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5 years time.....
#71
I know people working for firms who've been asked to go to a 3-day week, to cut costs, and others who've been asked to work 11 hour days and weekends for the basic day-rate. I've also heard of a large firm who are now paying staff less than I was getting when I first started out on the circuit, over 10 years ago. There appears to be a very real danger that any advances towards increased wages made over the preceding decade are being quickly eroded, with the argument being that it's better to have any job than nothing. However, the cynic in me thinks that when (if) the situation improves, companies will continue with the lower wages and harser terms, rather than automatically reverting to the pre-recession standards.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#72
Marcus Brody Wrote:I know people working for firms who've been asked to go to a 3-day week, to cut costs, and others who've been asked to work 11 hour days and weekends for the basic day-rate. I've also heard of a large firm who are now paying staff less than I was getting when I first started out on the circuit, over 10 years ago. There appears to be a very real danger that any advances towards increased wages made over the preceding decade are being quickly eroded, with the argument being that it's better to have any job than nothing. However, the cynic in me thinks that when (if) the situation improves, companies will continue with the lower wages and harser terms, rather than automatically reverting to the pre-recession standards.

marcus - i can understand that to keep people employed some firms need to reduce staff hours but i cant understand why anybody should be asked to work 11 hour days and weekends at the basic rate. nor can i understand the rationale for paying people less than you earnt 10 years ago.

what you seem to be describing are firms that are exploiting staff in order to undercut for contracts. this is deplorable and obscene - further examples of unscrupulous operators trying to make a profit without due regard to their staff. we all suffer from this kind of undercutting and the only winners in the long term are the fat developers who can get cheap archaeology from stupid firms making a quick buck!!

these firms need to be named and shamed bajr - they will damage us all

diggingthedirt - will you help?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#73
P Prentice Wrote:......but i cant understand why anybody should be asked to work 11 hour days and weekends at the basic rate. nor can i understand the rationale for paying people less than you earnt 10 years ago....

Try reading the contract (and asking the right questions) before you sign?
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#74
This is horrendous - and I can't see why you think a comment like "try reading the contract (and asking the right questions) before you sign" is going to help!!!!

Thinks are terrible in the labour market right now and this is blatantly exploiting people who are unable for whatever reason to decline. Is this company IFA registered? And if not does it advertise on BAJR?
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#75
None of the companies involved are members of the IFA, and none (to my knowledge) have had to advertise on BAJR. This is perhaps the root of the problem - they've all been able to find people to work under these conditions without having to formally advertise vacancies, even when the hours of work or rate of pay have been explained up front. It's easy for me to sit here and say I'd have told them to shove it, as I'm currently lucky enough to have a job, but I'm not so sure I'd have wanted to turn down a job if I'd been unemployed for several months and needed to find something to pay the bills. Although I have in the past turned down work because I felt the wage was too low, and walked off sites where I thought the company was taking the piss as regards the treatment of staff, that was at a time when there was far more work available, and I could be confident of picking something else up fairly quickly. I know it would only serve to perpetuate the exploitation of staff, but I'm not confident I'd be so willing to walk away from a similar situation in the current economic climate.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#76
Its such a tough one! Short term work or longer term benifits and there is no easy answer when you need work now and this is all there is, people know that their being shat on from a great height but are powerless to do anything about it so the situation becomes self perpetuating
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#77
As someone who has solely plied the commercial archaeology route, I would have to recommend academia to anyone pursuing a 5-year career plan. There is nothing you can achieve in 5, or even 10, years of commercial archaeology that would make the misery and sacrifice worth while. Maybe to me academia seems like a halcyon career of long term employment, reasonable wage structures and sun-kissed field schools in exotic locations, and some lecturer types can put me right on this, but if someone were to insist on pursuing archaeology then I can't conceive of any career plan that you could follow within commercial archaeology that could offer the apparent rewards and comforts of academia. Plus they seem to do more interesting archaeology, under less pressure.

Still, I fear there is little advice you can offer someone starting out in field archaeology. We were all there once, and I remember vividly all my lecturers and workmates on my training digs warning me of the horrors and disappointments of a career in archaeology, but at such a tender age you convince yourself that you are quite happy spending your life living out of the back of a fiesta, and spending whatever pittance you got paid for being an underpaid, overqualified navvy on the strongest drink you can find to dull the pain in your joints. I honestly think that students and other prospective archaeologists just don't believe us: they're convinced it's all some scam to keep them out, and that secretly we're all pushing wheelbarrows full of cash around our mansions chuckling at the fools who are scared off by our miserable posturing. I've actually heard them say "it can't be that bad, otherwise no-one would do it."
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#78
@Devilish Advocate, best post I've read in ages. "I've actually heard them say "it can't be that bad, otherwise no-one would do it." "
Oh the naivety of youth...

However, academia is nowhere near as secure as it once was, departments are shedding staff
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#79
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.

I think this has all been said before, but its not always archaeological companies under-cutting other ones and stiffing the diggers deliberatly - although I know this happens (it happen to me on several occasions as a digger).
Some larger (utilities) construction companies are sometimes the ones stiffing the archaeologists.........I have heard (second hand) of such a company forcing an archaeology unit to re-do their tender to make it cheaper 'or you wont get the contract' and 'we wont pay overtime rates or traveling time for your diggers'.

Also 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?' (they conveniently forgot all the bonuses they pay their own staff to do so!) and it took ages of going round in circles to avoid that one....one company even suggetsed we worked round the clock in three shifts using floodlights! (coz their guys did).

But at the end of the day I feel I (and others) should be paid time and a half for overtime............which seems to be a thing of the past. The only outcome was working 40 hour weeks and miffing off some diggers who wanted the extra money of working the extra hours.

You just can't win!
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#80
Jack Wrote:I have heard (second hand) of such a company forcing an archaeology unit to re-do their tender to make it cheaper 'or you wont get the contract' and 'we wont pay overtime rates or traveling time for your diggers'.

Surely that still falls within the definition of undercutting?
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