TROUBLE ABOUT THE STAFF.
COUNCILLORS DISAGREE—NO ACTION TAKEN.
! WEST STREET .STORM NUISANCE TO BE ABATED. At last night's meeting of the Ashburton Borough. Council, the Works Committee reported as follows:— (1). That after full investigation the Committee sees no reason to make any alteration in the labour staff at present; (2) that, as frequent complaints have been made regarding backing up of storm water at the intersection of Cameron Street West with West' Street, the Foreman's proposal, to put a * culvert across West Street at this point so as to abate the nuisance, be adopted: (3)' that new jaws and cups .for the stone-crusher,be procured. Clauses 2 and 3. In connection with Clause 2 of the report, the Mayor moved the recision of a • previous resolution disagreeing with a suggestion made' by the 1 Foreman in 1913, to lay pipes across West Street at the intersection with Cam--1 eron Street West, so as to prevent accumulation of storm'water in times of fl6od. ' Cr Buchanan seconded the moticn. Cr Ferriman said the volume of water was so great that he did not think any ordinary culvert could cope with it. The Mayor stated that the Foreman considered an ordinary culvert would serve the purpose. The rescinding of the old resolution was agreed to, and after discussion clauses 2 and 3 were adopted. Clause 1.
Cr Stewart said that he was disappointed with the Works Committee's decision. To say that some of the men were worth 9s 4d a day was a downright scandal. Ono man was over 60 years of age, and he was paid the full wage. If things like that went on he (Or Stewart) .would refuse to sit at the Council table. He would move that the clause should not be adopted. The Mayor said that the committee had gone thoroughly into the matter. Or Stewart asked for the committee's reasons; they had not the courage to voice their own convictions. The work was practically permanent, and the Council's men had not to go looking for work. They should not employ old men. He would move that the whole of the staff be given 14 days' notice that their sen-ices would not be required, and then the Council could re-employ men as .they desired. Or Buchanan seconded the motion. He pointed out that the Works Committee had not reported as directed by the motion which asked them to report upon the ability of the employees. There should bs no sentiment in the matter. It was not as though the old men had served many years in the Council employ. Some of them had come into the employ of the Council as old men, and then some councillors thought that the Council should keep them. The councillors should do their best for the ratepayers. When they had to pay good wages they should be able to say to the ratepayers that the best possible men were being employed. The only thing to do was to give the men 14 days' notice, and then call fresh applications. He was sure that by doing so they would improve their staff. Cr. Ferriman asked if the loreman knew of the committee's action. The Mayor said that the Foreman had been'at the meeting. The Mayor asked if a good man was working at 9s 4d a day, did they expect he was going to come down to 8s per day because another man could not earn 9s 4d ? Cr Stewart asked if the good man could be expected to do the poorer man's work. The Arbitration Act, he .said was leveller down, not a leveller up. Cr Hefford said there were one or two old men who might be dispensed with, but the remainder were very good. Cr, Davison said that some of the old men would do twice the work that the young one's would. They had a foreman, >and if he was not satisfied with the men he could put them off. So long as th© men did the work it did not matter to the Council whether they were old or young, and if they did their work fairly'and honestly, the Council should not say "Because you're an old man you will get no more work.", Cr 'Stewart asked Cr Davison if he honestly thought "*hat the old men could work beside the young ones. Cr Davison said that he did. The old men did their best.
Or. Sfewart interrupted, stating that an old man doing his best was a very different thing to doing equal work with a young man. 'There was one man, whose name he mentioned, who would not have the slightest chance, of working beside a young ;man. The Mayor' said that Cr Davison was replying, and that he would not allow a discussion across the table. Or. Davison. ceased- discussing the matter, and the motion that the clause and the whole report be adopted was carried, only Crs Stewart and Buchanan voting against it. Cr Stewart then rose and left the table.
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BOROUGH WORKS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8796, 17 February 1914
BOROUGH WORKS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8796, 17 February 1914
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