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5 years time.....
Quote:To survive an archaeological company has to win tenders.

I and another friend always put in a tender that meets the requirements and give the client the best value and ensures we have enough to eal with the archaeology -I never undercut, I look at what my bottom line is as an archaeologist. what can I offer as added value? Both she and I are still in business after 20 + years Smile and client get more than they bargained for. In a recent project it is now a major art exhibition and the report was such that the buyers honestly said they would have paid more for the houses. The client is amazed that archaeology adds value.. they always saw it as trying to stifle development - Is that our fault? For not explaining? IT is now seen by the public as a means to stop development (not true) IT should be seen as a way for developers to enhance development.

At a price that includes innovative ways to display our work. loveHERITAGE? I do! and so should developers - after all they used to see the point........... when it was offered to them. Lets be daring... lets cost in a scaffold gantry on that great site .... lets cost in a talk? lets not do the minimum, lets offer the best. OR perhaps when we undercut for the last time, we find we can't afford to do it anymore. and may as well go back to hobby status. WE need a grown up talk... where we look to a serious future that offers the best.. not the minimum, cut to the bone so much, we may as well not do it. After all... whats the point if all we do is the least possible? for the least possible... and no longer act as archaeologists?

I should add - the end result of undercutting... is the company surviving - until it folds !
And here we get back to the same old story - given our proffession it absolutely amazes me the inability of archaeological companies and archaeologists to think long term!

The current situation is not sustainable! If you tender on the basis of doing the bare minimum and pray you dont find anything it will backfire.

We can not just keep slashing prices and forcing staff into worse and worse conditions. But you know what - we did it to ourselves!

When times were good what did we do? Did we band together and bargin effectively for change? Did we unionise? Did we hell - and now than things have taken a turn for the worst we are in a much worse position then ever.

Quote:When times were good what did we do? Did we band together and bargin effectively for change? Did we unionise? Did we hell - and now than things have taken a turn for the worst we are in a much worse position then ever.
Strangely I was in a company the other day having a chat as you do... and apart from the general air of "what is it all about" these same words were said.

Now there is no Obi Wan Kenobi to save us... believe it or not, we have to be grown ups and do it ourselves. given our record.. I would say "Lord of the Flies" would be tame compared to what we will do in the coming years :face-huh:
Jack Wrote:This issue of long hours, overtime rates (or not) traveling time and expenses on some larger jobs, and who's fault it is, is a complex issue......on at least two jobs I (as the project officer) refused to work extra hours at normal rate (saying overtime should be time and a half), on one job me and my manager had to fight the client's mentality of 'well our guys work 12 hour days 6 days a week on a flat rate so why can't you?'....The only outcome was working 40 hour weeks and miffing off some diggers who wanted the extra money of working the extra hours....

Even at single rate 72 hours = nearly 2 weeks wages for 1 week's work (and lets face it, all the workforce do back at the accomodation is watch c**p kids tv when they could be getting paid), are you the reason why I don't seem to be getting the big paydays anymore...not happy, and neither's my bank account!!!!! Sad!
Are you serious? Of course its not two weeks pay for one weeks work - its two weeks pay for two weeks work crammed into a single week!

Some of us do actually have a life and interests outside work and shock horror do more in the evening than watch tv. I for one expect to be properly compensated for driving myself to exhaustion
Marcus Brody Wrote:But if they don't win the contracts, the diggers will be out of a job anyway, and will be moaning about those lazy fekkers back in the office being incapable of finding enough new sites to keep the staff employed. I don't want to see anyone being exploited, I don't think diggers should have to travel hundreds of miles a day for buttons, but if the firm doesn't win new jobs, the diggers will be out of work anyway.

the problem lies in there being too many firms undercutting to win these contracts. it wouldnt matter to most diggers who they were working for as long as the pay and conditions were appropriate. in fact contracts could be longer because more would be being dug rather than evermore less.

you know where the answer lies marcus - but i dont know why you resist
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
P Prentice Wrote:you know where the answer lies marcus - but i dont know why you resist

Sorry to disabuse you, but I don't know where the answer lies - perhaps you could explain?

I think you make a good point that most diggers wouldn't care who they were working for if the pay and conditions were appropriate, but as long as there's one company out there that is willing to undercut, everyone else is forced to one extent or another to try to reduce costs to win work. While there will always be a limited number of developers willing to pay more for a quality product, or to consistently use a contractor they've work with in the past because they know said contractor does a good job, in most cases the decision as to which archaeologist is appointed is based solely or wholly on cost. The only way to take the possibility of undercutting out of the equation would be to remove archaeology from the commercial sphere altogether, possibly by a system of state or council-funded regional excavation units. While I'm not adverse to this as an ideal, realistically it's not going to happen any time soon, as neither national or local government will have the money to create such a system. That being the case, there's always going to be the possibility of being undercut by someone tendering deliberately low to win the job
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
This seems to be an example of a regional body setting up a structure in which to undertake archaeology. Not sure if they are a recognised archaeological organisation but it appears that a contractor was selected. Are you saying that the contractor was selected on price?

Reason: your past is my past
the answer to most of our miseries is in licensing commercial archaeology
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers

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