HC Deb 01 July 1919 vol 117 cc800-1W

asked the Postmaster-General whether temporary women night telephonists work forty-eight hours per week in four shifts of twelve hours; whether Sunday is counted as an ordinary day; whether. they are denied Sunday and Bank Holiday pay; "whether these conditions are less favourable than those enjoyed by established day telephonists; and whether, in view of the nature of night work, ha will reconsider his decision to insist upon worse conditions for permanent night workers than for all other members of the Post Office staff?


The hours of duty are generally as stated by the hon. Member. Three periods of twenty-four hours are thus entirely free from work, and during the twelve-hour shifts a period of at least two hours is allowed for rest. I am aware that no distinction is made between duty on Sundays and Bank Holidays and duty on ordinary days; in this respect the conditions of service are similar to those recommended for male night telephonists by the Select Parliamentary Committee which reported in 1913. Female night telephonists, whose employment is a result of war conditions, are gradually being replaced by male staff, and I do not think it necessary to alter their conditions of service.

Captain COOTE

asked the Postmaster-General whether it is still necessary to charge war surcharges on new telephone installations; and whether he is aware that in the case of Mr. F. W. Everitt, Wilburton, Cambridge, a surcharge of £24 15s is demanded in addition to an annual rental of £6 5s for 500 calls, although the existing wires pass within a foot of his house?


The surcharge quoted is calculated correctly in accordance with the. rule which has been in force during the War, and represents the actual cost of the work required to complete the line. The wires near the house are in use for other purposes. The revision of the rule as to the payment of surcharges is now under consideration.