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Pushing too Hard?
I was just wondering if we are all expecting too much change (re pay etc.) too quickly? And if pushing too hard could have adverse affects on the smaller units.
Let me explain:
I know of a small unit which currently pays its full time staff well below BAJR rates. Any temporary staff employed through BAJR are of course paid at the correct rate and therefore the pay gap between site assistants and the project officer running the project is extremely small.
All attempts by various parties to rectify the situation appear to have fallen flat on their face with said units management claiming that the unit can not afford to pay all the staff BAJR rates (though he is paid well above!). The threat that the unit will be struck of the BAJR site prompted the comment that the unit would no longer be tendering for large projects as it could not afford to pay the staff at the required rate.
The outcome therefore seems to be: no change in pay for the full time staff and the unit will no longer be undertaking any large excavations as it can not advertise on BAJR. So the units staff are not only paid poorly but will be living on a diet of watching briefs and small evaluations.[xx(]
My point is, what if it really is the case that smaller units can not afford to up their staffs pay (in this case by around £2000 per person) and if forced to do so will suffer. If they can not tender for the larger projects for fear of not being able to advertise for staff they will further suffer financially.
Result: As the pay gap between site staff and those running the projects decreases, full time staff become more discouraged about their chosen profession and begin to leave so once again the smaller unit suffers.
Don’t misunderstand me, we all deserve to be paid as the professionals we are. I just wonder if we are expecting change at rate that only the larger units can keep up with?
In short, no. One of the top payers according to Outwage is ASC Ltd. They are also an RAO, use BAJR to advertise, and most importantly are not a 'big' unit. I would suggest that the real problem with the unit given in your example is the disparity between the director(s) and lower ranks pay.
True, and the approach:
"if the unit cant afford to up our pay, why not share out some of yours?"
has not been tried yet!!!!!!
not sure it would work mind.
I think we (the profession) should expect quick change, we need pay/conditions that reflect the work that we do. However the change needs to be across the board. Its no good that a unit increases its wages only for its neighbours not to do so. At the moment its a dog eat dog world of units undercutting eachother for the tenders that can mean that the project then has insufficient funds. It is not going to affect the big developers/quarries etc. if all units agreed a standard salary grading that better reflects the profession. However, i don't see this happening any time soon [?]
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Gizmo

...the unit would no longer be tendering for large projects as it could not afford to pay the staff at the required rate.

Sorry Gizmo, but this is exactly the kind of argument we should have no truck with if we want wages and conditions to get better. What else do they skimp on to remain "competetive"? Site huts and toilets? Health and safety equipment? The quality of their archaeological recording?

I would advise these staff to leave en-masse at the earliest opportunity. Sad
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Curator Kid
I would advise these staff to leave en-masse at the earliest opportunity. Sad

hear hear

I might add that there's nothing wrong with cowboy companies going to the wall.

I have been occasionally suspicious that curators have worked very hard to help out units who got into trouble not due to bad luck (finding more than they can cope with) but because they consistently undercut their rivals, evaluate poorly and otherwise act with incompetence or unprofessionalism. I don't understand why curators will help a unit go back and get more money in these kinds of instances. Why not tell the unit to take it on the chin, and the client that his condition won't be lifted? Would the dodgy unit not then go bust (if they couldn't take the loss), and possibly a different company be brought in to do the job properly?

Never having been a curator myself, I would welcome broader opinions. However, this kind of accountability seems like the kind of thing that would foster greater professionalism, and would benefit the well-paying companies to the detriment of the cowboys. I appreciate that this kind of suggestion carries considerable risk, but risk management is a bankable commodity, and so the units could charge more for their services. It might also help make explicit the implications of assessments: i.e. 'there is a statistical probability of x that the development will not encounter Roman settlement evidence' etc. That way you'd have legal redress if you did find something spectacular that the client could justifiably be asked for more money for.

I haven't really thought this through, and as I say it's hardly my specialist subject. Perhaps this sugestion would just create work for lawyers. It also might see the end of the small companies, swallowed up by a few big players (free market capitalism does lead to monopoly). However, companies who operate in the way that Gizmo describes don't deserve to survive and are holding the industry back.

'Have a good plan, execute it violently, do it today'.
General MacArthur
Let me get this right... Not tendering for big jobs at rates that other units can pay.. er..... um.... as has been said, most others can and do pay BAJR rates.. small, medium and large.

the sense does not add up... of course it is the right of that company to pay what they want... but hey... if you win a big contract... surely you win it on quality as well.. and as everyone else (ie the 321 companies that advertise with BAJR) has to pay the right level then it is daft logic...

If said company (and I am pretty sure who it is) wants to discuss it.. then my number is always available ...

We are looking at across the board pay increases right now... with PROSPECT the IFA and the DIGGERS GROUP as well as talks with SCAUM.. it has to happen... perhaps phased in over 3-5 years, but the sad fact is, that it is an excuse rather than a solution.

I have worked with others in the past to help.. but the thought that jsut becasue they can't advtise on BAJR they will cease to tender for Big jobs is to give me more power than I deserve... AND is (as I have said) an excuse rather than a solution.


"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
I quite agree with Curator Kid the staff should escape as soon as they possibly can and hopefully this will break the company.
Quote:quote:Originally posted by historic building

I quite agree with Curator Kid the staff should escape as soon as they possibly can and hopefully this will break the company.

Do you all have a job to go to so you can break the company???
This thread reminds me of the Maggie Thatcher and Arthur Scargill.
Surly when you take the job with the company you are told the wages before you start??? You accepted the payment the day you took on the job and then complain that its not enough. it was your choice in the first place.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
A small company pays its temporary staff at the BAJR rate. Good some dont. Some full time staff are allegedly not paid at the BAJR rate - but they must be paid for example for holiday and sickness by definition. So I would question how far off they are from the BAJR rate for staff which does not include holiday or sick pay. At PO level I would suggest that may equate to 2k. We are being told all of this second or third hand.

The company decide sensibly not to bid for large excavations which would mean having a large semi-permanent staff because they think they cannot compete with the overheads that conforming to BAJR and IFA guidelines mean.

A curator suggest that "What else do they skimp on to remain "competetive"? Site huts and toilets? Health and safety equipment? The quality of their archaeological recording".

Somebody else calls them dodgy.

which totally misses the point - said organisation realises they cant compete so they decide they are not going to do so I would suggest precisely because they donot want to compromise on things like H&S, facilities and quality.

The poor obviously hard pressed manager was threatened with, by various parties, that "the unit will be struck of the BAJR site" .

Really. I cant find anything that says somebody will be struck off the BAJR the web site for not paying somebody the BAJR rate. Struck off from what precisely. I can in fact find nothing that actually says that paying the BAJR rate is complusory or a requirement to advertise.

What BAJR says is
"If you have a problem with either a company that advertises (they are in breach of H&S or Pay Levels or Employment Entitlements) then please get in touch and we can try to negotiate an amicable solution."

I would suggest that the notion of differential between temporary and permanent staff is a major factor in keeping pay down.

Can we have some balance and fact here?

Peter Wardle


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