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IFA to join or not to join
Here I am yet again. the never ending question to join the IFA or not. As a field archaeologist of many years I have always come down on the side of not due to lack of any obvious support/interest in us muck monkeys. However, am I just sticking my head in the sand and missing vital information that would have me rushing for the application form? So many more units now say they want folk to be members, many with the approval of relevent unions, so is it a case of 'cave in and join under pressure' or find out they are actually working for us and happily become one of them?
Please help a confused, tired and emotional archy come to an informed, and hopefully final, decision on this ole chestnut.
many thanks
My opinion is do it, if you can afford it, as it benchmarks what you can do in archaeology and demonstrates your experience and commitment to employers and clients alike. In the absence of a system whereby to be an 'archaeologist' is open to those after a structured training programme it's the best indicator we currently have. It is also always better to be informed and membership is a good way to keeping up to date in the commercial/professional sector.
I have to agree with Chris - do it - i didnt for years but joined at AIFA then in the last few years upgraded to MIFA - it is the only benchmark we have for clients and potential employers - yes its open to ridicule but its better to be in than out complaining about it doing nothing - if we all join it has to to be better than sitting around complaining about it being useless (i know i spent years in site hut complaining about it)

The thing is - the knockers expect it to be able to wave a magic wand and in a sort space of time solve all the problems get everyone bumper pay rises and improve the perception of archaeology and archaeologists - that just isnt going to happen overnight - and by overnight i mean 'a few years' we are a young 'profession' it will take a long time in reality - but we can get there

A trowel is a thing to lust for!
The diggers' forum only costs a fiver and would give you a bit more information to help decide whether to invest the extra expense and hassle in full membersip.
I agree with all the above .... join ... at least the Diggers Forum... then take it from there.

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Posted by Beasley:
Quote:quote:...I have always come down on the side of not due to lack of any obvious support/interest in us muck it a case of 'cave in and join under pressure' or find out they are actually working for us and happily become one of them?
Depends what you mean by 'interest in us muck monkeys' and by 'working for us'.

If you want the IFA to act like a union, fighting for workers rights against the employers, then you are going to be disappointed. They aren't a union, and they try to represent the whole profession - including both the 'muck monkeys' and the management.

As I see it, their main interest is in professional standards, and labour relations/pay and conditions only come into it insofar as they relate to professional standards.

So, if you want to join and support an organisation that tries to promote and regulate higher professional standards in archaeology - join the IFA. If you want someone to fight your corner against the boss - join Prospect (but don't hold your breath).


to let, fully furnished
There are some PIFAs and AIFAs involved in the IFA's committees/council so the 'muck monkeys' do have representation and the Diggers forum have done a lot since their formation.

1m1d's assessment seems pretty fair to me.


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