Unite’s archaeological branch – known as Unite Archaeology – was formed in early 2014, and now has around 120 members throughout the Republic of Ireland.
The branch’s first campaign – Digging for a Living Wage – was aimed at ensuring that no archaeologist working in the Republic is paid below the Living Wage, currently €11.50 per hour. The campaign was very successful, and has lifted workers in the commercial archaeology sector out of poverty pay.
In 2016 Unite attended the Labour Court in an attempt to have a Sectoral Employment Order established for commercial archaeologists. Click here to read all the submissions in this case. The application was rejected; the only reason for the rejection given by the Labour Court was that the conditions set out in the 2015 Industrial Relations Act had not been met. At the time of writing (January 2017), Unite is seeking further clarification of the grounds for rejection.
In 2017, Unite Archaeology is continuing the fight to defend and improve our members’ conditions, including the pursuit of pay claims with the companies who opposed the SEO process.
Unite Archaeology has given a voice to commercial archaeologists working in Ireland. Join us and add your voice! Click here to download a membership form.
Stay connected and follow Unite Archaeology on Facebook and Twitter, or pay a visit to the dedicated website here.
Have a look at our latest newsletter (Autumn 2016) for a flavour of our activities.
For further information please fill out the contact form below.
In terms of quantifying “significant density” what sort of numbers in our profession in Ireland are we looking at? Are there enough field archaeologists in Ireland to provide a building base for a fully independent union membership? That is, not attached or a subsidiary to another union body? Is there joint ability with field archaeologists numbers in UK?
Our organising initiative came from requests from a number of Archaeologists who need representation. Irrespective of whether or not the Archaeologists form their own union or join an existing one, neither will happen unless they are organised. There is no mandatory Union recognition in the Republic of Ireland. The benefit of being members of Unite is that members have the protection of a trade union with a negotiation licences. A new Union would have to apply for a negotiating licence and employ officials to service the membership who are spread across the country and employed by a substantial number of different employers with varying terms and conditions across the sector. There are obvious significant organisational and cost implications attached to creating an independent union.
Also, as Unite is an All-Ireland Union we have the resources to organise Archaeologists across both jurisdictions. This also applies to the UK, where we understand that some Archaeologists are members of a union but with very low density levels.
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