The Bathurst P.P. Board, at its monthly meeting, received a report of the inaugural meeting and conference of the institute of stock inspectors and P.P. Board Officials of New South Wales.
Inter alia, the report stated that the scientific lectures were given by eminent scientists, the minimum salaries paid to stock inspectors should be £400 a year with an equipment and travelling allowance of £125 per annum; that the minimum salary for the rabbit inspector should be £300 a year with a forage allowance that should also cover the wear and tear of equipment; that the secretary should be allowed three weeks Ieave on full pay, per annum and that he should be allowed to select a suitable person to art during his absence.
Mr. Sullivan : This is an aristocratic way of forming a union. If the stock inspectors want a union, why don't they form it openly and not under the cloak of an institution, to hear scientific lectures. I strongly object to the officers dictating to the Board in the matter of management. The stock inspectors assembled in conference to form an institute. What for? To have their salaries increased and their working conditions improved. They passed resolutions to this effect.
Mr. Burgess (secretary) : The salary of secretaries was not mentioned.
Mr. Sullivan : I thought it was.
Mr. Boyd (chairing): They only dealt with annual leave for secretaries.
Mr. Wallace: It leaves the secretaries at the mercy of the Boards.
Mr. Sullivan: I do not object to the officers forming a union, but I do object to them calling it an institution. The ratepayers of the district pay the officers and elect the directors of the board. Therefore the control of the boards should be and must be retained by the directors. The Minister certainly has control of the stock inspector but beyond that the inspector comes under the control of the board. These people now, under the cloak of their institution, are trying to get the Minister for Agriculture to take from the boards some of their privileges given to them by the ratepayers. The board should not take into consideration anything done at the conference.
Mr. Wallace stated that he had always thought that the board's officers were not receiving a fair enumeration, especially the stock and rabbit inspectors. The more diligent those two officers were the more of their salaries would be used up in travelling expenses, with the result that an enthusiastic officer would find very little of his salary left when he had paid expenses. In view of the increased cost of living the secretary should also be considered. So far as the officer's conference was concerned, he was sure that it was of considerable benefit to the boards and ratepayers, directly or indirectly. The lectures which were immanent scientists were most informative and the stock inspectors must certainly have profited in their knowledge by the conference. He was of opinion that inspectors at such conferences should be allowed travelling expenses. Mr. Sullivan had stated that the organisation was a union and not an institution. The terms, were as a matter of fact, synonomous.
Mr. Sullivan : And will you pay away .the ratepayer's money to the officers for the purpose of forming a union?
Mr. Wallace : I do not think it is a union.
Mr. Sullivan : You said a minute ago that it was. I am not opposed to increasing the officers' salaries.
Mr. Brownlow objected to the secretary appointing someone to fill his place while he was on holidays.
The chairman remarked that whoever was selected would have to meet with the approval of the board.
Mr. Wallace : It is not likely that a secretary will appoint any one who will make a mess of his books.
Mr. Brett assured the meeting that there was no thought by any of the members of the institution that the boards should be deprived of its authority. Mr. Sullivan was under a misapprehension.
Mr. Brown considered that the Minister, before taking any definite action should get the opinions of the boards. He had no objection to salaries being raised, but he believed that the Government should pay at least half of the salaries. If the inspector does his duty, he is a benefit not only to stock owners, but to the whole community, as he should see that the stock for consumption was in a proper condition. The increase under present conditions would be a serious matter for some of the boards.
Mr. Brown : I am strongly in favor of Mr. Brownlow's views and I support him in everything he has said.
The communication was received.