HC Deb 21 May 1909 vol 5 cc804-5W

asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the fact that the maximum wage for postmen, new entrants, at Gosport, has recently been reduced from 26s., the figure at which it had stood for 15 years, to 25s., whilst the corresponding rate at Portsmouth has been raised from 26s. to 27s.; whether he is aware that the cost of living in Gosport is at least as great as in Portsmouth; and whether he can see his way to placing the postmen of Gosport upon an equality with their colleagues in Portsmouth in the matter of their maximum wage'?


Under the recommendation of the Select Committee, the classification of offices is based upon the volume of work, and modified by the cost of living where that is shown to be specialy high or low. In the case of Portsmouth the volume of work is represented by 1,273 units and the cost of living by the index number 105, the average being 100. Portsmouth, therefore, falls naturally into Class II., for which the range of units is from 800 to 1,700, and the postmen benefit by an increased maximum. In the case of Gosport, however, the volume of work is comparatively small, 105 units only, but as the hon. Member, is aware, I considerably modified for the benefit of the postmen the classification recommended by the Committee. If I had carried it out fully Gosport would have fallen into Class V., which would have meant a reduction of 5s. in the pay of future postmen. As it is, their case was specially considered and they were placed in Class III.