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Pay: an analysis
#11
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Tile man The outwage http://www.freewebs.com/outwageuk/ resource is useful but a) it is not a truly representative sample and b) There is confusion about job titles and no easy way of checking that equivalent jobs are being compared.

Well hold hard there!!.

OutwageUK currently contains the advertised wage rates of 86 different organisations employing archaeologists. I know that is not [u]every</u> employer, but it surely qualifies as a 'representative sample'.

The confusion over job titles is not that of OutwageUK, but that of the advertisers. I would love a simpler set of job titles (as I believe BAJR Host has also suggested in the past) but employers seem to have difficulty in grasping this point.

I intend to post a longer and more precise description of the aims of the OutwageUK survey, perhaps after the steam has run out of this strand a little (or maybe as soon as this Sunday if the weather is bad and I'm stuck indoors).

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#12
Sorry Kevin,
didn't mean to sound so harsh
Its useful as an indicator, and you can only deal with the data to hand,
but it is biased towards information about starting salaries, and those units that have advertised over a given period, so I would not like to use it as a firm basis for the overall wage levels of the kind I was interested.
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#13
I've recently had to accept a near 20% rise in my gas rates with not a hint of slow incremental rises. The relevant utility companies don't seem to be that worried about pricing themselves out of the market because they are all doing it. As for their reasons for doing it they could make up anything and it wouldn't make a bit of difference to my situation: I have to pay it.

Is the situation in archaeology so different?
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#14
A few points:

For a business fuel costs are much smaller than wage costs, and you would want to manage the likely sources of increased costs, to be able to handle unexpected increases.

we need energy, so are trapped by the energy companies, developers pay for archaeology because the are required to. I would expect a lot of complaints would be heard if they were suddenly faced with an unexpected new cost, as well as increased exploitation of available loopholes. We need to continuosly sell our selves and make our case to the people who pick up the tab.

If increases in wage costs are flagged up well in advance then everyone can manage that change.
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#15
Far too many archaeological employers are paying close to the minimum amounts that qualify that organisation to advertise jobs on BAJR and qualify for membership as an IFA RAO. I would argue that the ?minimum? wage which underlines qualification for BAJR adverts and IFA RAO status is far too low and needs to be changed.

Both IFA and BAJR minimum scale rates are based on local government scales. Roughly, the PIFA grade equates to scale 2, AIFA scale 3-4, and MIFA scale 5 and above. Why choose these scales? It can hardly be because the vast majority of archaeologists are employed by local authorities. Only one of the big 3 units in UK archaeology are a local government employer.

Most of this is probably historical. Well isn?t that what local government used to pay once upon a time when nearly everyone worked for a local authority? Possibly the case. But on what basis was the original grading arrived at?

In the case of one local authority employer (MoLAS), a grading review carried out in the early 80s concluded that an appropriate LG scale for experienced archaeologists would be grade 4, for supervisors grade 5 and for Project officers and above grade 6.

Other local authority employers seemed to have worked out grading based on a top-down basis. Archaeologists must get paid less that their betters. ?If the county Archaeologist is only on grade 4, how can we possibly pay the diggers any higher. No far better that they are paid less?.

I have heard the claim (from someone that still works for a local authority) that I don?t realise how difficult it is to organise and implement a pay review. I wouldn?t dispute this other than to say that there are local authority employers who have not undertaken an archaeological grading review in over 30 years and it seems to me that they would be unlikely to do so now.

I would argue that it is possible for IFA members to improve their pay rates by the simple device of proposing a motion at the next IFA AGM (September 2006) that the IFA minima for RAOs is raised. I would suggest to a minimum of ?300 pw for PIFA (vaguely LG grade 4), ?350 for AIFA (vaguely LG grade 5) and ?400 for MIFA. I wouldn?t bother with graduations over several years, but go for the ?big bang? effect that at least would create a ?dignity wage? threshold for archaeology.

The IFA ?management? may argue against this, but I am sure that the will of the membership would carry the motion. I don?t forsee a great revolt amongst RAOs. Some RAOs already pay these rates anyway. Those who leave as a protest against paying a living wage may be cutting off their nose to spite their face, particularly those who claim a ?dividend? from RAO membership (said to be worth ?250,000 a year by the head of one of the ?big 3? contracting units). Losing the right to advertise on BAJR might also be a disincentive for some RAOs.

Whilst any IFA member could propose an increase to the IFA minima motion, I would personally like to see it come from the Diggers Forum (which could then also set about canvassing for a ?Yes to a dignity wage? campaign).
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#16
And yes..... BAJR would implement this concept if it would be adhered to... what we don't want is for BAJR to act unilateraliy (As I have done in the past) and then find that units no longer advertise / Do not join the RAO scheme...

as long as people will work for nuppence then people will employ them...

Can 'we' collectively stand firm??? Would a sensible increase across the board work?? Would University Units (who are already having trouble with Human Resources about pay levels - I have been involved in at least 3 cases where the pay offered was lower than the min... but the staff were powerless because of Education Payscales)

This must be talked through at the IFA conference... and if PROSPECT will come out and actively support an initiative by BAJR /IFA / PROSPECT /SCAUM et al.... then perhaps we will see sensible pay and (more importantly) sensible conditions for work.. with security and prospects.

In Principal... Yes to a dignity wage has my full support. - As long as the others back it up to.... If I have to go it alone I will.... but first lets do as you suggest and try to act as one

Another day another WSI?
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#17
And yes..... BAJR would implement this concept if it would be adhered to... what we don't want is for BAJR to act unilateraliy (As I have done in the past) and then find that units no longer advertise / Do not join the RAO scheme...

as long as people will work for nuppence then people will employ them...

Can 'we' collectively stand firm??? Would a sensible increase across the board work?? Would University Units (who are already having trouble with Human Resources about pay levels - I have been involved in at least 3 cases where the pay offered was lower than the min... but the staff were powerless because of Education Payscales)

This must be talked through at the IFA conference... and if PROSPECT will come out and actively support an initiative by BAJR /IFA / PROSPECT /SCAUM et al.... then perhaps we will see sensible pay and (more importantly) sensible conditions for work.. with security and prospects.

In Principal... Yes to a dignity wage has my full support. - As long as the others back it up to.... If I have to go it alone I will.... but first lets do as you suggest and try to act as one

Another day another WSI?
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#18
Hi Kevin.
Whilst Outwage does have examples of ?300+ wages for ?experienced archaeologists? this includes a number of consultancies (so probably not PIFA equivalent) and London based companies ? so includes ?London weighting?.

I assume you are suggesting the pay increase to be implemented in April 2007 (incidentally the same time when RAO are being asked to standardise their benefits etc. after a few years consultation, negotiation and preparation).

This will represent (from my extremely scribbled on envelope?) a 13% rise for PIFA, a 13% pay rise for AIFA and a 0.5% pay cut for MIFA levels of work. For a unit comprising 2 MIFA, 5 AIFA and 10 PIFA this would represent a ?27,000 increase in costs for wages (not including increases in NI, Pensions etc.)

It would also mean the probable loss of university and local authority archaeologists that would then not be able to be RAOs.
I also personally think the bands should be greater to reflect varying levels of responsibility, but that?s possibly for another thread.
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#19
I would say that there is a strong arguement for archaeologists to be paid a 'dignity wage'. Of course this money has to come from somewhere and seeing as the majority of us are employed then that will have to be through an employer.

If you were to break your arguement down into day rates you will see that raising ?27,000 over the course of a year is very achievable. I estimate that your mythical firm of 17 persons would need to increase their day rates by approximately ?7 per person to meet my proposed increase.

?7 a day for a dignity wage. (Gosh that almost sounds like a slogan!!)

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#20
The mythical RAO unit may see it that way. Alternatively they may feel a tad uncomfortable bidding for a year long ptoject against a non RAO organisation who decides to fork out ?100 for an ad in the Guardian and so undercut the mythical RAO by ?27,000. And that's before factoring the increased costs due to employer's contributions, projects budgeted before the mandatory increase ( so the increased costs can't be passed onto the clients) and having to cover costs before the money for the project comes in on completion of project.
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