The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69
During the year the Branch has held six ordinary and two special meetings, the average attendance being twelve, or one better than last year. A paper was read early in the year by the Rev. Mr Parsonson on "The Position and Functions of School Committees," which was well received by the members and led to a good deal of discussion. During the year several questions of importance to teachers were discussed and a certain amount of action taken thereon. A petition was drawn up for presentation to Parliament in favour of Major Steward's Bill, and this was signed by 51 teachers, or practically unanimously from Kurow to page 9 Palmerston. The abolition of the cumulative vote and prior nomination—the provision for which the Board agitated—have now become law, and have met with general approval.
Circulars were sent to teachers regarding the desirability of forming a Teachers' Union, to which, in most cases, favourable replies were received, but owing to the lack of enthusiasm, nothing definite has yet resulted.
A discussion, opened by Mr Piper, also took place regarding the Board's proposed alteration in the Bonus System. After much debate, an amendment by Mr Fraser "That if there is a financial necessity for altering the present system of bonuses, it should be based on the principle of reducing bonuses on the higher salaries, and leaving them as at present on the smaller ones" was carried in opposition to Mr Piper's motion "That the Branch, while recognising the necessity for an alteration in the system of bonus giving, strongly deprecates making any alteration retrospective." A copy of the amendment was sent to the Education Board.
The Branch suffered considerable loss by the departure of Mr D. Ross from the district, Mr Ross having taken great trouble, as secretary, in forwarding the objects of the Institute.
Kennedy Smith,Hon. Sec.