Source: Unite the Union, Republic of Ireland
First meeting of new Archaeological Branch set for Saturday, June 7th
Dear Colleagues and Unite Archaeological Branch members,
We are planning to hold the first national meeting of the Unite the Union archaeological branch on Saturday June 7th at 10.30 am in the Unite offices (55/56 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1).
The meeting will be chaired by Tom Fitzgerald (Unite construction official), and we will be seeking nominations for branch chairperson, secretary, treasurer and equality officer. We will also be seeking nominations for four people to act as regional shop stewards.
The meeting will discuss the recent pay report from the IAI and will agree a strategy and timeline for achieving better pay, recognition and working conditions in the commercial archaeological sector. The meeting will run until 1pm and will be followed by refreshments.
The positions and agenda will be voted on that day so it is really important to make an effort to attend. We would really welcome any suggestions on the day.
Below please find an update detailing some of the progress made to date.
Matthew Seaver and Jean O’ Dowd
Unite Archaeological Branch
Key achievements to date
It is a little over ten months since we first started recruiting for an archaeological branch of Unite the Union. In that time we have:
- Recruited 50 members.
- Achieved recognition by 16 archaeological employers including some of the largest in the country. The response has been enthusiastic and much more positive than expected.
- Unite has written out to other major employers seeking recognition. This strategy is geared towards allowing employees to feel safe in joining in their workplace.
- Unite has engaged on the ground with employers on a number of issues to protect its members. This engagement was positive and actually assisted employers in their dealings with subcontractors.
- The IAI Interim Pay Report has been accepted by the Limerick meeting of the IAI and will be finalised following compilation of comments and written submissions.
- As a consequence, a group of employers are seeking to form their own representative group (possibly a branch of the UK organisation FAME).
- While it is an important step to have a negotiating partner it is unlikely that companies will move towards implementation of the rates without union pressure. Without actual increases the report is not worth the paper it is written on.
- Unite will seek meetings with employers in the short term to establish communication and will be seeking payment of the €12.85 rate for Site Assistants from the outset.
- In our meeting in Dublin on Saturday June 7th, we will be proposing a timeline and actions to build our structure, along with election of officials.