Joint Statement between Prospect, FAME and IfA

Joint Statement between Prospect, FAME and IfA

Prospect – the trade union representing Archaeologists, FAME (the Employers organisation) and IfA (the Institute for Archaeology) today launched a joint statement in which all three organisations set out a joint commitment to find ways of improving salary levels, standards and the promotion of Archaeology as a highly skilled profession.

Finding the common ground and areas of agreement between these organisations has not always been a straight forward process, but Prospect is delighted that the issue of low pay in Archaeology has been prioritised in this way, and that all three organisations are committed to working together to seek to address these difficult and challenging issues.  We also welcome the commitment shared by all three organisations to ensure that employees are informed about their employment rights including the right to join a trade union, and to be treated with respect in the workplace.

This statement is very much a first step, albeit an important step in the right direction. Improving terms and conditions of employment, access to training and career development, improving job security and pensions, and crucially – driving up salary levels - all remain key issues for the Prospect Branch working across Archaeology. We believe that by building the union, supporting colleagues and representing the views of colleagues collectively through union sections, we can make a real difference to Archaeology. But this takes all of us, working together to achieve this aim.

The Prospect Archaeology Branch is currently working on a strategic plan for the year which we will publish to members shortly. Our Reps work hard “in-unit”, representing and negotiating on behalf of colleagues in Archaeology Units that recognise Prospect. That can be a time consuming voluntary effort all on its own. That’s why we need you help – because the more members we have, the more Reps we have sharing the work, the greater our influence and the more members we recruit to the union. So this is a virtual circle, in which all our members can play a part.

So lots more to do, and you’ll hear more from our Reps shortly on key areas we’re working on as a branch. In the meantime, please share this statement with friends and colleagues. It’s not going to solve the problems over night, but is a significant step in the right direction. Please tell your colleagues about the work of Prospect, and why it’s important to be a member of a trade union. Together we really can make a difference. New members can join today via

If you’d like to become a Rep or get more involved, please feel free to drop me a note via [email protected]

The statement is copied here:

Pay and archaeology: a joint statement by IfA, Prospect and FAME

July 2014

We believe low pay damages our profession and weakens our standing with allied professionals. It hampers our ability to recruit the archaeologists of the future, and to retain and motivate the archaeologists of today.

We have different perspectives on the problem of low pay but share a common interest in ensuring a healthy future for the profession.

We agree that the profession as a whole has a collective responsibility for addressing the problem and that each organisation should encourage its members to work together to find solutions.

In support of this, IfA, FAME and Prospect are committed to

  • helping organisations to develop and demonstrate the skills needed in order to ensure the required standards of professional practice, and to value and reward those skills appropriately
  • promoting archaeology as a highly skilled profession worthy of recognition and reward equivalent to those of the professions we work alongside
  • addressing failures in the market by advocating policy and regulatory change, by helping buyers of archaeological services to make informed decisions based on quality and value as well as cost and by informing clients why it is in their best interest to use suitably-accredited organizations and archaeologists
  • ensuring employees are informed about their employment rights (in particular their right to join a trade union), are treated with respect in the workplace and  that the employee voice plays a key role within the profession

Our organisations will therefore publish programmes of work designed to improve the working and business environment for archaeology, and will coordinate that work through a Revaluing the Profession working party.