March 30th: Members of Unite’s Archaeology Branch have voted unanimously not to accept jobs paying below the Living Wage of €11.45 per hour. The Living Wage was calculated last year as the minimum necessary to provide a minimum acceptable standard of living.
Commenting on the decision, archaeologist Matt Seaver – chair of the union’s Archaeology Branch – said:
“Commercial archaeologists in Ireland, who are charged with protecting our heritage, are facing a low pay crisis. Most are on short term contracts with many earning well below the Living Wage. They have difficulty meeting basic costs such as childcare or rent, as well as the costs of subsisting on short fieldwork projects away from their home base.
“In the medium term, Unite is seeking a legally enforceable Registered Employment Agreement governing the terms and conditions of commercial archaeologists.
In the short term, we need to address poverty pay, which is why our members have voted not to accept jobs paying less than €11.45 per hour”, Matt Seaver concluded.