§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister for the Civil Service (1) how many of the 25.3 average number of industrial staff 446W absent from night duty during the past six months from St. Stephen's Parliamentary Press were night staff keyboard operators; and why there has been this level of absenteeism during this period;
(2) whether he will take steps to ascertain the number of staff employed in the St. Stephen's Parliamentary Press who are away from duty and on sick leave, who have been undertaking duty as occasional workers on newspapers which is contrary to their conditions of employment;
(3) whether the night staff output of work of keyboard operators at the St. Stephen's Parliamentary Press compares favourably with the day staff's work; whether the night and day work keyboard operators are of equal number; and what is their average wage;
(4) whether as the average weekly wage including overtime for the period April to June, 1972 for linotype operators at the St. Stephen's Press was £80.4 per week, and monotype operators £57.96p, he will take action to ensure that these workers implement their conditions of service in not taking on night work at newspapers on their leave days and days when reporting sick.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
The average number of absences of linotype keyboard operators per night during the past six months has been 3.3 out of 22, due to annual leave, 0.9; sickness, 2.1; and other reasons, 0.3. Sick leave was above the average for the rest of the Press due to the lengthy sickness of four operators. On the possibility that any employees undertake casual employment on newspapers, I have nothing to add to the information given to the hon. Member in reply to his question on 25th July. There are 22 night linotype operators and 12 day linotype operators. The average gross wage for the six months April to June, 1972 was £80.04 per week for the night linotype operators and £72.58 for the day operators. The difference between the two shifts in output per man is minimal.
As the hon. Member is aware I have suggested a meeting to discuss these complicated matters in more detail.—[Vol. 841, c. 287–8]