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IfA Salary Minima and Starting Salary Recommendations to increase in 2012

After a two-year freeze on IfA salary minima and starting salary recommendations, November’s IfA Council meeting voted to increase both in April 2012. Improving pay and conditions for IfA members is implicit within the Institute’s current strategic plan, where one of the principal aims is to improve the status of archaeologists by ensuring accredited, high quality, ethical and businesslike working practices. Fair pay for archaeologists and colleagues working within the heritage sector is not simply an aspiration, but is an area of employment where the IfA intends to achieve a positive and sustainable impact. In 1996, minimum recommended salaries for levels of responsibility equivalent to IfA membership grades were introduced which were, at that time, linked to Local Government pay scales. In April 2007 the IfA introduced wider pay criteria and set minimum standards for working time, holiday pay, sick pay and employer pension contributions.

Perhaps most important in the recognition of fair pay deals was the move in 2010 to make recommendations for starting salaries for each of the IfA corporate grades. The need to establish recommended starting salaries which more accurately reflect qualifications, responsibilities and experience of archaeologists working across the profession was recognised in a report update produced in 2010. Using comparable professions as a realistic benchmark, the 2010 report sought to establish reasonable salary starting ranges for the three corporate IfA grades in order to bring them into line with recommendations made by other professional institutions such as the Museums Association (MA), Institute of Conservation (ICON), Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP) and others. While the IfA recognises the difficulty in introducing significant advances in pay during the ongoing economic climate, we strongly believe that it is these salary ranges that should be used as the guide for employers in setting salaries and for potential employees in deciding whether or not to take up a post.

Current IfA Salary Minima and Starting Salary Recommendations

PIfA AIfA MIfA
Current minimum salary recommendations £15,054 £17,534 £22,704
No employer pension contributions (+6%) +£903.21pa +£1052.04pa +£1362.24pa
Per additional hour over and above 37.5 hpw +£401.44pa +£467.57pa +£605.44pa
No sick leave allowance (based on min. 1 month full pay) +£1254.50pa +£1461.16pa +£1892.00pa
Recommended starting salaries £18,000 - £19,500 £24,500 - £28,000 £30,500 - £37,000

The update of 2010 also recognised that the salary gap evident from an earlier report of 2008 (with IfA minimum salaries recognised as 13% lower than the nearest) had in real terms increased from 15% at PIfA level and up to 17% at MIfA. In 2008 Council took the decision (after formal consultation with Registered Organisations and others) to increase minimum salaries by 13% over inflation over a five-year period. Unfortunately the recession and its impact on the development sector prevented the process of increase from starting, and while the intention of closing the gap on other sectors has been reaffirmed it is obvious that the trends in wages and the cost of living have parted company. In November 2011, Council considered the increasing cost of living and the negative effects of inflation on those working across the sector – and especially those in the lowest paid jobs. Additional research undertaken by Council members suggests that the majority of employers are in fact paying more than the current minima, and an increase of 5.2% was agreed. IfA appreciates that for those archaeologists already be paid above current minima this increase may not have a tangible effect, it is a positive step towards better pay and conditions and will at the least provide a safety net for those on who are currently receiving the poorest pay deals. The minima increase will take effect from 1 April 2012 and will be reviewed again in November 2012. In the interim, Council will be considering an increase to recommended starting salaries at the next Council meeting in January, with the intention of retaining their currency and promoting their relevance within the wider heritage sector and in ensuring the best deal for our members and Registered Organisations.

New salary minima(in effect from April 2012)

From 1 April 2011, with 5.2% increase PIfA AIfA MIfA
New minimum salary recommendations £15,836.80 £18,445.77 £23,884.60
No employer pension contributions (+6%) +£950.21pa +£1106.74pa +£1433.07paa
Per additional hour over and above 37.5 hpw +£422.31pa +£491.88pa +£636.92pa
No sick leave allowance (based on min. 1 month full pay) +£1319.73pa +£1537.14pa +£1990.38pa

For more information on current salary recommendations, please look at our remuneration page on the website.

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