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Re: [BKARTS] Salary Research

On Aug 1, 2006, at 9:36 AM, Sharp, Maureen K. wrote:

We are revising my collections conservation position description ...... Right now, because of a
prejudice against "handwork", which was viewed as menial by our HR staff, the position is classified as a "service level VII" job ... , which is the same as the mail clerks, with the salary and benefits the same as well.
......I created the lab we have with a small budget allotted, have one student worker, do repairs to items in our circulating collections as well as special collections, and all of the record keeping, purchasing, training, and reporting myself.
Ms. Sharp,
I am concerned about your posting and wanted to add some comments from the private sector.

But first, I'd like to share that many years ago one of our most prominent, world class, book conservators was in charge of the conservation department at a major English university. At that time, his job classification was the same as that of the janitor because "they are maintaining the collection" or some such reasoning.
Fortunately, many institutions are now aware of the importance of the work done by the book conservation staff.

Personally, I served a seven year apprenticeship with a master binder and book conservator, and I now operate a small business for binding books and treating items from special collections. Obviously, as a small business, I also deal with both public and private clients, as well as ordering all of the materials, record keeping, and training of assistants, as well as numerous other tasks that I am certain are similar to your operation.
The tasks that we perform are not the simple "handwork", as described by your University's HR staff. Maybe your student worker does "handwork", but you are in charge of a department, and you have to plan and prepare, etc. and that certainly involves talent, skill, determination and responsibility. In fact, you are responsible for every single item that passes through your department.
Obviously, the salaries in the private sector are slightly different because of benefits. However, I feel that based on the responsibility, a similar position should be valued at a minimum of $45,000., and more likely $55,000. with a higher amount when there are additional responsibilities.
I realize that this information may not be what you were looking for, but hopefully, it is something that you might be able to use. Over the past few decades, I have been aware of the need for job reclassification in our field as our profession has encountered many more responsibilities than those of our predecessors. It is time that your HR Department realizes the changes an advances that have occurred.
Good Luck in your quest for reclassification.
William Minter

William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc. 4364 Woodbury Pike Woodbury, PA 16695 814-793-4020 Fax: 814-793-4045 Email: wminter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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