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Job losses in the public sector - effects on heritage
Reposted from another thread at the request of moderator


... I ought to add that after the recent cuts Natural England are due to lose 1/3rd of their staff and as most of the archaeological community isn't aware of the vast amounts of money they pour into archaeology the in-house archaeologists are looking like an easy target - some regions are down to one staff member to cover 6 counties already.


The unions involved are PCS/Prospect
In terms of numbers this will be 400 this financial year, and another 400 over the next 2 years
I am aware that some archaeological staff have already been lost as their temporary contracts have not been renewed

EH are also down staff as they are unable to replace staff who leave. Between the two organisations this could have a heavy impact on monuments at risk protection programmes
one girl went to dig, went to dig a meadow...
this is terrible news - but most 'diggers' don't seem to be able to see the Big picture, or how this damages the whole future of the profession.

Equally i am concerned at cuts/threats in Curatorial staff, Conservation staff, Museum Staff etc in range of local governments. Some County Archives have been making plans to to deal with total more public access, no more requisitions, no more outreach etc.

as public bodies such as these are damaged, it becomes increasingly hard to justify our existence as commercial archaeologists - who is it all for exactly?
This article in the Guardian makes pretty grim reading
Does that include the potential shake up of the PAS and FLO's that i've heard rumours about on the grapevine?

And 'Gnomeking', I think that saying "but most 'diggers' don't seem to be able to see the Big picture" does a terrible disservice to alot of the diggers out there. I think most people that I know are very aware of how precarious the situation is at the moment, and like many are waiting till the government spending review in October with baited breath.

I think most of the heritage sector is in for a very uncomfortable 12 months, but all I can do is get on with my job and hope that the whole sector doesn't collapse by the end of the year.
Archaeology is always in the doldrums, until we have a 'profession' it will be such. The ConDem govt have banged nails into archaeology within days of getting in by stopping all road building etc etc. Heritage sector will survive, but the public are going to have to get used to paying for it. The BIG consultancies are laying off staff already and this is just the start, many more will be finding their way to the dole offices over the next 18-14 months. The real problem is that the ConDems are in for 5 years and as such will continue the damage, EH, et al will be a very sad reflection rump of its glory days very shortly...
we are still advertising for self employed jobs at under aliving wage

chicken or egg when it comes to diggers at ten a penny

The only good to come from this will be a real look at career path and whether the industry is founded upon a fortune five hundred and masses of cannon fodder, or we can reform with substance, not JUST wages and logistics.

not again
What I find particularly worrying is that after so many years of positive advocacy by the likes of CBA, IFA (yes, even), EH and others, it all seems to have fallen on deaf ears while the current lot were in opposition. And Archaeology is not alone in this - other disciplines too are finding that the positive work done over the last ten or more years is being almost totally disregarded. I don't think anyone was prepared for such an ideological stance as that held by the current ConDem bunch. Some commentators were warning us, Johann Hari of the Independant for example ... and Labour, of course, but we are now stuck with it for 5 years.

A Civil Servant contact, quite senior, tells me that one worrying thing is that instructions are coming in from the ministers for things to happen, Hunt's 50% cut to DCMS for example, and the non-elected staff in the dept then have to spend days, literally, explaining that many of the things the politicans want to do simply will not work, cannot work in the time frame they want, will end up with resulting services that will not be fit for purpose etc etc. On top of this, many of the ministers in the ConDems have a poor grasp of the political process and are expecting things to happen immediately without due and proper consultation with anyone.

I agree with Dundigging - we should all be prepared for a very different, maybe tragic, result to all of this. The positive madweasels says, well, things will change rapidly and then there will be a bedding in period and then we can all get things going again under a new arrangement, whatever that may be. The current madweasels, though, thinks 'oh my f**king God', it is going to be a blood bath.
Mad Weasel,

I too have contacts in 'high places' and they have also been told to expect 50% funding cuts...and she is the NHS!

Our 'profession' missed the boat when times were good and we were all shouting at each other about whether we should stay a loose knit institution or become chartered, as we have been doing since IFA conception.

In Northern Ireland What was EHS is now actively down playing archae works to allow the construction industry an all but free reign on new builds, all I am informed following pressure from Stormont. It is only a blessing that we are given our instructions from the county archs unlike the system in NI. At least the ConDems can?t knobble our system with out a big fight.
dundigging Wrote:What was EHS is now actively down playing archae works to allow the construction industry an all but free reign on new builds, all I am informed following pressure from Stormont. It is only a blessing that we are given our instructions from the [/FONT]county archs[FONT=Tahoma] unlike the system in NI. At least the ConDems can’t knobble our system with out a big fight.

It makes you wonder why we bother and at the risk of upsetting everyone who relys on developer led archaeology for their livelihood... oh, that's all of us... why? Who the flip is going to buy the houses? The unemployed archaeologists, NHS staff, QUANGO types, and every other suddenly surplus to requirement non frontline personnel?
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
By the way, my CS pal reckons that the DCMS will lose about 70 people by the end of the F/Y in April 2011 - closer to 12.5% staff cuts. He doesn't know what these losses will mean in cash terms percentagewise.

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