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Quote:based on enough value being placed on archaeology and heritage

That is it... really... and we do this how? Often by writing reports that no-one reads, or by stories in a local press ... read by people who were interested anyway...

Time Team did more than anything raise the profile and we ( myself included) snarked at them... WE promote ourselves as _________________ to ___________ by means of _________________ fill in blanks.

I think that many ROs will want no increase... and so negotiation and compromise may have to be considered - however.... with assurances. as you say the never never is a favourite... I sat on that 2008 panel that agreed on teh way ahead... and a timescale. ... hmmm... nothing happened.
( it was a decent excuse with the financial crisis which affected us all ) But rather than taking the time to reorganise and discuss and create a stronger profession we seem to have done lots of talking ( Southport anyone?) and remained exactly the same if perhaps a little more vicious / undercutting / commercially non viable. Profit margins are next to nothing... to the point where if the archaeology is secondary and the profit is marginal... what is the point?

Trowels model is a working one... and there is a few ways to crack this nut. but it involves a seismic shift in attitude and a bit of collaboration between what bizzarely seems to be competing sectors.
get rid of the whole commercial tender system and have local units funded by a tax levied on the building trade so no big bills when it comes to developing .............

and pigs will fly (but not in an angry birds kind of way)

But seriously I think we as a profession are in crisis and have been for a long time. The economic crisis has made it worse but if we cannot answer

Quote:WE promote ourselves as _________________ to ___________ by means of _________________ fill in blanks.
then we have a problem.

I suppose this is all made even more difficult by the fact that we have such a web of problems that means it is impossible to untangle a single thread or issue. We come in with a degree to do manual labour on short term contract and low wages, short term so no incentive to train us, training we do get adhoc and hugely varied, little value based on field skills so in order to progress have to move out of field so less experienced diggers to offer support and training to those starting out, short term contracts and low wage means periods of unemployment and wage not enough to support through this, low self esteem/feeling worthless, so glad of job take anything on any terms, frightened if dont someone else will, someone else does, no need for improvement in pay, those that escape this cycle have attitude of I did it so why cant others, tension within profession between office and site, unwillingness by either to see other point, translates to feelings between units, fear of being undercut, cut costs to aviod, staffing costs cut, low wages, people work for low wages .............................Sad!
I think you are both right (David and TF) and in his normal cynical manner so is Uo1. This situation will resolve itself however, probably sooner than most people imagine, I suspect because the imperative for developers to pay for the cost of archaeology will be removed from the planning process.

Where will that leave the profession? Dead in the water for the vast majority of its practitioners. The same units and contractors that couldn't see the wood for the trees prior to PPG 16 throwing them a bottomless pit of easy to earn monies will return to the morass from which they arose. Those of us lucky enough to have retained a degree of independence or distance from the dog-eat-dog world of day to day contracted indifference, might be able to struggle on ploughing our own little furrows of personal interest. I think the commercial model is too exposed in its business model and single source of funding to be able to offer much in the way of improvement in terms and conditions. So whilst the debate is interesting and the current consultation may offer some small improvement, it isnt going anywhere in the long term.

Still I am already looking forward to being asked to recollect how we used to survive as archaeologists in those days before the living became too easy!! Might be a late career in that...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
May be I could write my autobiography and become a millionaire author talking of times gone by in the forgotten age of commercial archaeology before the barriers came down and there was wages and jobs for all :face-kiss:
Cannot help thinking the real battle we should be fighting is to win the hearts and minds of the public to ensure that archaeological mitigation remains part of the planning process. With this current Government's not so subtle policies for de regulating planning we are going to get shafted big time in the not too far and distant future.

Much as I would like to see good wage agreements in place it is all so much p...... in the breeze that preceeds the oncoming hurricane.

When really enthusiastic youngsters ask me how do they get into archaeology my heart bleeds for them.
This is all part of the same thing - how do we work together as an industry. Working together for a small 1.7% + pay rise would show that we could do it on a small scale - then we can look at moving en-mass to fight against deregulation.
Wax Wrote:Cannot help thinking the real battle we should be fighting is to win the hearts and minds of the public to ensure that archaeological mitigation remains part of the planning process

But as Hamlet might say therein lies the rub.......I totally agree that we need to engage the public in the spirit and impotance of our research, but then we go and spoil it all by selling ourselves short through our unfortunate parasitism with the planning system. What we need to sell to the public is the concept that our research is important and that we deserve to be rewarded for our efforts. The planning system and its involvement with archaeology is an unfortunate hang-on from the 80s that has helped to create the concept of commercial archaeology, but has done little if anything to advance our discipline. Unfortunately whilst the public is being bombarded with the idea that teachers, social workers, librarians, doctors and nurses are expensive luxuries that can just about be tolerated, we stand little chance as a profession of rising very much in the public esteem....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
I think we should concentrate on the matter in hand - there are huge problems, no is denying that but we need to not getting bogged down
BAJR Wrote:

not sure why you are perpetuating the fallacy that the wider economic climate prevents fieldworkers from earning a living wage?
not sure why you think that some large ro's would pull out of the ifa if they had to pay their staff a living wage
not sure why it is not the business of the ifa to require its members to pay their staff a living wage, when it is manifestly indecent to prolong the current status quo
i am sure that it is the consultants and senior managers that benefit from keeping wages down but i am less sure that we need them (us) for the industry to thrive.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
Bodger51 Wrote:The problem it appears we are trying to tackle with the pay grades works on the basis of restructuring the heritage sector.

By and large this comes down to wether the work is undertaken to privately fill a nieche, publicly provide a service of data accumulation (exponential) for interest purposes, educationally improve the cognition required to compile said data and then predominantly negotiate the dynamical structure we are parts of.

The principle issue exists at the Small scale of the SME, where accrued debts and profit appear on balance sheets as liminal market outliers of significance to bank managers, whilst the clustered incidents of such businesses formulate standards in high risk competition states on balance sheets.

The issues arise when profit is amassed to offset, or extract company dividends.

The ethics within this are generally based upon cultural character norms and individualised pressured character factors.

It is at this point you have the disjuncture between the interests of public interest data accumulations and operational culture operatives.

So in returning to pay grades the IFA plays the role of professional interest in negotiating between Prospect and FAME.
The removal of the IfA removes this element to restructural sector politics in garnering support etc.

Conversely this then asks the IfA if their position is vocally apparent 'to' and 'for' whom.

This introduces the Prospect debate where there is disquiet about whom is represented.

Admittedly, at this point the only sector quiet at this stage is the educational aspect, whilst it being based within University facilities would belie that to being 'silent/observational/omnipotence'.

This is especially apparent when research remains outside of the norm interests, or worth while vocal participation when there are inter-departmental publication competitions.

Its almost like their just abscent but whilst perpetually represented.


Now to move on about whom has the right.

whose interested in talking about balance sheets, overheads, margins and strategy?

My bet is not.

if you write the equation as a narrative you have to remember that most people require places to rhyme the reasonSmile
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers

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