§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Postmaster-General to what extent the recent award of up to 9 per cent. to telephonists agreed by the Post Office is based on the principle of comparability; to what extent it is consistent with the Government's prices and incomes policy; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Edward Short
The pay offer for Telephonists that has been made by the Post Office is in line with the principle, recommended by the Royal Commission on the Civil Service 1953–1955 and accepted by successive Governments, that Civil Servants' pay should be determined on the basis of fair comparison with the remuneration of outside staffs employed on broadly comparable work, taking account of differences in other conditions of service.
The offer, which is based on the evidence provided by a Survey by the Civil Service Pay Research Unit, derives from a commitment to review the pay of Telephonists that existed before the Government's announcement of a standstill on prices and incomes on 20th July, 1966.
In accordance with the requirements of incomes policy for the period of the incomes standstill and of severe restraint, set out in Command Papers 3073 and 3150 the operative date of the settlement will be deferred from 1st January, 1966 to 1st July, 1966 and payments will be made by instalments.