Public service regrading deferred

The depression appeared to be lessening in late 1933, with private and overseas public service salaries increasing, so PSA members were hopeful that there would soon be improvements in their own salaries.


The five yearly public service regarding was due in April 1934, and this seemed a likely time for salary rises.   However, late in 1933 the government deferred the regrading, with no indication of when in the future it might occur. The Public Service Commissioner announced that until the government was in a position to fully restore the salary cuts, no general regrading could be considered.

The CSO responded by preparing a comprehensive case for the restoration of salary cuts, which they presented to Prime Minister Forbes and Finance Minister Coates in May 1934.  PSA General Secretary F.W. Millar was again the spokesperson, this time representing a record ten service organisations.   Millar stressed that the majority of public servants were still earning below the 1914 salary levels, and the cost of living had risen 28 per cent since then.   While Forbes made no promises to the deputation, a 5 per cent increase to all state salaries was announced by Coates during his annual budget speech.

(Source: Bert Roth, Remedy for Present Evils: A history of the New Zealand Public Service Association from 1890, New Zealand Public Service Association, 1987)

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