HC Deb 30 October 1956 vol 558 cc1244-5
45. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the resentment among women teachers at his decision to continue unequal pay for women non-graduates while implementing equal pay for all other categories of the teaching profession ; and if he will reconsider this matter.

52. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the nature of the reply he has made to the representations of non-graduate women teachers in respect of his refusal to implement fully the principle of equal pay.

Mr. J. Stuart

The Draft Salaries Regulations propose equal pay instalments for all women. Any appearance of inequality arises because non-graduate men teachers of general subjects trained before 1926, when graduation for men became compulsory, are paid as graduates. Graduation for women is not compulsory, and I can find no good reason for paying non-graduate women on the same scale as graduate men and women.

Mr. Rankin

Will the Secretary of State not appreciate that his decision to employ the Regulations in this way is creating very serious discontent among women non-graduates, who felt in the beginning that they would achieve equal pay with men at the maximum? In view of the fact that we do not want unnecessary discontent of that nature in the teaching profession at the moment, will not the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the matter?

Mr. Stuart

It has been considered very carefully. The whole question depends upon whether they are graduate or non-graduate women. I have no intention or wish to be hard upon them but I believe that the Regulations are fair. I will of course consider what the hon. Gentleman has said, but there is no reason that I am aware of to alter the Regulations.

Dame Irene Ward

Are non-graduate women paid the same as non-graduate men?

Mr. Stuart

I prefer to have notice of that question.

Miss Herbison

Will the Secretary of State consider taking teachers' salaries completely out of the field of politics? Is he not aware that there is much resentment in this matter? I do beg of him to have this matter reconsidered.

Mr. Stuart

With the hon. Lady's agreement and support, if I can obtain them, I should be glad to take many of these questions out of politics.