Collective agreement points way forward for commercial archaeology
October 22nd: Archaeologists working for Rubicon Heritage have secured a 9% pay increase over 27 months. The agreement reached with the workers’ union Unite will see the grades of site assistant, site supervisor and director receive a 4% pay increase backdated to October 1st, followed by a further 3% on January 1st 2019 and 2% on January 1st 2020. The agreement will run until the end of 2020.
The agreement, which was unanimously endorsed by Unite members, marks the first collective agreement in the commercial archaeology sector and comes amidst Unite’s ongoing dispute with the Irish Archaeological Consultancy (IAC), which persists in refusing to negotiate collectively with workers through the union.
Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said:
“The agreement negotiated with Rubicon at the WRC, and unanimously endorsed by Unite members, not only provides workers with a significant pay increase but also provides Rubicon with certainty over the next two years. We would urge other companies in the sector, notably IAC, to follow Rubicon’s example by recognizing their employees’ right to representation, attending the WRC and negotiating collectively with workers”.
Jean O’Dowd is chair of Unite’s Archaeology Branch and added:
“The success of archaeological consultancies is due to the skill and commitment of their workers. We are delighted that this has been recognised by Rubicon, not only in agreeing a significant pay increase but also in negotiating collectively with their workers through their trade union, Unite. This agreement points the way forward for the commercial archaeology sector as a whole. Unite believes that a Sectoral Employment Order is the best option for all parties in our industry”, Ms O’Dowd concluded.