§ 104. Mr. HAYDN JONES
asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is a rule of the Board, in administering the Teachers' Superannuation Act, to deduct absences on sick leave when reckoning the length of teachers' service for pension or gratuity; by what authority these deductions are made; in how many cases they are involved; and whether, as both the legality and the fairness of these deductions are seriously questioned and they are arousing dissatisfaction among the teachers penalised by them, the Board will agree to submit a test case to arbitration?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Edward Wood)
I would refer the hon. Member to Section 15 (1) (g) of the School Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1918, which gives power to the Board, with the consent of the Treasury, to make rules for the treatment of sick-leave, and to the Rules (Statutory Rules and Orders 1330 of 1922) made thereunder. I regret that I am not in a position to state the number of cases in which periods of absence on sick-leave in excess of those allowed by the Rules have been deducted from pensionable service. I am not aware that the Rules are regarded by teachers generally as unreasonable, but I am prepared to give careful consideration to any case which the hon. 2359 Member may wish to bring to my notice as one possessing special features or involving special hardship. The Act contains no provision for arbitration, and I am afraid, therefore, that I cannot accede to the hon. Member's suggestion in the last part of the question.