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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

IV.—Teachers and Teachers' Salaries

IV.—Teachers and Teachers' Salaries.

On any occasion when retrenchment has been imminent, and such retrenchment would have proved injurious to the cause of Education, the Institute has made strenuous efforts to prevent its being carried out. Examples of the action taken by the Institute are given below.

(a) Representations made by the Institute to Parliament.

Your committee does not intend to present in detail all the statements that have from time to time been submitted to both Houses of Parliament. It will be necessary to instance the action page 15 taken by the Institute when it was proposed by some to raise the school age to six and by others to seven. The Institute, in tabulated form, showed the result of any such action on the smaller schools of the Colony owing to the reduction of the capitation allowance, and made a comparative statement showing the school age in other countries and the Colonies, giving also a table showing that teachers' salaries were lower in New Zealand than in the neighbouring colonies. A printed copy giving additional reasons against the proposal, was sent to every member of both Houses of Parliament. The statement was read in the House and the facts and reasons appear in the pages of Hansard. It reached members at an opportune moment, and according to the testimony of the members of the House, was largely the means of preventing the school age being raised. Your Committee wishes to call attention to the financial results of this action of the Institute. Had the age been raised, teachers' salaries would have been reduced by a sum of £10,000 had the age been raised to six, and by £20,000 if it had been raised to seven.

(b) Representations made to the Otago Education Board.

During the last two years, the Institute has three times addressed the Education Board with regard to—
(1)The Bonus System.
(2)Reduction of Teachers' Salaries.
(3)Resolutions suggesting a scheme for the classification of schools and appointments.

These matters are at present under consideration by the Education Board, and the Committee trust that the members of the Board will give full consideration to the facts supplied by the Institute at various times during the last two years.

(c) Representation made by Institute to Auckland Education Board.

In August, 1891, a motion was tabled by a member of the Auckland Education Board, "That in future no teacher in the Board's service shall be paid a salary exceeding £300." (The teachers in Auckland district, by the way, have no house allowance granted to them.)

Your Institute at once sent up a statement showing the salaries paid by Education Boards in other districts of New Zealand, and giving a number of reasons why the salaries of head-masters "should not be reduced as suggested in the motion. The proposal to lower the salaries was not carried.

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In connection with the subject of teachers' salaries, the Committee may mention that in Otago teachers' salaries were formerly paid quarterly, and that the present system of monthly payments was adopted by the Board, at the request of a deputation from the Institute.