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Pay: an analysis
Quote:quote:Originally posted by troll

By watching them on site sir!Big Grin


I'll clarify to the level of wage. Working for 10 years in the field in itself does not mean that said individual will be as capable as another individual with the same number of years employment.

I think Tile Man's comments about linking pay to (for example) CPD course attendance etc are worth exploring.

Of the Clan Sutton
Agreed.... that way there is a goal for those that want to get more pay and responsibility


This will be voiced at the Diggers Forum and BAJR Conference

Another day another WSI?
A little more radical but ultimately desirable for reasons including improved pay and conditions, is a more professional and accurate method of pricing and tendering contracts, something I have queried before.

I recommend an article by Michael Heaton in TA 59 (Winter 2006) (pause for booing and hissing by certain contributors...) pages 34-35. Heaton is a contractor and consultant and is studying building surveying and construction management at university, and has used almost the identical words that I once used - "no civil engineering contractor or building contrcator would undertake a project on this basis" (the "basis" being the conventional archaoelogical method). This is very true, I can assure you.

Heaton goes on to show how the standard method of measuring construction quantities (SMM7, I won't bore you further) can easily be adapted for archaeology. If archaeological contracts were measured and priced properly in this way, as he says the contractor "could not lose money" (actually he could, as can a building contractor, but not if the job was managed satisfactorily). Tenders can be evaluated on a true like for like basis, and work done is actually paid for.

I raise this here as I believe that such a practice would lead to more consistent employment, certainly better site conditions, and more realistic pay levels.

Not meaning to be rude but I am still find it astonishing that such practices are not industry standard already.

Have a look chaps. I'd love this to be raised/discussed at the BAJR and IFA conferences.

We owe the dead nothing but the truth.
There are several reasons why a substantial, dramatic increase in the IFAs recommended pay minima is better than the phased increase over ten years suggested by Tile Man.

1) The problem of low pay in field archaeology is scandalous - it needs solving now, not later. In ten years time, when the benefits would be fully felt, many now serving field archaeologists may no longer be in the job! Its difficult enough to attract such people into the IFA already and the promise of jam in ten years will not be enough.

2) From the above discussion, it seems that a dramatic increase could be achieved immediately without damaging the competitiveness of units. If it could be achieved, why not go for it?

3) The big problem with increases phased over the next ten years is that nobody knows what will 'naturally' happen to archaeology wages over that time. It seems likely that there will be some pressure for wages to rise anyway due to fewer archaeology graduates (fees etc). Some of my colleagues claim to be seeing the beginnings of that trend already - Personally,I'm not sure about now, but I am certain that it will happen.

In that context the IFA will be wedded to a scheme of 2% increases above average wages, and may well find that they are - intentionally or not - acting as a brake once again on wage levels. So what at first appeared a progressive scheme ends up as no change in the medium term.
No I suggested a target date for 2010, not in ten years time.

If RAOs were forced to increase their wage cost by 13% in April 2007 they would loose local government and university units. The remaining 40 (?) odd RAOs will then have a choice to tender for projects with a considerable cost disadvantage to non-RAOs which choose not, or are not allowed, to follow the minimum levels. Or they could leave the RAO system and remain in business.

The only mechanism I can think of to promote a pay increase of that scale is for there to be a mass boycott/ strike at units that paid below the desired threshold.
Quote:quote:My back of the envelope exercise suggest that PIFA can be bought in line with the desired level over 3 years with a 2% above the annual average wage increase (AAWI) currently c. 4%. AIFA needs 5% above AAWI over 8 years and MIFA needs 5% above AAWI over 9 years.

Sorry Tile man, I'm guilty of not looking at the detail. However, I think your proposal for the PIFA grade is too low, and for AIFA and MIFA you are proposing to phase in over 8 and 9 years respectively.
The problems with a graduated increase that I highlight still apply.

The IFA will look truly egregious if, in 5 years time or so, it is still recommending rates that are acting as a brake on 'naturally' (insofar as the labour market is 'natural'!) rising wages in archaeology.
I don't see how the recomended rates act as a break on wages in archaeology. There is still an 'over supply' of people wanting to work as archaeologists, and I don't see that being reduced in the near future. If there were not enough people to fill a particular type of role then the cost would go up regardless of what minimum was set.

I did say that model had problems, but I was concentrating on a machanism to get PIFA to a desired wage level- what level do you thing the starting point for PIFA should be set at?

Quote:quote:Originally posted by Tile man

If RAOs were forced to increase their wage cost by 13% in April 2007 they would loose local government and university units.

Sorry if I have missed something here, but why can't local government and university employers increase wages in line with the rest of the profession? There are plenty of local authority and university units who already pay the suggested new minima of ?300 pw for PIFA level staff and similarly higher amounts for AIFA and MIFA.

Are you suggesting that the profession should only progress as fast as its slowest member?

As I understand it University departments have to justify pay increases through their human resources departments (as BAJR HOST said earlier on this thread) For Local government pay increases of the sort we want would require re-grading those jobs within those authorities, as you observed earlier in this thread. I can think of one (alleged) case in the last few years where a regarding was recommended and then not implemented for some dubious reasons amounting to ?it would have cost too much?

In terms of the numbers paying at or above ?300 PW as far as I can tell from OUTWAGE: there are 9 organisations (17%) paying that for ?experienced archaeologists? For 1 that is explicitly London weighted pay, and I imagine for UCL as well. The top three are the environmental agency and 2 consultancies, so I am guessing that for those ?experienced archaeologist? means something other than PIFA. This leaves English Heritage, which is national government, and possibly one county council and 2 commercial organisations in that bracket ? so I?m afraid I have to disagree with your statement about ?plenty paying at these rates?

Pay rates will progress only as fast as organisations feel that they will not go bust because they are paying significantly more than their competitors.
Hi Tile Man, to reply to your earlier question I think 300 is a good basic wage for a site assistant (just as Kevin is suggesting in fact) as long as there is scope for paying experienced workers more than that (which is a different discussion). That is in fact what my employer pays as a starting wage, so you can add another one to Kevin's survey (we don't appear in Outwage figures). That makes it four units paying that much as well as some more 'possibles' that we know of. Why don't other units pay that much if four can manage it? - it may have something to do with the most influential body in british archaeology saying that ?258 is a perfectly sufficient amount.... But if four can manage it, so can the rest... not phased in but now (or next year to be realistic!).

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