Online Encyclopedia

POST OFFICE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 190 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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POST OFFICE STAFF The staff of the post office on the 31st of March 1906 amounted to 195,432. Of these 41,081 were women, a proportion of over one-fifth of the staff. The postmasters numbered 875 (including 10 employed abroad), and the sub-postmasters 21,027.preference was given to army, navy and royal marine pensioners, and men of the army reserve. Due regard was paid to the legitimate claims of telegraph messengers or other persons who had prospects of succeeding to these situations. In August 1897 the government decided to reserve one-half of all suitable vacancies for ex-soldiers and sailors, as postmen, porters and labourers, and preference has been shown to them for employment as lift-attendants, care-takers, &c. Finance.-The following table shows the financial working of the post office: Year. Revenue. Expenditure. Net Revenue. Postal Extra o d Total. Sites and o °o Salaries, Convey- Packet Other Total. Receipts. Receipts. ,'''5'11 v Buildings. a z,i Wages, &c. ante of Service. Expenditure. E q ' V Mails ,E c e ° v ee ~ u Pur- Erec- Under Under chase. tion. P. O. other Votes. Votes. £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ 1884-1885 7,808,911 382,002 198,336 8,389,249 72,464 80,234 150,742 2,829,210 1,154,211 728,413 515,892 136,999 5,668,265 2,721,084 1889-1890 9,467,165 36,279 218,037 9,721,481 70,900 79,840 153,921 3,359,563 1,249,821 664,342 553,910 142,788 6,275,085 3,446,396 1894-1895 . 10,748,014 - 277,446 11,025,460 12,597 175,390 188,919 4,597,355 1,395,282 729,813 677,524 178,464 7,955,344 3,070,116 1899-1900 13,192,020 202,315 13,394,335 115,294 169,098 269,092 5,963,399 1,474,118 759,307 719,944 213,747 9683,999 3,710,336 1900-1901 13,776,886 - 218,584 13,995,470 81,949 175,000 286,238 6,277,275 1,516,859 764,804 726,101 236,677 10,064,903 3,930,567 2905-1906 16,823,349 24,363 216,311 17,064,023 75,759 250,127 377,131 7,737,010 1,821,758 687,1o9 604,927 295,191 11,849,012 5,540,897 The total number of offices (including branch offices) was 22,088. The unestablished staff, not entitled to pension, made up chiefly of telegraph boys, and of persons who are employed for only part of the day on post office business, included 87,753 out of the grand total, and almost the whole of the sub-postmasters. The pay and prospects of almost all classes have been greatly improved since 1884, when the number stood at 91,184. The principal schemes of general revision of pay have been: 1881, Fawcett's scheme for sorting-clerks, sorters and telegraphists (additional cost £210,000 a year), and for postmen, 1882, £11o,000: Raikes's various revisions, 1888, chief clerks and supervising officers, £6230; 1890, sorting-clerks, sorters and telegraphists, £179,600; 1890, supervising force, £65,000; 189o, London sorters, £20,700; 1891, London overseers, £9400; 1891, postmen, £125,650: Arnold Morley, 1884, London overseers, £1400, and rural auxiliaries, £20,000. A committee was appointed in June 1895 with Lord Tweedmouth as chairman, to consider the pay and position of the post office staff, excluding the clerical force and those employed at head-quarters. The committee reported on the 15th of December 1896 and its recommendations were adopted at an immediate increased expense of £139,000 a year, which has since risen to £500,000. In 1897 additional concessions were made at a cost of £100,000 a year. In July 1890 a number of postmen in London went out on strike. Over 450 were dismissed in one morning, and the work of the post office was carried on without interruption. The men received no sympathy from the public, and most of them were ultimately successful in their plea to be reinstated. A quasi-political agitation was carried on during the general election of 1892 by some of the London sorters, who, under the plea of civil rights, claimed the right to influence candidates for parliament by exacting pledges for the promise of parliamentary support. The leaders were dismissed, and the post office has upheld the principle that its officers are to hold themselves free to serve either party in the State without putting themselves prominently forward as political partisans. Parliament has been repeatedly asked to sanction a parliamentary inquiry to reopen the settlement of the Tweedmouth Committee, and the telegraphists have been especially active in pressing for a further committee. The rates of pay at various dates since 1881 are set out with great fullness in the Parliamentary papers (Postmen, No. 237 of 1897; Sorters, Telegraphists, No. 230 of 1898, and Report of the Select Committee on Post Office Servants, 1907; this latter contains important recommendations for the removal of many grievances which the staff had been long . agitating to have removed). In November 1891 an important change was made in the method of recruiting postmen, with the object of encouraging military service, and providing situations for those who after serving in the army or navy are left without employment at a comparatively early age. In making appointments to the situation of postman,
End of Article: POST OFFICE
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