OHS calls for projects to sustain wages of oral historians


Over the past few, difficult years many people have experienced wage freezes and cuts to their working hours. The OHS is keen to protect the, often already low, wages of oral historians from further reductions.

If you want to set up an oral history project that will employ staff on either a salaried or a freelance basis, then please refer to the HLF guidance on minimum rates of pay. This can be found at: http://www.hlf.org.uk/oral-history and at the link below.

In summary, rates of pay for your project employees should be within the scales outlined below. These apply whether you are funding the project yourself or applying to an external funder.

Salaried positions

Remember, you will need to add on-costs for salaried staff:

Project Managers: £28k – £38k

Interviewers / fieldworkers: £24k – £30k

Archivists: £23k – £30k

Admin / clerical support: £18 – £25k

Technical support: £18 – £28k

Education officers / cataloguers / web authors: £20k – £33k

Day rates

Exact rates will be dependent on experience. The figures below reflect the minimum recommended rate.

Freelance Oral Historian/ Project Manager: £175

Outreach / educator / artist: £150

Evaluator: £250

Documenting / archiving: £300

Transcription services: £15 – £20 per hour

Translation services: £50 per hour

Please note that organisations may not be able to afford these recommended day rates if they are employing a freelancer for a longer period. In these situations we suggest that you take into account both your usual daily rate, and the pro rata salary that the organisation would offer an employee at a similar level. Many organisations base such negotiations on the calculation that a full time, salaried member of staff works an average of 220 days per year.

If your grants officer questions your proposed salary scales, please refer them back to the document signposted above on the HLF website. It is not in the interests of the profession to depress rates of pay in order to force grant applications through.

These figures are accurate on the date of publication, May 2015.

More information about this article can be found at: this link.

Article submitted by: Sarah Lowry