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Pay Scales
#1
4HB, I share your concerns about archaeologists working for minimum wage but increasing the trainee rate substantially above current levels would force an increase to all pay scales, something that commercial archaeology companies won't agree to. It was only in 2000 that a company in the SE was paying trainees ?150 pw so ?200 pw does represent real progress.

I don't entirely buy the idea that archaeologists should expect parity with other graduate professions, who should new entrants into field archaeology claim parity with? If graduates are intelligent enough to obtain a degree then surely they should have had the sense to check out pay scales and career progression before they got into the job.

I'm all in favour of increased pay and better conditions but trying to claim too much will only set back the progress which has been made in recent years.
#2
You are right and right Bolton.. If too much pressure is placed on companies then the reverse effect is seen with companies collapsing... wages increasing and nobody winning... 200 quid aweek is not bad when you comare to other jobs that are out there (and lets not forget that we should also enjoy what we are doing... and getting paid a reasonable ? per week)

What we will ahve to work on is the fact that (and I am talking as someone who used to make ?500 a week but still only took home 11grand a year!!) we have no real structure to our profession, no career ladder, no security from one week/month/year to the next... only by getting married to a non archaeologist am I actually sitting in a house!

BAJR and many others are working on this... because it affects us all...

?200 is not bad if it was every week... but.......

Stick with BAJR, The Digger, et al and we can make a difference


#3
Hang on a minute,

The important point is that progress is being made and some structure is emerging. At least there is a recognition that paid trainee posts are needed. Hopefully we have seen an end to new graduates working for nothing just to get the experience in order to get a badly paid job. Now that is progress.

Peter Wardle
#4
David,

maybe the best way of ensuring that pay levels continue to increase, to the benefit of us all not just trainees, is to work towards a system of competency based nationally recognised grades tested and accredited by a chartered body.
#5
You are right BoltonSquand.... I can say that there are such things as CPDs and the TORC website talks about training and standards in archaeology. The problem I see is one of complexity and nationally recognised standards being accepted.

A chartered body is one of the only ways to have these recognised.

The IFA has been promising that for years (or is that decades??).

BAJR is only one bloke (and his sweet grey haired old mother on accounts, paperwork and secretarial work!!)- I will however be looking into ways forward.

Any suggestions??
#6
Simplicity is the answer. It must also be inclusive. It must also be quick and easy. Surely most of the things are in place already. The NVQ are being established etc.

What is needed is a quick fair and easy means of establishing everybody?s position on the BAJR grading system. It must also be inclusive. This must be followed by an easy mechanism for being able to move up a grade.

The point of having a qualification is to get a better job and earn more money. Therefore what is needed is a qualification that shows somebody is ready for promotion ie a technician becoming a supervisor, a supervisor a project officer etc. That is the person has the relevant skills, experience and training to take a step up. There also must be an emphasis that such a qualification is not a substitute for membership of a professional body which has wider functions.

First compile a list of all British Archaeologists, what they do and who for and what grade they think they are etc. This can be compiled from existing databases or by emailing the organising organisation. Better still get organisations, or individuals to email list of staff, so a database can be easily compiled. (How about adding fields to registering for membership of this bulletin board.)

Second establish what is required to be ready to make the next grade ie obtaining a NVQ or similar.

Third establish a system of independent mentors to check that somebody is ready for promotion and check there existing qualifications.

Fourth ? email everybody of their current grading and tell them what is required to obtain a qualification showing they are ready for promotion. If somebody is not happy with their grading then all they have to do is go through the process for obtaining the next grade qualification ? verbal examination by a mentor from a higher grade.

Just a thought for discussion.

Peter Wardle
#7
Annual reviews of ones performance and skills is the obvious way for employers to assess their staff and for people to demonstrate their suitability for a promotion and for future performance/training targets to be set.

Unfortunately few units appear to have any real grading system with annnual reviews in place that allows staff to move up the scale. Also as many of us are on temporary contracts etc we're never around for an annual review anyway.

And the main problem is that no matter how well an individuals performance may increase, so they can justifiably ask for promotion, its still comes down to whether a unit has an operational need for it. There are far too many eager graduates for a limited pool of jobs and if everybody who could justfiably ask for a promotion got one we would have a profession full of PO's and no diggers.
#8
David,

The problem of having standards nationally recognised is a thorny one, none of the currently existing national bodies, with the possible exception of EH, are suitable to administer such a scheme as all have differing agendas and interests. The IFA being self-elected and self-regulating, despite partial recognition within the industry, has no statutory teeth when it comes to defining standards and grade levels, any guidelines which they issue are free to be ignored by any organisation or individual who for whatever reason decline to apply for membership. SCAUM and ALGAO represent narrow sectors within archaeology and the CBA is the mouthpiece of the industry to the public. We need an independant body representative of all the sub-professions within archaeology, an organisation which is seen to be impartial, all-inclusive and has effective control of who is allowed to operate as an archaeologist, at what level and what the renumeration should be for each level. Statutory legislation controls many aspects of archaeology and DCMS effectively controls pay levels at the MoL so the precedent is there for Government intervention, maybe a chartered organisation administered by EH with civil service pay scales could be a way forward.

Comments please!
#9
Dear Bolton....

you have hit the nail square on the head... only a Chartered Organisation has any chance of enforcing Standards, Pay SCales Careers etc etc. It is what many of us (inc u I suspect) are working for. All that BAJR can do is set levels and guides which Units (and I am grateful to them for this) will respect.

In a way the CBA and the IFA are almost merginging into the same type of organisation... Though I must confess that I trust teh CBA a whole lot more.

I do believe that the IFA has a role to play.. though I have yet to see one single scrap of evidence tha they are wlling to put their neck out and be a governing body.... 22 years later and still there are no hard and fast rules... no chartered status... no fixed pay levels... etc It is too easy to lay into the IFA and I would rather look at their strong points providing guidence documents and a code of conduct that I hope we all adhere to.

BAJR can and will, with the suport of others push for the recognition that our chosen path deserves... but I can only do that with others.. not alone. I would appreciate some handy hints that we can put forward - perhaps in the DIgger!... EH do seem to be a more toothey than HS or CADW... but we have to have an inclusove organisation that all agree to and all find fair...

BAJR alreaddy sets wages at Governmental Levels.. and their have been no complaints (perhaps that is what the IFA were worried about) but I also have to hope that companies that pay sub BAJR levels will not find workers to fill the vacancies... only when we have a consensus (and even Union involvement) can we start to look forward.

I think perhaps I should go to sleep now..

[xx(]
#10
I believe that Chartered status for the IFA is the only way forward. Much as though I dislike the IFA for all the reasons that BAJR host mentions (as well as some more), it seems that introducing yet another body into the equation, as BoltonSquanderer seems to suggest, would just add to the confusion. We need fewer bodies in UK archaeology, I think.

EH is not the one to do it. Their responsibility must surely be in protecting the archaeology and heritage in state ownership, and in developing strategic initiatives and frameworks. HS and CADW are in the same boat, really.

CBA is more of an umbrella organisation for a whole range of groups which includes many amateur and 'fringe' elements as well as academic and professional bodies. I think they play a good role in keeping all sides of the complex entity that is archaeology in communication. Professional archaeologists are, however, only one component in the CBA's multi-layered constituency.

This brings us back to the IFA. I for one have always eschewed membership, but am increasingly tending to the view that I should join and change it from the inside?

There is much more to be considered than just wages (important though they are) which the IFA does at least attempt to address, in its own rather ineffectual way.


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