HC Deb 20 June 1938 vol 337 cc704-5
68. Mr. McEntee

asked the Home Secretary the number of hours of duty and rates of pay of unestablished classes of officers, men and women, who are employed in the prison service; and whether, in view of the pending improvements in the pay of established classes in the prison service, he will consider increasing the pay and improving the conditions of service of unestablished ranks, including the quasi-permanent classes?

Mr. Lloyd

The hours of duty of quasi-permanent officers engaged as night patrols are six shifts of 10 hours each a week, and for stokers and others not less than 48 hours a week. The present rates of pay are, in the case of quasi-permanent officers, 53s. 6d. a week for men and 40s. 6d. for women, and in the case of temporary officers, 8s. 4d. a day for men and for women 5s. 2d. to 6s. 4d. a day according to locality. The question of the pay of these unestablished employés is at present under consideration. No changes in the hours of duty are contemplated.

69. Mr. McEntee

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that unestablished civilian instructors in various trades in prison and Borstal establishments are being paid at lower rates of pay than other instructors in various Government Departments, whose work would be similar; and whether he will state the classes and the Departments on which these pay rates have been fixed?

Mr. Lloyd

No, Sir; my right hon. Friend is not aware that the rates of pay of civilian instructors employed in prisons and Borstal institutions compare unfavourably with the rates of pay of instructors employed by the Air Ministry and War Office.

Mr. McEntee

Can the hon. Gentleman say what is meant by "not unfavourably"? If they are less surely they are unfavourable. Is he aware that they are less than those in other departments for similar work?

Mr. Lloyd

They are not, according to my information.

70. Mr. McEntee

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of much discontent in the prison service in consequence of the operation of the bell scales regulating the hours of duty of officers; that during certain hours of the day or evening the prisons and institutions are controlled by skeleton staffs; and whether he will take steps to ensure that in future the shifts have a proper complement of staff to man the establishments?

Mr. Lloyd

The new time tables have been drawn up in consultation with the staffs so as to secure an adequate complement of officers at all periods of the day, and the staffs of the prisons in which the shift system is in operation have been augmented for this purpose. While representations in regard to particular features of the time tables have been made and considered, the Prison Commissioners are not aware of any general discontent in regard to them. The effects of the new time tables were fully explained to the Arbitration Tribunal and account was taken of them in fixing the new rates of pay.