The Bathurst P.P. Board decided at yesterday's meeting that as far as they were concerned, there should be no cut in their officers' salaries as recommended in a communication from the Council of Advice, acting in accordance with the Public Service Reduction Act.
Letters of protest against the adoption of the recommendation were read from the Institute of Stock Inspectors, the P.P. Board Secretaries' Association and the Bathurst Stock Inspector (Mr. C. Furness).
During the discussion on the matter it was pointed out that the proposed cut affected the secretary (Mr. A. B. Burgess) and the stock inspector (Mr. C. Furness) but that it did not apply to the rabbit Inspector (Mr. D. N. Steele).
The chairman (Director R. C. Webb) said that conference had unanimously agreed to the reductions, and although he was not present when the motion was carried, he supposed he would have to share the responsibility for its adoption. He had been in communicaiton with officials in the matter and had pointed out that perhaps a mistake would be made in applying for a reduction in the salaries of the Boards officer on the basis of the action taken against public servants. He (the chairman) felt that the Board's officers were doing considerable more work than the public service employees who were not called upon to work the overtime that fell to the lot of the Board's officers. Apart from that the Board's officers were paid, not from public funds, but from rates levied upon landholders. The whole question was a broad one. It was recognised that the present was a time of financial stringency, and that economies and reductions were necessary in many directions. They were all in the position of facing the big reductions, and there would be heavy cuts in a good many ways. He noticed that a number of the shire councils were recommending reductions of salaries. Just how far the Board should go in the matter was a question for the members to decide. If they saw fit to agree to the reductions, he trusted the officers concerned would meet the situation in the spirit in which the Board viewed It. "It will be hard to ask them to do it," he added, "and it may be necessary for them to accept reductions." The chairman added in regard to the composition of the conciliation committee that he and the Council of Advice were of opinion that the Chief Inspector of Stock (Mr. Max Henry) should not be representing the employers, as his sympathies In conciliation matters were entirely with the stock inspectors.
Director N. Holmes said that if it had been necessary to levy additional rates, the question of recommending a reduction in the officers' salaries might have had to be considered, but as no such rates had been struck, the position was different.
Director H. V. Stevenson expressed the opinion that as the Board had struck a rate to meet their commitments for nine months, they could very well leave the position where it stood at the present time. Both the officers concerned were capable men and both worked overtime. In those circumstances, he did not think it would be fair to place them on the same footing as public servants who worked regular hours.
The chairman: The Stock Inspectors' Institute is unanimous in getting all they can regardless of what the Board have to pay. On the motion of Director H. V. Stevenson, seconded by Director D. T. Gordon it was decided: "That this Board cannot see their way clear to authorise the chairman to make an application in regard to the proposed reduction.
The chairman pointed out that it had to be remembered that the officers might yet be called upon to accept reductions as a result of probable action apart from the Board.