The Groundsman

October 2014

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman October 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions have received a letter from a groundsman in the South of England. He has a senior role in a local authority but is struggling enormously with his pay and conditions. Quite rightly, he pointed out how the IOG needs to reflect not only the good that our profession offers but also the bad. So, do you get paid enough? Do you feel undervalued? Are you thinking: I've had enough, I'm leaving the profession as I can't afford to work in groundsmanship? Each year, the IOG publishes guidelines for recommended salary levels and in the past few years we've pushed for higher than recommended percentage uplifts. Have you or your staff used this resource? If so, what was the outcome? How did your employer react? What is your view of the information we provide? Is there anything else you would like added to the annual review? There is evidence that, especially at entry level, pay is often poor compared to jobs in other sectors. This is an obvious starting point and something we take very seriously which is why, over the coming years, the Young IOG Board has an important role to play in the IOG's quest for a decent wage across our diverse membership. I am aware that many of our members - some in high-profile roles at top sports venues - do not necessarily receive the pay that the modern-day role deserves. I'm aware, also, of employees who commute great distances to attend work because housing costs are unaffordable in some areas. I also hear of groundsmen taking on second or even third jobs simply to make ends meet. Is this something you see with your staff? Of equal concern are the budgets to carry out good quality management of sports venues. Some venues, of course, provide good pay and the tools required with the budgets to ensure facilities are maintained at optimum levels. But are these in the minority? You cannot put a price on passion and commitment - which is what our profession has in bucket loads - but we are witnessing a new generation of groundsmen and women who are perhaps more willing to push for pay than the generation before them. At a point when the profile of sports turf management has never been higher, are we in danger of losing highly-skilled people to other professions simply because of poor pay structures and lack of knowledge and understanding by those who manage grounds teams? For those of you nearing retirement, how have you planned for your future? Do you fear for those who will take over your roles and do you fear for the future of the industry itself? For the IOG to represent you properly and effectively, we need to hear from you and put your case forward. I am indebted to the member who wrote in; he raises a serious issue that requires evidence and action. Please let us have your views; use the notice boards and forums we have available, or write to us. We are keen to ensure your view is heard and we are equally keen to help. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship Are you paid enough? I You cannot put a price on passion and commitment - which is what our profession has in bucket loads - but we are witnessing a new generation of groundsmen and women who are perhaps more willing to push for pay than the generation before them " " Contributors Karen Maxwell Managing editor Colin Hoskins Features editor Jason Booth IOG national manager Clive Liddiard Head groundsman, Hampton School Dr Iain James Technical director, TGMS

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