The issue of graduate/entry-level ecologist exploitation is an issue that has been recognised by ecologists for many years now. It’s an issue that the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIIEEM) are aware of, have published InPractice articles on, and are currently actively looking to address and formalise (see here for further information and to get involved with CIEEM on this issue). Due to CIEEM’s internal processes however, any documents need formal approval and this can take some time.
In the intervening period between now and when CIEEM issue formal documents, our Senior Ecologist Matt Wall and Rob Oates of ArbTech have compiled a voluntary Fair Pay Charter to address this issue. Anyone can sign up to it, and it signifies a commitment to the ethical treatment of entry-level ecologists.
The Charter is an informal and voluntary document that people in positions of management within companies can sign up to (directors and senior managers, we’re looking at you to lead on this one!), to make the commitment to treating and paying early-career ecologists fairly. It includes measures such as paying the National living Wage, advertising salary brackets in job descriptions (instead of ‘pay dependent on experience’ which lets be honest, doesn’t really tell anyone anything!), and being clear that tools needed for the job (i.e. a phone, laptop and PPE) aren’t company benefits.
The Charter is available to download here and can be printed, signed and upload ed to your website, placed into job adverts, and/or celebrated on social media.
We want people to shout about this, we want people to sign up to it, and we want those people to be celebrated for making a commitment to changing the way entry-level ecologists are treated in our sector. Please feel free to share the Charter to anyone who you think would be willing to sign (and definitely send it to those who might not be!).
Let’s make the ecological sector a better, fairer place to work; and let’s do it now.