Re: titles and archaeology <long>

Michael Cahill (MCBlueline@AOL.COM)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 00:57:22 -0500

In a message dated 96-03-06 17:42:06 EST, TKintz@AOL.COM (Theresa Kintz)

>I think arch tech's acknowledge that the MA and PhD archaeologists have
>training and very important jobs. They deserve our respect and they deserve
>to make decent wages. But I don't think that what archaeological
>do is less important to the construction of the archaeological record than
>what the PhD's do in CRM, or that anyone with a BA in anthropology deserves
>to earn a poverty level wage.
>The MA's and PhD's prepare the research designs and write the reports; the
>archaeological technicians find the sites, collect the artifacts, and record
>all the data compiled in the field - so it seems to me like we need each
>other. It bothers me that things have become so antagonistic.

Theresa: You have summarized matters in what seems like a very even-handed
way. It's a shame that something can't be worked out.

A couple of questions. First, how antagonistic has it gotten? Have there
been any work stoppages? Second, does management rely for their livelihoods
primarily on CRM contracts, or does CRM work augment management incomes
derived from teaching or consulting?

If it's their main line of work, compromise might prove more difficult.

The business of trying to downgrade your title from archaeological technician
to crew member to justify lower pay seems out of line to me. From the
description, it sounds like you're doing skilled archaeological work.

Have you looked into worker ownership? If you formed your own outfit, you
might be able to hire (or incorporate) on more favorable terms the PhDs and
MAs needed to do the designs and the write-ups. It sounds as if the techs
already know a good deal about the work processes. Do you have access to any
of the supports necessary to do this?

Mike Cahill