Archaeologists working for archeological and heritage consultancy firm Rubicon Heritage have secured a 9 percent pay increase over 27 months, the trade union Unite has said.
The union said that as part of the agreement staff working as site assistants, site supervisors and directors will receive a 4 per cent pay increase backdated to the beginning of October followed by a further 3 per cent on January 1st, 2019 and 2 per cent on January 1st, 2020.
Unite said the agreement would run until the end of 2020.
The union said the deal was unanimously endorsed by Unite members and that it marked the first collective agreement in the commercial archaeology sector.
It said the agreement with Rubicon Heritage came “amidst Unite’s ongoing dispute with the Irish Archaeological Consultancy (IAC), which persists in refusing to negotiate collectively with workers through the union”.
Unite regional coordinating officer Richie Browne said: "The agreement negotiated with Rubicon at the Workplace Relations Commission, and unanimously endorsed by Unite members, not only provides workers with a significant pay increase but also provides Rubicon with certainty over the next two years. We would urge other companies in the sector, notably IAC, to follow Rubicon's example by recognising their employees' right to representation, attending the Workplace Relations Commission and negotiating collectively with workers."
The chairwoman of Unite's archaeology branch Jean O'Dowd said the success of archaeological consultancies was due to the skill and commitment of their workers.
“We are delighted that this has been recognised by Rubicon, not only in agreeing a significant pay increase, but also in negotiating collectively with their workers through their trade union, Unite. This agreement points the way forward for the commercial archaeology sector as a whole. Unite believes that a sectoral employment order is the best option for all parties in our industry.”