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Archive for February, 2012

UK report on labor issues in commercial archaeology

February 9, 2012 3 comments

A report has been issued by the Diggers Forum at the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) in the UK on away work and travel. The report is authored by Chiz Harward, Mary Neale, and Sadie Watson and can be downloaded here. The Diggers Forum requests that you “Please read through the report, discuss it with your colleagues and let us know what your comments and views are, particularly on the recommendations on advertising archaeological jobs, and on travel and away work.” The results of the survey show great disparities in travel and away work conditions and the report makes recommendations to solve these problems. For example, the principal recommendations on transparent advertising are:

  • Details of the starting salary available to a new starter, avoiding use of incremental pay ranges that may make salaries appear greater than they could be for a new starter.
  • State what level of experience is required for the post.
  • Any probationary period.
  • Details of sick pay, holiday entitlement and pension provision including any qualification
  • periods.
  • The length of the working week and whether any compulsory overtime may be required.
  • Where the job will be based and whether away work is envisaged.
  • Whether a driving licence or specific skills card is required.
  • Indicate whether accommodation will be provided if the contract is a short term appointment and whether there is any charge for this.
  • Indicate whether there are any subsistence allowances for away work and how much these are and when they are paid.
  • Give details of pay for travelling time for both drivers and passengers, clearly stating that travel time is not paid if that is the case.

It is great report and I recommend that everyone reads it. The Diggers Forum asks that you consider the following:

“The ultimate question must be asked, what kind of profession do we want to leave to future generations of archaeologists? Do we want to maintain the current system of disposable, deskilled workers living often hand-to-mouth and travelling across the country in the hope of just keeping going? Do we want to maintain a kind of two-tier system between those that have permanent jobs and those that are on short contracts; between those working as Site Assistants and those who have climbed the ladder to Supervisor and beyond?”

Preservation benefits the economy of Colorado, USA

February 6, 2012 3 comments

Last week the Colorado Historical Foundation and History Colorado released a major report on the economic impacts of historic preservation in the U.S. State of Colorado.  The report is entitled The Economic Power of Heritage and Place:  How Historic Preservation is Building a Sustainable Future in Colorado. Key findings of the report include:

  • Since 1981, historic preservation projects in Colorado have created nearly 35,000 jobs and generated approximately $2.5 billion in direct and indirect economic impacts to Colorado’s economy.
  • Every $1 million spent on the preservation of buildings in Colorado generates approximately 32 new jobs.
  • Historic preservation projects help to enhance cultural vitality and identity, which in turn works to attract tourists and inspire community-based volunteerism.
  • Environmental sustainability goals can be incorporated into historic preservation practices.
The report provides a welcome quantitative analysis of heritage economics within one state. The report is in two parts:  a  summary report and a technical report.  In the report, historic preservation is defined as the rehabilitation of historic buildings, heritage tourism, and statewide economic development programs based on heritage. Unfortunately, it does not address other sectors of the heritage industry.

 
Additionally, for comparison, there is also a relatively new (2010) update to the 2002 report entitled Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in Florida published by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources with the assistance of the Florida Historical Commission. Both the Colorado and Florida reports substantiate and quantify the fact that historic preservation makes economic sense.

Boom times in Brazil

February 3, 2012 1 comment

Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy. It is also one of the fastest growing economies with a GDP growth rate of about 5 percent. Interesting news tidbits have been surfacing about contract archaeology in Brazil. Dr. Janet Levy (UNC Charlotte) recently told me that she learned at the last American Anthropological Association meeting that there is a demand for archaeology faculty in Brazil because archaeologists are selecting to work in the private sector instead of academia. I found this interesting and interviewed Dr. Eduardo Góes Neves, a Brazilian archaeologist, at the Society for American Archaeology’s conference in Panamá a few weeks ago. Indeed, he reported that private-sector archaeology is doing very well in Brazil driven by strong federal laws and the strong economy. There are mature companies across the country, some of which are quite large with multiple office locations. He also noted that there is currently a wave of acquisition of these firms taking place by companies based in Spain and Portugal.

Given this interesting business news from Brazil, I’m pleased to note that Dr. Renato Kipnis is joining Heritage Business Journal to cover the heritage industry in Brazil.  Dr. Kipnis is a Director of Scientia Consultoria Científica Ltda. in São Paulo and will be keeping us up-to-date on business issues.

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