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IfA to be abolished and replaced by......
The IfA has announced that following the granting of it's Royal Charter today. the exisiting organisation will cease to exist at some time in the near future and will be replaced by a Chartered Institute for Archaeoloigsts (CIfA). Congratulations are in order I think... [URL=""][/URL]
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
a bad day for non-corperate archaeolgoists..,

well done all of u for making sure there will be no change in practice...,

thanks very much for begining the closing down of the proffesion...,

thanks very much for approving an unreformed, ineffective , and InstituteOfFA.

thanks very much for for making our our heritage a closed shop for bussniess and government
There are ways of expressing disagreement and dissent.

and there are ways to look like the mad person who stands in the corner wiping spitttle from his chin...

In the end I have the edit button.

these are your personal and deeply held views. others who may also dissent find it harder to comment, as they will be lumped into the same camp as yourself.. think before typing please.
I've got to say that I mostly agree with GnomeKing.
What the world of commercial archaeology needs is a trade union to campaigne for decent pay and conditions and a branch of government to police standards. The IFA has never done either.
The only job it does do is massage the egos of mediocre archaeologists by giving them 4 more letters after their names, once you pay the appropriate fee... or am I being a bit like a mad person who stands in the corner wiping spittle from my chin:p?
Alas I had to join a few years ago, our company insists on it, and its not done me any good.
I won't go into the cowboy-like practises that some RAOs indulge in...
less spittle flecked, but also has some misunderstandings...

First is the idea that IfA or indeed any organisation like them could be a union or is a collection of unit managers running the show. there are indeed two unions who can represent archaeologists... PROSPECT and UNITE. neither of whom do a good job (sorry... tis true) in actually actively promoting themselves. and there is FAME for the unit managers. Who sits on council at the IfA is really up to the members, and sad but true, there is an immense apathy about voting. Nobody cares, nobody votes and then they get to complain that it does not represent them. ( there are of course the large number out side the IfA who can- rightly or wrongly make the valid point that they are being affected by decisions taken by another organisation - BUT.. and it is a huge but... they are not organised into another organisation, they are individuals) In the Council are a number of field working archaeolgoists and members of the Diggers Forum, who - like BAJR fight for pay, conditions and training rights. this also affects everyone... and boy is it draining!

I also have 4 (soon to be 5) letters after my name - and whether I feel it has any meaning or gains me anything is up[ for debate. That it exists and is recognised in the real world... and across Europe is not however up for debate, it is a bald fact. There are weirdnesses... I had to work bloody hard to get my MIfA. proving my worth and capabilities, and presenting my case. the second time... I was made a MIFA because I was in the AAI&S so second time was painless... and to my mind devalued the idea of MIfA ... anyway. another argument to be had there.

THe biggest issue I have... is summed up in these lines:

Quote:I won't go into the cowboy-like practises that some RAOs indulge in...
Nobody does... nobody collects the info and then passes it on in such a way that something can be done. therefore nothing is done. how can you investigate, if there is no complaint?

So all in all. I am neutral on the whole thing. my only tip to positive, is that it may... MAY... in the long term, help push our pay up... but let us not concentrate on just being well paid professionals, lets also be archaeologists who do more than just decontaminate the time wastes on development sites.
I'm in Unison myself, which doesn't do a great deal for us because it represents all local council workers, not specifically archaeologists.
People do not generally complain to unions about conditions or pay because they are scared for their jobs and know the real reason for the low pay and conditions is the cut-throat world of competative tendering, which also lowers standards!
Can't the Institute of FA investigate without a complaint? Why is it up to private indeviduals to investigate and pass it on to the I of FA? Everyone in the IFA knows the appalling reputation of a certain company, but only managed to exclude them briefly on a technicality. A quick look at some of their reports should have been enough of an investigation into their standards!
Lastly, digging holes in the rain and filling in context sheets (which mostly seem to be done in the van, or even made up in the office!) cannot be described as a profession, it is a trade (allbeit skilled) and needs a trade union not a chartered institute like architects. Look at the relative pay scales! even at PO and PM level, is it really anymore of a profession than being a site agent for Wimpey?
Agreed/... the unions are piss poor. ( sorry to those in the archaeology branch...) they just are. so what to do? wanting the IfA to become a union is not the function of a professional institute.

Now the tricky one... the IfA can only investigate after a complaint has been made. and your complaint will be stronger if you gather together evidence.

Quote:Can't the Institute of FA investigate without a complaint?
imagine a police force that investigates you even if they have no evidence that you have committed a crime?

So... you gather the info to make the case stronger. ie... you see that although the staffing was supposed to be 5 professional staff you have 4 and 2 of them are students. a quick call to the curator... or even to myself for me to pass onto the curator and they can visit and check...

or you are "employed" but get cash in hand. log the payments, the receipts and the record of your request for a P60 for example.

Quote:Everyone in the IFA knows the appalling reputation of a certain company
Everyone knows the reputation of everyone elses company... you could say that my company are terrible, that they don't pay and use cheap labour. but gossip and heresay can't be the basis of a complaint. "Everyone knows it" is not a valid context for formal disciplinary procedures. I have the same with a company ... I know, they know I know,... but l had to act within the law. Which meant doing things by teh book.

DIgging muddy holes and filling in context sheets in the van are the practices that can be logged. checked, verified. and if we would like to be professionals, then it is time to act like them./ this is a first step. One that I persona;;ly still don't agree with, as per the issues we still have, but it has happened. and so... rather than wish for an alternative reality to snap into place. what do we do with this opportunity. same old same old? or mould it as we want.

I am suspecting you may have been one of the few that did vote in teh council elections... in which case you have made a difference... as the council is pushing up minimum grade rates as is BAJR. the ones that have not made a difference are those that never voted and risked the takeover by more... shall we say ... corporate interests.
very well said your bajrness
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
Are you sure you aren't a politician rather than an archaeologist Mr Administrator? You seem to be quoting me out of context or deliberatelly misunderstanding me!
Firstly, did I really suggest that the IFA should be a union?
Secondly, the IFA at the moment can do what ever it wants, it is a private members club!
Thirdly, your company might be terrible, I know that mine is certainly not the best, but the Trust I was talking about has been the subject of very negative threads on this forum before, and was excluded from the IFA on a technicality precisely because of its unethical practises.
Fourthly, I'm sorry but calling our line of work a profession rather than a trade is an alternative reality, even if, like me, you have two degrees and over 20yrs experience.
Fifthly, no I didn't vote in the council elections and if I had, it wouldn't have made any difference. I could stand for election get on the council and try to change things for the better (perhaps make the diggers forum the governing body?), but I fear that would not be a very popular move with those who are happy with the IFA not actually doing a great deal!

I would challenge the IFA to get us a wage in keeping with the PROFESSIONal status it tells us we have. I'm on only £21k (the largest wage I've ever had) for running on occasion large, complicated sites and schemes with large budgets. Then I would support its status as a chartered body and be happy to be a member.
Ouch... moi a politician... that hurts.! But seriously.

It does sound like I misunderstood... when you said that "What the world of commercial archaeology needs is a trade union to campaigne for decent pay and conditions and a branch of government to police standards. The IFA has never done either." You can see where I misunderstood. So now we have that cleared up... and apologies.

Secondly, the IFA at the moment can do what ever it wants, it is a private members club! You don't just get in by paying money, so that is a tad unfair... there are requirements - especially for MIfA ( we can argue later about whether there is any relevance to this)

Thirdly you are right... but you can't investigate without evidence.

Fourth - call it what you want. but I am happy with the definition : a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. A profession arises when any trade or occupation transforms itself through "the development of formal qualifications based upon education, apprenticeship, and examinations, the emergence of regulatory bodies with powers to admit and discipline members, and some degree of monopoly right" It is true to say that just because it is a profession does not mean it is highly paid. nor does a trade have to be lesser or poorly paid. You are a tradesman... rather than a professional. Wink

on the 5th... that is sad. you had a vote but chose not to use it. so abdicated responsibility to those that did vote and did apply for council. again... your choice, but you created the council as much as by not voting.

Quote:I would challenge the IFA to get us a wage in keeping with the PROFESSIONal status --
I would suggest you challenge the Unions to do that and negotiate with the Commercial Unit managers. Actually could be easier to push up rates... however... remember - this is archaeology- and when one gets the soil compisition wrong... from a sandy silt rather than a silty sand. as opposed to an architect. your house falls down... a plumber... water floods your house. an accountant .. you go to jail for fraud. there is no real disaster. it only really matters to us. So being professional and being recognised as such, means we can move forward.

I would ask that next time you get a chance... vote... or stand. and try and influence your own and others future.

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