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Movement on the living wage?
#21
You are not comparing eggs with eggs. >> I think that’s it..

You can’t compare poverty in a village in Darfur with Poverty here in the UK.



I would suspect you might not enjoy living on a diggers wage for a year…

So… 3 months of wages.. then a couple of weeks off.. (Remember to keep paying the rent…) find another job… find another place to live and get there… (Remember to pay a months rent in advance – unless you are lucky to get free accommodation – of course you don’t get to be picky about where you live – and often have to share with people you might not normally share with.) then the contact ends and it all starts over again.. you must have done this in your time.. Then you have no job and winter is here… the money you saved from your whopping £270 a week goes on staying alive over a month or two….unless you get lucky and find a job where you dig in the ice… or even better a post ex job… So say you get to dig for 9 months a year… on 270 a week.. (lets not include the extras… which are non standard and means you are not working for 3 months) you have just made an amazing 10,500

Heres the figures

Wage Summary..........Per Year ......Per Month ......Per Week
Gross Pay.............10,500.00 ......875.00 ......201.92
Tax free Allowances...4,335.00 ......361.25 ......83.37
Total taxable............6,165.00 ......513.75 ......118.56
Tax paid...............1,222.95 ......101.91 ......23.52
National Insurance......706.80 ......58.90 ......13.59
Total Deductions .....1,929.75 ......160.81 ......37.11


Giving you 8571 in your hand.

So divide by 365 days and see what you have – just over 23 quid. Or £164 a week. (albeit not every week that is averaged out over the entire year.. so some weeks you have more other weeks you have nothing)

Out of that you must pay for everything else… clothes, transport, food, heating, rent (apart from the times you get free accommodation) etc..

From October 2006 the minimum wage was £4.45 per hour which equates to (on a 37.5 hour week) £8677 - which means… er if a digger works 9 months a year… which is not too bad … they come in under the minimum wage (after deductions). The bit about

“but how many archaeologists at 'digger' grade can't afford their fags and beer, which were not high on the on the list of subsistence items last time I looked. “

smacks of that attitude of.. yeah but these folk that live in council estates can still afford to go to the pub and have sky TV… Which I sincerely hope it was not meant to be.



We can bandy about figures as much as me like… but the bottom line is… and here I agree wholeheartedly… the ‘middle ground is hardest hit.


Recently I did a BAJR benchmark (for a meeting with PROSPECT and the DIGGERS FORUM) the results showed that Supervisory grades needed around 35-42% rises and Project Officers needed 28-32% the sad reality is that between digger and director the gap is so slight that any progression is a nonsense.. Why increase pressure stress and responsibility for a few extra thousand a year..?


I do understand that you were trying to say that poverty in the UK can’t be equated to the appalling poverty of some developing countries – but to suggest that diggers do not live a hand to mouth existence is to forget your past… I could get another job… could escape the trap (as Tom says) as that is an option that is lost on many in India, the Middle East, Brazil and a score of other countries.. but hey… perhaps the thing to do is make the job one that allows me to live a decent life from the start.. not greedy … but liveable. It is too easy to look at wages and conditions (I take it these are your hypothetical conditions) and extrapolate for a year of permanent employment… from a position of a job that you know will last as long as you want…. Rather than one that lasts as long as the contract.

“without the benefit of regular subs as a cash injection and free accomm”

OR

Without the benefits of permanent employment, Pension rights, sickness rights, and a stable income that allows you to actually have a mortgage in the first place.

You talk about Diggers as if they were navvies….


"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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#22
Quote:quote:Originally posted by voice of reason

Poverty is indeed relative, but how many archaeologists at 'digger' grade can't afford their fags and beer, which were not high on the on the list of subsistence items last time I looked.


I did suggest the week before last, that the proposed IFA/Prospect/BAJR 'Living Wage' campaign might be better entitled the 'Dignity Wage' campaign, to avoid the campaign being sidelined through criticism such as Voice of Reason has outlined.

My own view is that if archaeologists are paid a dignity wage, they have the freedom of choice to waste it on fags, booze and keeping coal in the bath if they wish. It is a tired and fatuous argument to suggest that true poverty can only be measured by austere living and a lack of wordly possessions. Numerous sociological studies have shown that the poorest members of society will always purchase before saving and investing.

Keep on commenting in that vein, Voice of Reason, and I will start to think of you as 'Voice of My Dad'[8D].

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#23
What about all the archaeologists who self medicate for depression and anxiety (brought on by such a rootless, financially uncertain lifestyle) through beer and ciggies? They are not always the luxuries they may seem...

(If any unit directors are a bit short one month, any of their digging staff will be able to point them to the supermarkets which stock the drinkable wine at £2.10 a bottle that they throw all their lovely spare money around on.)

It's unbelievable that there is still such a generational gap between those graduates of earlier decades who walked into supervisory / directorial roles and those of today. As many current unit directors never had to work and provide for themselves as diggers, they have no perspective of the reality of life as a digger. In my experience senior management grades, with their secure final salary pensions looming, are completely incapable of understanding the difficulties their staff have and why they aren't simply be glad to have a job.
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#24
Right on Kevin. I bet they've still got a pound spare to waste on the lottery too!
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#25
I take issue with illuminated's less than illuminated comments.

I am in charge of an archaeology unit. After graduating, I spent four years' digging itinerantly (earning, in my first job, £30 a week cash in hand); for the first couple of years this was discontinuous and much dole-interrupted employment (in those days UB for under-25s was £25 per week). This period as 'fieldworker' or 'site assistant' was followed by five years gradually climbing the slippery pole of archaeological career structure from supervisor to project officer, then eventually to my present role. In my present job I am paid much less than the BAJR recommended minimum for G7, I have to work 10 or 12 hours a day and many evenings and weekends, and have no pension. When I took this job, seven years ago, the salary was less than the current BAJR minimum for G4.

I don't want to start a Pythonesque cardboard box mill worker type of discussion but I am not alone in being in this situation, and to hear some ill-informed comment about 'pension grabbing high earning' senior managers who know nothing about fieldwork is quite frankly very irritating.

Incidentally I have yet to find any wine drinkable at £2.10. Obviously as senior management I exist purely on a diet of caviar and Chateau Lafitte so I wouldn't know about the bottom shelf at ASDA.

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#26
Posted by Illuminated:
Quote:quote:It's unbelievable that there is still such a generational gap between those graduates of earlier decades who walked into supervisory / directorial roles and those of today. As many current unit directors never had to work and provide for themselves as diggers, they have no perspective of the reality of life as a digger.
I'm not sure what generation Illuminated is talking about here. I started digging in 1979, full-time from 1984. People of my generation certainly had to work their way up the system, starting by accumulating lots of field experience as a digger. The difference was that we were not paid wages at all - instead we were nominal 'volunteers', getting paid 'subsistence allowances'. By 1986/7, this was the princely sum of £46 a week for English Heritage; in 1989 it was a more generous £70 a week for Historic Scotland. Of course, as volunteers were not employees, they had no employment rights at all - not even a legal right to the subsistence payments.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#27
I too started full time in about 1983... and have the whole range from sleeping in doorways, to living behind peoples settees... I was on a whopping £60 a week (could have been £80 I can't remember now as the meths has addled my brain)

I think we have to come back to the point of this...

1. It was crap then .. and that was wrong - it is better now - but could be better.

2. VoR made some loverly sweeping statements about poverty being paid a dollar a day and diggers still seem to have enough to buy fags

this was returned (in the spirit of rough debate) with a sweeping statement back... and a full and complicated maths statement.

We can bandy these about till the cows come home..

What I am intrigued at is the need for

Quote:quote:poverty?
just hypothetically, does free accomm, tax-free subs of £40-50 a week plus a wage of £270 pw count as poverty?

a dollar a day, child labour and nowhere to live, that's what I call poverty

What was that statement meant to achieve

or the follow up about diggers have it easy etc... because they get all these lovely cash injections and freebies.....

it is hard.. at all ends.. tough to be a digger... crap to be a super.. piss poor as a PO.. and downright deppressing bing a director... OK so we arn't sitting in rags on the side of a street - but neither are we anywhere near a dignity wage - as kevin points out (splitter)

So do we argue about who had the harder time? Who deserves it more? or jsut get on and act. If VoR thinks that being a digger is so great.. what with the perks... go and become one again... if a digger thinks that directors swan about supping chardony while stuffing rolls of banknotes into swiss accounts... then go and try that stress inducing job for a week on the wages and hours already mentioned ... We have at last perhaps come to a realisation that its crap for everyone... the last thing we need is to lose the focus on what we are trying to do... TOGETHER

it is undignified.


"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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#28
I too started full time in about 1983... and have the whole range from sleeping in doorways, to living behind peoples settees... I was on a whopping £60 a week (could have been £80 I can't remember now as the meths has addled my brain)

I think we have to come back to the point of this...

1. It was crap then .. and that was wrong - it is better now - but could be better.

2. VoR made some loverly sweeping statements about poverty being paid a dollar a day and diggers still seem to have enough to buy fags

this was returned (in the spirit of rough debate) with a sweeping statement back... and a full and complicated maths statement.

We can bandy these about till the cows come home..

What I am intrigued at is the need for

Quote:quote:poverty?
just hypothetically, does free accomm, tax-free subs of £40-50 a week plus a wage of £270 pw count as poverty?

a dollar a day, child labour and nowhere to live, that's what I call poverty

What was that statement meant to achieve

or the follow up about diggers have it easy etc... because they get all these lovely cash injections and freebies.....

it is hard.. at all ends.. tough to be a digger... crap to be a super.. piss poor as a PO.. and downright deppressing bing a director... OK so we arn't sitting in rags on the side of a street - but neither are we anywhere near a dignity wage - as kevin points out (splitter)

So do we argue about who had the harder time? Who deserves it more? or jsut get on and act. If VoR thinks that being a digger is so great.. what with the perks... go and become one again... if a digger thinks that directors swan about supping chardony while stuffing rolls of banknotes into swiss accounts... then go and try that stress inducing job for a week on the wages and hours already mentioned ... We have at last perhaps come to a realisation that its crap for everyone... the last thing we need is to lose the focus on what we are trying to do... TOGETHER

it is undignified.


"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
Reply
#29
Well, that got you all talking didn't it. Sometimes someone has to be the devil's apricot, Rodney.

Focus and together, that is the key, not us and them, as the debate is polarised so often (eg walking into a supervisors job, yeah, that's right. Just what I did! and £32 a week, then £22 taken back for accomm and food).

We are not all just b*****ds trying to do people down.

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#30
well said..

so now we know that all directors are not bbbrds and all diggers are not lazt layabouts living on contractor handouts... where are we...

Support the Digniy/Living Wage or not..

Who would sign up?

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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