on. Personally, I look forward to this thread developing into a constructive and (for me) informative dialogue.:face-approve:
Just to let everyone know... I joined a union two days ago and already they are working on my behalf. I urge everyone to join one (if they can).

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