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SCHOOL TEACHERS' fAGES IN…

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SCHOOL TEACHERS' fAGES IN THE RHOW- DDA, MERTRYR UD ABERDARE DISTRICTS. A RATEPAYER QUESTION. J To the Editor of the "Chronics.") SiK,—There ia an agitation going on among the achoolteachers of these districts for assimilation of wages, and some Board members have given notice of their intention to take up the question. It will/therefore, I think, be interesting to your readerr, and espeoiallj those of then who happen to be ratepayers, to have placed before them a few facts and fignres shewing the earnings of the scholastic fraternity, so that they may judge whether what is teally wanted is "leveHing up" or "levelling down." Upon several of the School Boards recently elected are avowed economists, and I shall,watch with a good deal of enriosity the action whieh those gentlemen may take. This I will venture to say: they have their work cut out. In these depressed times it behoves every man who has the control of the expenditure of public money to be careful what he aanctiona. I am not against paying to "ar sohool teachers such salaries as will enable them to live in comfort, and when other people are doing well they should certainly share, in the general prosperity. But, Wheft adver- sity eo(nes—when business people have to scrutinise their atfaira keenly to make both,ands meet—when hundreds Of our working men are stricken with- poverty, and hundreds more aftt either living on what they savei before, ot are "living on the re, backs of the shopkeepers"—surely this is not a time for increasing the salaries of men who earn from AltO to JE200 t your,. and women who earn from jE80 to £ 150 a year Assimilation, I admit, is neoegeary, for some of the Boards »ho most loudly complain ef the high rate of samrieafited by other Boards have them- selves far higher scales of payment, while some have complicated "soales" which require a Philadelphia lawyer to explain. There are gradu- ated scales, fix- soales, and almost all kinds of scales except Sliding Soales." I confeaa I do not find that teaohers' salaries ge up and down- especialy down-with the market. 'I The maximum salaries of head teaohers in the Rhondcia, Merkhyr and Aberdare distriota are as folloWs;:— j "LZanwo11no.-Master-o£l20, and ith of Exa- mination igrabt, together v^ith' two-thirds tJf: jnåpil teachei grant. This wontd, in a school of 200 ohildren, be a salary of -e170 a year. Girifl* mis- tress, £70 a year, and the same proportion of grants, making, in a school of 200 children, £120 a year. Infants' mistress, -675, one-third of merit grant for excellent," twe-tbirds of P. T. grant making a total, for a school of 200 children, of £105.. .l&erdare.—Master— £ 150, no grant from school examination, but two-thirds' of P. T. grant. Girls' mistress—JB80 and the same grant. Infants' mistreise-YM and the same grant. Merthyr.Master— £ 150, no grant from school examination, but two-thirds of P. T. grant. Girls' mistress— £ 110, and the same grant. Infants' mistress—J8110, and the same grant. Qelligaer.—Master— £ 110, no grant from school examination, but two-thirds of P. T. grant. Mis- tress-£80, with the same grant. Llantwit Fardre.—Maater—JB100, with t of grant, and two-thirds of pupil teachers* grant. This, upon the calculation of a school of 200 children, wculd be -6200. Mistress— £ 50, with the same proportion of grants, making 9150. Infaiate, mistress—JG65, no eehool grant, but two-thirds of P. T. grant. Eglwysilan.— Master— £ 90, one half of grant, and two-thirds' of P. T. grant. Girls' mistress— £50, with the same proportion of grants. Inlnntb' mistress— £ 45, with the same proportion of grants, so the salaries wculd be the same as Llnitwit less £10, all round. Duffryn Schools.—Master— £ 150* and House no school grant, but two-thirds' of P. T. grant. Sills mistress— £ 100, and house; grants, the same. In- fants' niistress-990, no house; grants, the atme Ystradyfodwg.-This Board's soale of salariet re- quires an expert to dive into its eemplicited arrangements. It reads all grants under Article 109, E, after the first 5s 3d,") which means tfter diving into the Code and taking the last repot of that Board, namely 92 8 per cent, in passes, wkich brings 7*9 under this bead), the master has 2a 6d per head under this article. lhen comes the cam. plication of one-third grant under Articles :09, B, C, D, F, and G, which amounts to anotier 28 8d per head after a long hunt. In addition to this, half pupil teacher grant, £10 bonus for nark excellent, and 97 school fees, so the actual stale stands thus:—A ngaster of a school of onty200 children, earns £ 120 fixed salary, plus, glofor Excellent," plus Z7 fur fees, and 5s 2d grant on the average attendance, which equals the bandsone salary, for a small school uf 200 children, of Ago 3s 4d. The head mistresses have £ 70 a year ficed with the addition of the above complication of grant." This table of soaltf? shows, that^ the-head teaalers of large Schools get salaries which will bear Clm- parison with the earnings of most people of ;he same position in life. More than that—it sh<ws that the smaller Boards, suob as Eglwysilan, piy. pro. rata., heavier salaries than the larger Boaids Some of them go in for retrenchment in certain directions, such as cutting down tO an unreasonsole figure the wages paid to assistant teachers, wlile utber s indulgb in a cheeseparing policy in regard to minor matters and overtook the important con- aideration that "assimilation of salaries" woild bring about a reduction of (in the ease of sone Boards) hundreds of pounds annually. JES a week for a master would not be a yd living in these hard timea, BBd if a mistress wire paid 190 a year, or thirty-six shillings and sixpeice per week, she ought no^ to complain. In my next, with your permission, I hope to clal with some of the glaring inequalities between he salaries of the head teachers and those of tlbir assistants. I remain, Your Obediently, ECONOMIST. March 16th, 1886.

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