Skip to comments.Archaeologists dig in for better rates of pay (Them too ??)
Posted on 06/24/2014 9:54:04 AM PDT by llevrok
Archaeologists have formed a trade union grouping amid concerns that some highly qualified people are working for pay rates not much above the minimum wage or in some cases, for free.
Contract archaeologists, who mostly work in the private sector, have joined trade union Unite in an attempt to convince archaeological consultancies to sign up to a standardised pay agreement that would protect wage levels.
The move comes after what the chairman of the new branch, Matt Seaver, described as an apocalypse in the sector. The union grouping comprises approximately 60 contract archaeologists around half the total number of contract archaeologists working on projects here.
That is down from more than 800 at the height of the boom, with Mr Seaver claiming many archaeologists have thrown their hat at the profession or have emigrated.
According to the union, site assistants are typically the people tasked with excavating and recording during digs and some are being paid between 9.50 and 10 an hour, in what the union has termed poverty pay.
There has been such a draining out of archaeologists that very few people are prepared to tough it out, Mr Seaver said. In its current form it is unsustainable for a lot of people. He said the reduction in positions available as well as the tumbling rates of pay had meant many highly qualified archaeologists had moved on to other professions, or had emigrated, with some Irish people working on projects elsewhere such as the Metro in Copenhagen in Denmark.
A report by the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland published earlier this year claimed there were 82% fewer archaeologists than in 2007 and that low pay and the excess costs incurred by staff in moving to new places of work meant commercial archaeological work was unsustainable.
It also stated that site assistants can typically work less than 20 weeks a year and that less than half of all archaeologists across a number of positions worked most of the year. That report also recommended an agreed system of subsistence rates be implemented for all archaeologists depending on distance from place of work and costs incurred.
Indiana Jones is in a Union???
I thought he hated snakes????
If an archeologist goes on strike in a forest, does it make a sound?
Does anyone care?
Why, just the other day I was working on a project plan and said to myself “dang! This would be so much easier if I had an archaeologist!”
It’s going to take someone who likes to dig to turn up Lois Lerner’s Lost Emails.
Archeologist, “Pay me more or I quit.”
Client, “It can wait.”
If they aren’t careful, they will dig themselves a hole they can’t get out of.
Aren’t most of these folks from universities, with post-docs and graduate students in the field?
I had to laugh at your reply. The year was 1955 and me being 10 years old. I went to the Saturday movie to see, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”. At dinner that night, I told my father, that I now know what I want to be, when I grow up. He stated what? I told him a paleontologist. His reply, “you would be better off with a real job”. I stayed in science, was a chemist for a major chemical company for 31 years.
At almost 69 years young, I’m still into dinosaurs.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
...is that the one that ate the cop who was shooting at it with his handgun...I always thought ‘what an idiot’ when he stood there reloading after emptying his firearm with no apparent effect...
...but I was only eight or nine when I first saw it on TV, and it was quite disturbing...
If you want to be an archeologist,it’s helps to be rich,insane or both
All this tells me is that demand is down and there is an oversupply of contractors from some former "boom" in the archaeological business.
There are huge swaths of the Earth that are no longer hospitable to archaeology. I imagine, for example, there's a lot less digging going on in what used to be Nineveh and is now Mosul. Also, since construction declined after the housing boom, there are probably a lot fewer surprise sites being discovered. Or if there are, the developers are keeping those finds hidden to prevent delays and cost overruns.
I will probably never be in a position to hire an archeologist.
I will almost certainly never need the services of a UNION archeologist.
Makes sense. If we hadn't dinosaurs we wouldn't have oil. And if we did not have oil, you probably would have had a less robust career in the chemical industry. So it all worked out as you planned when you were ten !
That’s the one.....
They earn an income? It was thought they sell the old stuff in order to make one thin dime.
Having formerly been a professional contract archaeologist for over a decade, I can say that here in the US, the people actually doing the physical work (excavations, cataloguing, artifact conservation etc.) get paid very little. They often work in crappy conditions with little or no benefits and tenuous job stability. Many of them are very good workers, educated and dedicated but there are way too any of them for the number of jobs available.
The mid level archaeologists who oversee field work and often write the bulk of archaeological reports get better pay but not by much. They usually have better job security.
The lead archaeologists who sign off on the reports can do pretty well financially.
Of course the top of the chain are those who own the archaeological companies. These often are regular businessmen or engineers. Like in any field the risk takers/owners get the highest pay.
>>Its going to take someone who likes to dig to turn up Lois Lerners Lost Emails.<<
It is going to take Jesus since He is the only one that can raise the dead.
I love what I do now, too, and the pay is much better.
When I was in college, anthropology majors had to PAY to go on digs. So now they demand to be paid? LOL! Perhaps they should have been required to take Economics 101.