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IfA reply to Diggers Forum statement on JIS
Diggers Forum Statement:

Quote: As DF members will be aware, the IfA Jobs Information Service (JIS) is one of the two main jobsites where archaeologists look for job vacancies in the UK. The IfA JIS also lists heritage and related jobs including National Trust vacancies and some university courses and post-grad places. It is provided as a free membership benefit to IfA members, and as a paid service to non-members. The IfA JIS is one of the most visible faces of the IfA to the wider profession and aspirant archaeologists and we strongly believe that all archaeological jobs advertised in the IfA JIS should comply with IfA regulations -including meeting or exceeding IfA minima where relevant.

Concern has been raised by DF members that occasionally over the past few years archaeological jobs have been advertised on the IfA JIS that do not appear to meet even the IfA minima. DF members have queried certain adverts with the IfA and have achieved some successes with revisions of pay for some advertised posts. Recently the Diggers' Forum has asked the IfA council to look into this matter -both regarding specific examples we have provided, and also into the general principle behind advertising archaeological jobs that fail to meet IfA pay minima. We also made constructive suggestions about the format of the IfA JIS to make it more user friendly. We are currently awaiting a report from the IfA in response to our concerns.

We strongly believe that subscribers to the IfA JIS should be able to trust the IfA jobs service and that adverts should be pro-actively checked before publication -and where there is any uncertainty the advertising organisation should be contacted and queried for clarification. Whilst the recommendations of the IfA benchmarking project showed that the IfA pay minima need serious upwards revision they are an important safety net for the livelihoods of field archaeologists and should be respected by employers, albeit as a minima.

The DF will continue to actively monitor the IfA JIS, and other jobsites and individual employers' websites, for sub-minima jobs and will continue to challenge such advertising.
We would be grateful to any members who can provide any substantive evidence for contravention of IfA minima or other regulations.

Response from Kate Geary on behalf of the IfA

Quote: Response from Kate Geary (IfA Training and Standards Manager) to Geoff Morley (IfA Council and Diggers? Forum ? IfA special interest group) in relation to comments emailed by the Diggers? Forum to its group membership (29/01/2010) regarding the IfA Jobs Information Service Bulletin (JIS).

Following our conversation re monitoring of JIS at the CWPA meeting last week, just a quick note to confirm the procedure:

The JIS Bulletin Compiler notifies me as early as possible if there are any adverts she has spotted which appear to pay below the relevant IfA minimum salary level so that I can contact the advertiser and request further information.

The completed JIS is sent to me for checking anyway before it is circulated and again, if I pick up any adverts which may cause problems, I contact the advertisers. Where posts appear to be offering salaries which fall below the relevant minima, I ask for clarification of a) the responsibility level of the post and b) where on the advertised scale the successful candidate is likely to be appointed. Although it sounds like it ought to be perfectly straightforward, there are grey areas around levels of responsibility (especially between PIfA and AIfA for Supervisor posts). There are also issues arising where organisations are obliged to advertise a particular scale which may start below the PIfA minimum. In these cases, we ask for an undertaking that successful candidates undertaking PIfA level responsibilities will be paid at or above the PIfA minimum. If we receive such an assurance, the post will be advertised with wording to that effect. As minimum salaries move away from the local government pay scale, this is likely to happen more often.

If archaeologists believe they are being paid below the minimum salary level for the level of responsibility/competence they are undertaking, they need to make a complaint against the RO using the established procedure.
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
Passing the buck...if there was even a buck to pass.
As someone who is on the verge of having to find yet another job (whatever and wherever it may have to be), I have one little axe to grind with the IFA JIS service. The fact that, if you are not a member of the IFA (for whatever reason), you have to pay them to get the leaflet (?20 for two months). Now I know that doesn't sound too much in the whole scheme of things... but at the moment ?20 is a pretty big ?20 that could be spent on food, heating and/or rent.

Thank heavens for BAJR! :face-approve:
See this page for some of the more comedy jobs in the IFA jobs bulletin, which presumably passed the rigourous checking process described above:

The issue is not so much "is this post PIFA or AIFA", but "why is this post so far below the PIFA mimimum?"
The final part of the statement above implies that mimimum salary requirements only applies to ROs placing adverts with the JIS, rather than ads pulled together from different sources. I for one think that the idea of having standards is undermined if you also facilitate people's avoiding them.
How much did the job dressing up as Henry the 8th pay? You did need to be able to grow a beard for that one...
I waited unitl this evening to voice my own opinions on this one... and am glad to see that I am not alone in the general... er.. ah... pardon!!!

Oxbeast does indeed bring up some crackers... from the past. I noticed today that the JIS was not too bad... (yes there is an online version available if you know where to look) there are few jobs that would not be allowed on the BAJR website. though the past few editions have had ones that would not make it... and a recent discussion highlighted that they were unsure about whether a job was PiFa or not for non RO jobs that they are happy to display

Don't worry - I did tell them - however it is up to them as a commercial enterprise to decide,

There are several things in the reply that I take issue with.

BAJR has always been seen as a 'commercial enterprise' and thus.. 'it is up to me who I allow advertise'

However.. and this is funny coming up now given my recent postings about teh JIS - and the IfA upset.

Correct me if I am wrong... the JIS accepts paid adverts... so is there a responsibility?
As Oxbeast says.. does the checking only apply to RO jobs.... the rest are fine?
As destroyingangel says... the information is sold to non-ifa (again a commercial enterprise)

I looked at teh IfA accounts and they turn over


JIS earned ?12,211 from revenue. admittedly from a ?904,215 turnover
which is down from over 16 grand a couple of years ago.. but still... 12 grand is 12 grand... what responsibility does this pay for?
if I had a million quid a year... blimey... i can only imagine what i could do. and the ifa do do things...

I would dearly like to see the IfA explain a few things

Can you promote good practice and decent pay with ROs but allow non ROs to advertise jobs that have issues

Can you pass the buck of responsibility by saying... well we just let people know... its up to them to decide.

Is it the 'job' of the ifa to deal with this...

they are not a union
they are not an employers group

I was under the impression that the iFa was to do with standards and guidance.. professionalism.. etc.. I am definitely behind that...

When you see an advert on BAJR you know it means (and yes I make mistakes... but sort them as soon as it is pointed out - and talk with employers to help make it right) that it is within the IfA and BAJR minima -- Yes BAJR survives on advert revenue... but I take responsibility for them..

I would ask teh IfA to join with me and stop advertising sub 15k jobs.. to agree that if the benchmark is to be seen as a real concept... it needs to address this last bastion of sub 15k jobs.

I support the ideal of the IfA - these ideals have to be seen in the JIS as well.
destroyingangel Wrote:As someone who is on the verge of having to find yet another job (whatever and wherever it may have to be), I have one little axe to grind with the IFA JIS service. The fact that, if you are not a member of the IFA (for whatever reason), you have to pay them to get the leaflet (?20 for two months). Now I know that doesn't sound too much in the whole scheme of things... but at the moment ?20 is a pretty big ?20 that could be spent on food, heating and/or rent.

Thank heavens for BAJR! :face-approve:

The JIS is offered as a service to IfA members. The purpose of it is the pull together advertisements for jobs, courses and studentships that are advertised in a variety of places (as well as the inclusion of adverts that are placed directly with the IfA) into one jobsheet that our members can subscribe to for free. The aim is that we do the legwork of looking through all of the various publications that heritage and heritage-related jobs appear in, so that our members don’t have to. Like all of our membership benefits, and like the membership benefits of all membership organisations, you need to be a member to benefit from them for free. We do however offer it to non-members for a subscription, non members need to pay to subscribe to it because it is a membership benefit, and they are not members.

Quote:Correct me if I am wrong... the JIS accepts paid adverts... so is there a responsibility?
As Oxbeast says.. does the checking only apply to RO jobs.... the rest are fine?
As destroyingangel says... the information is sold to non-ifa (again a commercial enterprise)

As Kate has explained in her the statement above, we do check adverts which are placed with us. We expect people who advertise with us directly, and our ROs to adhere to our pay minima. However as Kate has also explained there can be some grey areas, and breaking the link with local government pay scales means that our pay minima can be above what government departments are able to pay their employees, and this obviously causes problems.

The IfA is a not-for-profit organisation, not a commercial interprise. The Institute gains a small income from the JIS, but like all of our income, this is ploughed back into the Institute to fund the its activities.
I thank you for that reply... however it still does not deal with the fundamental question of

a) not taking responsibility for adverts that are not paid for
b) not taking responsibility for non-RO adverts.

This surely undermines the principal that ROs could indeed find adverts on the JIS that are below their requirements (as ROs) simply because they are collected from various sources. such as and the ( remembering that reselling information from some sources requires permission from the advertisers)

For example ...

if this group were an RO would they be allowed...

The Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen: Education & Outreach Officer (? not specified, p/t, 30 hpw with a view to extending to f/t).

was this checked first to ensure the pay was acceptable?

Visitor Reception Assistant National Trust (weekends) CO Heelis (?13,297-?14,470 p/r, p/t,

Is that a job that IfA accredited professionals want? I suppose it is up to them would be the answer.?

or this advert (which did not appear in BAJR)

Essex CC, Braintree: Temporary ?As & When? Project Assistants (Band 2-3, according to an advisor at the council this equates to ?14,587-?16,278/?16,663-?21,306, Ref. WE-EC03488)

as you say... there can be grey area... and so I (like you ) always call up and ensure all is well - these adverts often get the words BAJR approved, to show that I have checked this advert... something that JIS could consider - as it promotes good practice and shows commitment.

I could go on with hundreds of jobs over the years. etc

The trouble comes when just gathering from various sources... you end up with no responsibility or control of content... other than ones that you receive directly and are paid for. (Correct me if I am wrong - perhaps you do call up and check whether non paying adverts are acceptable)

I long ago removed Guardain Ads and ads from BAJR (brought in via their rss feeds and linking directly to their websites as required) as I had no control over content, so jobs could appear on BAJR that would not meet my criteria.

I realise that the IfA are a non profit making group - however you can't get away from the fact that you are charging for adverts and also selling the JIS to non IfA both commercial and revenue building activities.

We should not get away from the core of the DF argument

They say that the IfA - if it is to promote pay and conditions - must ensure that all its activities promote this ideal, and understand that you can't promote with one hand... but allow lesser conditions with the other.

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