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Dublin Postal Staff

Volume 90: debated on Thursday 7 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, as the scale of the male supervising force was increased at last revision, a proportionate increase will be granted to the female supervising officers of the Dublin staff; whether the Postmaster General will remedy the grievances of the Dublin female telegraphists, as numbers of them have been for years at their maxima, and are constantly performing supervising duties: whether the Postmaster General will, by increasing the number of female supervising appointments in the Dublin General Post Office, abolish the practice of female telegraphists supervising; whether the proposed increase in the Dublin female staff is to be made by giving appointments to telegraphists drafted from other offices; and whether it was in consequence of this drafting that no competitive examination was held in Dublin last December for female learners: and will the Postmaster General now have the proposed increase in the Dublin female staff supplied altogether from candidates chosen after open competitive examination, thus giving opportunities to candidates who have been preparing for these examinations.

The Postmaster General is not aware that the scales of salary for the male telegraph supervising staff at Dublin were increased at the last revision. The scales for the female supervising officers are those proper to their class at offices such as Dublin, and no reason is seen for increasing them. As regards any addition to the number of supervising appointments, this question will be dealt with on its merits in the revision now under consideration; but, as stated in the answer given on the 28th ultimo, the number of such appointments cannot be increased merely in order to afford promotion to telegraphists at the maximum of their scale. It was found necessary during the course of the year 1900, and pending the revision at Dublin, to provide by experienced assistance for the increase of work in the telegraph office; and a small number of telegraphists were, in these circumstances, transferred to Dublin from other offices, thus rendering a competitive examination in December, for female learners in Dublin, needless. It is proposed to make the transfer permanent in the case of any officer who satisfies the requirements of the post to be filled. It is necessary in order to provide for emergencies that such transfers should be occasionally made, and while the expedient is not resorted to unless in exceptional instances it is not possible to forego ifs use.