SAA Council Creates Archival Compensation Task Force, Discusses Alternative Dues Structures

December 12, 2019—At its December 3-5 meeting in Chicago, the SAA Council took the following actions:

  • Approved creation of a two-year Archival Compensation Task Force, whose charge will be to “1) identify issues related to archival compensation, including benefits, salary negotiations, working conditions, etc.; 2) study and evaluate archival compensation in its entirety using past, current, and new data generated on the subject; 3) create and disseminate an archival compensation survey of SAA members; and 4) explore the feasibility of creating a standing body within SAA that will liaise and communicate with non-archival entities (e.g., O-Net, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Regulatory Affairs Certification) to ensure that SAA continues advocacy and action efforts, including research and documentation pertaining to these groups.”   A call for volunteers will be issued via the SAA website in the coming weeks.
  • Approved a motion that SAA offer an incentive to employers that include a salary range in their SAA Career Center job listings. The SAA staff is working with the job board provider to determine the most efficient way to implement this action and will recommend the level of incentive. 
  • In a discussion of SAA’s Strategic Plan, focused on ideas for providing opportunities for executive leadership education and training.
  • Had a lengthy discussion of how SAA’s dues structure might be simplified and tied more directly and explicitly to member benefits.  (Dues comprise a bit more than one-third of SAA’s operating budget.)
  • Had a robust discussion of the status of SAA’s 46 sections’ member engagement and activities and considered options for strengthening and ensuring the sustainability of member affinity groups. A Council working group will continue examination of this issue.
  • Reviewed the current version of SAA’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, made several proposed editorial changes, and agreed to field the statement for member comment in January.
  • Approved a Standards Committee recommendation to endorse Guidelines for Archival Description of Notated Music, a Supplement to Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
  • Approved the standing rules of the new Accessibility and Disability Section.
  • Did not approve a recommendation from the Standards Committee and the Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (TS-DACS) to introduce new rights statements elements to DACS. Instead, the Council asked that TS-DACS consider adding single-level optimum rights statements as elements 8.2 and 13.10 rather than required rights statements, noting that “optimum” usage would encourage archivists in a variety of institutional contexts to act on the revised DACS Principle that “archival description should be easy to use, re-use, and share.”
  • Reviewed a variety of reports from component groups, SAA representatives to external groups, and staff. Members are encouraged to read these reports, as they contain a great deal of information about SAA’s activities and functions. 

View the agenda and materials for the December 2019 meeting here,

If you have questions or concerns about these Council actions, contact SAA President Meredith Evans ( or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont (

The next meeting of the SAA Council will take place in March 2020 via conference call. If you’d like to have an item considered for inclusion on the agenda, submit it to Evans and/or Beaumont by mid-February.