HC Deb 12 November 1908 vol 196 cc543-4

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether any instructions have been issued to postmasters in the provinces relating to the pay per hour to be given to the extra staff employed during the pressure of Christmas business; whether, according to this instruction, the maximum is now to be 6d., but may be as low as 4d. per hour; whether in any case the scale hitherto paid has been over 6d.; and upon what basis the alteration, if any, has been made.


It recently came to my notice that in certain cases the rates paid to the staff temporarily employed in the Post Office during the Christmas season were lower than those on which the wages of auxiliary postmen are based. I have therefore caused instructions to be issued that the rates of pay for the temporary force should, as far as possible, be based on the rates recommended by the Select Committee for auxiliary service. The lowest rates payable under these conditions will be 4½d, an hour, and this will be applicable only to Class 5—that is, the smallest offices. Higher rates than 6d. an hour will be paid where the auxiliary rates are not considered to be sufficient remuneration for the performance of certain duties which may be required. Besides the fixed wage the men receive special pay for night work, for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and got overtime when it has to be worked.


Will the wages paid hitherto be lowered in any case?


As I explained the other day in reference to the Leeds case, there is to be a reduction of the rate per hour, but in the end the aggregate amount received by the man will exceed that paid last year.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

You are reducing the rate and making the man work twice the time in order to keep up his wages.