Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Is the time right to sort out pay and conditions?
#21
As a one man band I would say that it is the heavily subsidised units that set the rates. I would also like to point out that the vast amount of post application work is not about excavation costs but rather evaluation costs and getting them done. Personally I think that all evaluation should be done pre application.

I think that clients are a bit dim if the first time they evaluate their archaeology is post application. Any archaeologist who wants to take work on from them at that stage is doing little more than joining with "curators" in a symbiotic mugging. And the biggest problem with going to a mugging with public servants is that at best they are failed archaeologists but particularly they have next to no responsibility of how to make a profit out of archaeology (probably because they all once were ripped off diggers desperate to get experience and think that is what a digger is having then failed as hippies/old lags who started out in the 70s and 80s and think they're still doing archaeology for the social good) .

Nothings going to change until the planning system insists that evaluations are done pre-application and that's never going to happen because it would potentially leave out the curators?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Reply
#22
Marc, which units are 'heavily subsidised? And by whom? And how can a curator paid as an archaeologist be a failed archaeologist? Bad archaeologist maybe, but failed?

Do you really believe that a handful of curators are going to have a bigger influence on planning policy than the construction industry, developers, land owners, the utility companies... the ones who grudgingly pay for us?

I ask purely to learn. And out of boredom.
I reserve the right to change my mind. It's called learning.
Reply
#23
Noddy Wrote:Problem is that most of the units are still run by hippies/old lags who started out in the 70s and 80s and think they're still doing archaeology for the social good... .
you couldnt be more wrong. most units are run as business and most are pretty ruthless when it comes to achieving their target share of the market. expansion is the name of the game and cheap diggers are the tools of our trade.

being undercut by one-man bands and new start-ups remains a major concern for many businesses as small jobs keep staff busy in between bigger ones and if you loose too many small ones your new start-up just get bigger and take your medium sites as well.

being quick and efficient can often make a differnence but price remains king
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
Reply
#24
Marc Berger Wrote:As a one man band I would say that it is the heavily subsidised units that set the rates. I would also like to point out that the vast amount of post application work is not about excavation costs but rather evaluation costs and getting them done. Personally I think that all evaluation should be done pre application.

I think that clients are a bit dim if the first time they evaluate their archaeology is post application.
you seem a bit confused. rates are what you can get away with charging and continue to do business. they are always yours.
pre determination evaluation should be mandatory but the reason it aint is because developers prefer to have permission and squeeze off the conditions at their leisure
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
Reply
#25
There are lots of types of subsidy that have gone on in the creation of many of the "units". It gets a bit more difficult to spot the subsidies that are still going on now without drilling into each unit. Some of it can come down to charity status, VAT exemptions but there are also service agreements with councils, cheap rents, pensions, access to curation, insurance, access to HER.

I do think that the costs of doing any archaeology post application is done in a contrived economy. PPG16 was all about trying to create a fake economy and tried to use evaluation as a tendering stage but it was stupid as the planning permission has been granted so all the "system" was looking for was going through the motion archaeology, the kind that didn't notice that the digger was an unqualified manpower service recruit who could pick the job up in a day.

Personally I think that if we can do the archaeology before application prices will drop but profit to archaeologists will go up, basically because we can get away from being undercut by people employing unqualified diggers to do evaluations. I think that the true market wants the "best" evaluation.

Sorry about the failed archaeologists comment but they are, something along the lines of those who cant, teach.

Quote:pre determination evaluation should be mandatory but the reason it aint is because developers prefer to have permission and squeeze off the conditions at their leisure

I wouldn't say that it was a preference rather that's what the planning system has allowed by evaluating the archaeology post application
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Reply
#26
P Prentice Wrote:you couldnt be more wrong. most units are run as business and most are pretty ruthless when it comes to achieving their target share of the market. expansion is the name of the game and cheap diggers are the tools of our trade.

being undercut by one-man bands and new start-ups remains a major concern for many businesses as small jobs keep staff busy in between bigger ones and if you loose too many small ones your new start-up just get bigger and take your medium sites as well.

being quick and efficient can often make a differnence but price remains king

I'm with PP on this. Never came across a client that was happy for prices to go up.

My worry about the cowboys is any idiot can claim to be an archaeologist, watch a 360 remove a roman fort, then write a report saying there was no archaeology there. Or even say, hey I'll do that job for half the price, ignore the important difficult archaeology, don't do any analysis, radiocarbon dates etc and don't publish or archive the results and seem to get away scott free.

Both have happened in my experience, and many other examples. The clients can refuse to pay for post-ex and get away with it. County archaeologists over-ruled by planning officers and/or councilors. Big business can lean on any county quite effectively using the threat of pulling out of the development or even threatening officers with court actions.

Being efficient is always key, but too much haste and you've lost your chance to sample those preserved mesolithic layers in that peat bog, or those nearly invisible burials in the middle of your round barrows, or those cut into the ditches, or those preserved early prehistoric landscapes hidden under peat, alluvium and estuarine silts (Holderness).

I have also seen shockingly under-dug features in photographs in fancy publications. The experienced know that on many sites the very visible upper fill in say barrow ditches or graves cut into chalk/gravel is just the start of the story. How many features filled with re-deposited natural have been missed and destroyed in the rush to get it done quick.

By all means, sites need to be cleared quick if there isn't much there. But when there is stuff there, care and time is essential.


Oh and absolutely evaluation should be pre-planning. It is often the case on many jobs we get, but some clients do like to try and get some cowboy consultant to write a report underestimating the archaeological potential, try to get it passed by the overworked planning departments and hence get out of doing any archaeology.
Reply
#27
Marc Berger Wrote:Nothings going to change until the planning system insists that evaluations are done pre-application...

Actually I've been doing a mineral-extraction site for the last decade or so where there's never been any eval of any sort (not even geophysics). The client's going to get their gravel anyway so they've always worked on the principle of strip-this-year's-bit-and-then-we'll-discuss-it, using a rather generic WSI issued many moons ago by the county. Has all worked fine (brilliant actually, by and large, some cool archaeology) and saved them a fortune, while we've probably ended up with more archaeological data than if someone had gone in and trashed all the intersections with ill-considered and over-machined trial trenches. No nasty surprises when you're going in blind Smile
Reply
#28
Quote:ill-considered and over-machined trial trenches
what you need is a pre evaluation, evaluation.

by what law are they doing the archaeology? Theres a lot of so called ex council units in this type work as often its based on some ancient pre-war mineral right.. Normally joined up with where the county authority wants the gravel to go into public council developments. Do the gravel quarries in the winter or the year before, the roads in the summer. How has it saved a fortune?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Reply
#29
P Prentice Wrote:you couldnt be more wrong. most units are run as business and most are pretty ruthless when it comes to achieving their target share of the market.

Every unit I've worked for has claimed to be a 'business'. I never worked for one that was. Outside Archaeology I've worked for both a PLC and couple of private companies. They were businesses. The managerial ethos was the difference.
Reply
#30
Marc Berger Wrote:by what law are they doing the archaeology? Theres a lot of so called ex council units in this type work as often its based on some ancient pre-war mineral right.. Normally joined up with where the county authority wants the gravel to go into public council developments. Do the gravel quarries in the winter or the year before, the roads in the summer. How has it saved a fortune?

Many quarries still in operation had their mineral rights/permissions approved before PPG16 so unless you look at the specific of each case you won't know. New quarries and new extensions to old permissions are subject to exactly the same application stages as everyone else and nothing to do with council back handers.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Sort it out! Sikelgaita 54 10,968 7th December 2015, 07:40 PM
Last Post: Sikelgaita
  Pay and conditions - The ultimate answer? Jack 34 6,813 30th July 2014, 08:52 AM
Last Post: Sith
  Hosty isn't it time that a few moderators were killed off Marc Berger 7 1,637 28th July 2014, 08:53 AM
Last Post: Sith
  industry owned’ group - deals with Pay and conditions. BAJR 1 870 10th July 2014, 06:44 PM
Last Post: BAJR
  Bizarre ditch question time. Tool 82 11,449 21st October 2013, 12:50 PM
Last Post: Jack
  MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD" — A Bad Lip Reading of Game of Thrones BAJR 1 1,041 17th October 2013, 11:28 AM
Last Post: BAJR
  Developer charged with breach pf conditions after failure to complete archaeology BAJR 22 3,724 22nd August 2013, 12:29 PM
Last Post: Unitof1
  RIP Time Team, you were a national treasure BAJR 47 10,009 8th April 2013, 08:35 AM
Last Post: Sith
  Open Forum: Discussing pay and Conditions in Archaeology BAJR 12 3,111 28th March 2013, 02:03 PM
Last Post: Dinosaur
  Time again? P Prentice 16 3,028 14th March 2013, 02:23 PM
Last Post: P Prentice

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)