The minister has just
made a statement which indicates the cause of much dissatisfaction and unrest among the mail carriers. He has said that the smaller the salary, the larger is the bonus. Well, that is the trouble with the bonus system and that is why the letter carriers throughout Canada are asking the Government to give them a stipulated salary so that they may be able to know what they are going to receive from time to time for the services they render. Necessarily, when a twenty-five per cent reduction is made in the bonus the man receiving the humble salary gets the small end of the deal. The system should be mapped out in such a way as to provide for the services rendered by the letter carriers of this country. During the war these men rendered splendid service without complaint. A large number of these positions have since the war been filled by returned soldiers, and it does seem unfair that the man with the smaller salary should have the biggest slice taken off his bonus. On page 80 of the Estimates I find that of the eighty odd employees of the Department of the Interior who are receiving salaries ranging from $2,500 to $4,000, sixty are getting substantial increases which will have the effect of compensating for the reduction of bonus. On page 81 we find that the men who are rendering real service in the humble capacities and receiving salaries of $1,000 and $1,020, are getting no increases. We should try to deal fairly with the men in humble circumstances, men who have families to maintain, and to educate, homes to buy and all the necessities of their families to provide for. We have in the city of Chatham, in my riding, a class of men on
the letter carriers' staff who are equal to any class of men in the Government service either in Ottawa or in any other part of the country. These men have already started out to provide themselves with homes, figuring that they would receive this bonus, and at this particular time, when they are on the point of having to meet their obligations, they are told that a cut of 25 per cent is to be made in the bonus, and they have no other way of providing money with which to meet their obligations. I am particularly anxious to impress up the minister the necessity of giving men in the humbler positions in the employ of the Government a stipulated salary, so that they may know what they have to depend upon receiving and that they may not have to depend upon a bonus such as they have at present.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL