Colonel Sandeman Allen
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that certain Birkenhead teachers volunteered for national service on the written understanding that if the remuneration for 48 hours' work in a week were less than their normal salary as a teacher their remuneration would be made up to their normal salary; that the understanding arose as a result of a memorandum issued by his Department; that the subsequent withdrawal of an important paragraph of his Department's memorandum precluded the local authority from keeping faith with its servants; and whether he proposes to take any action to remove the sense of injustice which has arisen?1708W
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
I have no information as to the particular case to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers. In a memorandum to local education authorities of nth June last the Board suggested that teachers employed on war-time production should be paid at straight rates subject to their receiving for 48 hours in the week not less than their normal full-time salaries, the payment of the difference between the two salaries being authorised by Section 1 of the Local Government Staffs (War Service) Act. There is nothing to prevent this suggestion being acted upon by authorities. The further suggestion was made in the memorandum that for any hours worked over 48 teachers should receive overtime payment at industrial rates. After the issue of the memorandum the Board were advised by the Ministry of Health that overtime pay must be regarded as part of war service pay for the purpose of determining whether such pay fell below the amount of the teacher's salary, and consequently whether payment of the balance could be made by an authority under the Act referred to. The Board had no option but to accept this advice on the legal issue and notified the authorities accordingly on 15th July last. While we regret the necessity for withdrawing the latter suggestion, my hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that only payments for overtime are involved and that only those teachers are affected who work overtime and whose remuneration at particular rates exclusive of overtime is less than their salaries.