Replacement of CIfA minimum salary recommendations

CIfA is no longer issuing minimum salary recommendations in the UK.

For several years CIfA’s Board of Directors has prioritised finding an alternative and improved mechanism to the unilateral issuing of minimum salary recommendations. Initially it sought a solution with the Industry Working Group and latterly has discussed options with Advisory Council and Prospect. The search for an alternative has been underpinned by the need to be clear about the different roles of a professional body and a trade union regarding issues of low pay, and by our concern that focusing on minimum salaries may detract from the real value of archaeological skills.

In line with its policy on pay, CIfA is committed to working with sector partners to improve the way archaeologists’ skills are valued and rewarded, to ensure that the sector can recruit, retain and motivate a diverse, skilled workforce to deliver public benefit. Research has shown that low pay is one of the barriers to a more diverse workforce1 and is a major factor in archaeologists leaving the sector.

The Board continues to work with Advisory Council and staff to identify the positive steps we can take to deliver our strategic objectives to ‘shape and promote archaeology as an attractive, rewarding and worthwhile career with parity of esteem with other professions’ and to ‘seek to demonstrate and embed the value that archaeologists give to society by acquiring a status equivalent to that of a chartered profession’. These steps include anonymised salary surveys and benchmarking, and we are working with our colleagues at Prospect and BAJR to establish a mechanism for undertaking this work as a matter of urgency.

We are also exploring how we can use externally-validated employment good practice benchmarks, such as the Real Living Wage Foundation, the Disability Confident scheme and Investors in People, to help our members identify good practice and make informed career choices. These good practice benchmarks will also be considered in the way jobs are advertised in our Jobs Information Service (JIST) to help readers differentiate between adverts and to support the recruitment of skilled and motivated archaeologists.  Job adverts will also need to indicate compliance with legal and ethical requirements relating to employment practice. We will continue to seek feedback from members on these and other measures.