Page images
PDF
EPUB

CONDITIONS GOVERNING THE EMPLOYMENT OF BANK CLERKS.

(The Labour Gazette.)

The following statement is based on an inquiry at Ottawa into the general conditions governing the employment of bank clerks throughout Canada:

Minimum age of entry.—17 years.

Qualifications.—Good business education, respectable parentage, unblemished character, and ability to furnish bondsmen. In some cases, however, banks have Mutual Bonding Societies, the clerk paying a fee in proportion to his salary, which is refunded on his leaving their service, with interest.

Wages—There is no fixed rule among bank corporations as to wages paid to their clerks for services rendered, in many cases remuneration being dependent upon the ability of the individual. - *

As a rule clerks are engaged first as runners, at a mini

mum wage of $250 per annum; exception, however, is some

times made when the clerk boards out, his salary being $350.

The usual raise of salary per annum is $100, but sometimes a larger increase is given when the clerk shews exceptional ability and interest in his work. The average salary of a teller in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa is in the neighbourhood of $900; in smaller cities and towns $700, and in villages $450–$500. An accountant's average salary in cities is about $1,650; in smaller cities and towns $1,000-$1,200, and in villages $700-$900. Business hours.-The official hours of work are generally from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m., except Saturdays, when banks close to the public at 12 p.m. Clerks, however, usually work till considerably later than the closing hour, and are called upon to work, especially at the end of the month and when the inspector is visiting the bank, sometimes till 10 p.m., and later, no extra remuneration being allowed. Restrictions.—The rule concerning marriage is strict, no clerk being allowed to marry till he earns $1,000 per annum; in some cases the sum is fixed at $1,500. Clerks are required to provide their own lunch and are not allowed to leave the bank in business hours except under exceptional circumstances. In some banks a superannuation fund exists, and clerks are required to subscribe thereto, this being deducted from their salary.

Vacations.—All statutory holidays are taken, and generally a vacation of two weeks is allowed by the manager of the bank.

General remarks.-The above schedule does not apply to bank managers, but enquiry shews that their remuneration is better graded than their juniors. The salary in large cities averages about $3,000, in smaller cities and towns $2,000-$3,000, and in villages $1,200-$1,600.

Often a clerk of exceptional merit can within four or five years command a salary of $900; on the other hand it usually takes five years to reach a salary of $800.

Tellers are required to make good all shortages that occur, surpluses being retained by the bank.

SOME EARLY LEGISLATION AND LEGISLATORS . IN UPPER CANADA.

BY THE HoNour ABLE MR. JUSTICE RIDDELL, L.H.D.,
LL.D. &c.

Second Paper.

The second session of the first Parliament met at Newark, Friday, 31st May, 1793, the Legislative Councillors present being Osgoode, Russell, Grant, Cartwright, Baby and Hamilton. The session lasted till Tuesday, 9th July, and was not unfruitful.

The first chapter provided for the better regulation of the militia of the Province. Before this time a regulation passed at Quebec in 1777, had been in force, but it was now repealed; it had, indeed, given great offence even in Quebec, long before. It had provided for compulsory service on very insufficient pay, for payment at fixed rates for labour rendered, etc.; and generally had all the defects and faults and few of the advantages of a system of Corvée. It was petitioned against; and the attempts of Hamilton, the Lieutenant-Governor to enact a new militia law led to his recall in 1785.

[merged small][ocr errors]

War was in 1793 going on between France and England; the people of the United States (speaking generally) were strongly in favour of France, and although Washington issued a proclamation of neutrality, the people and the Government of Upper Canada lived in constant dread of an invasion from the south, a dread that was afterwards shewn to be fully justified by the wicked and wanton war declared by the United States in 1812. This war it is now conceded had for its main purpose the acquisition of Canada.

The speech from the throne by Simcoe recommended an early modelling of a militia bill on account of the war with France. The Houses did not delay, and by July 2nd they had agreed upon legislation. This authorized the appointment of a Lieutenant in each county and riding with power to call out, arm, array and train militia once a year—each Lieutenant to appoint a Deputy-Lieutenant and “a sufficient number of Colonels, Lieutenant-Colonels, Majors and other officers’ to do the training (we have seldom been lacking in colonels)—the militia to be composed of all male inhabitants from 16 to 50 years of age, and in case of emergency to be liable to be called on to serve in any part of the Province. Provision was made for division into regiments, companies, etc. Section 22 excused “the persons called Quakers, Mennonists and Tunkers” from Serving, but they were to pay to the Lieutenant, each, per annum, 20 shillings in times of peace and £5 in time of actual invasion or insurrection. Special legislations for these classes of people will be found more than once in subsequent years. The second chapter was the beginning of our municipal system, providing as it did for the election of parish or town officers. It authorized the inhabitant householders of any parish, town or township, reputed township or place to elect a parish or town clerk, assessors, collectors, overseers of highways, pound-keepers, town-wardens or churchwardens, high constables, etc. Chapter three was the first of our assessment acts, and it also provided “for the payment of wages to the Members.of the House of Assembly.” Frequently we hear it said of Members of Parliament that they are the servants of the people; but we do not nowadays hear of them being paid “wages”—the sum paid them is dignified by the name “indemnity.” But the blunt plebeian word was that used in

[ocr errors]

England so long as the practice itself lasted. From the earliest times payment was made to Knights of the Shire and Burgesses; and in 1323, by Statute of 16 Edward II, the wages were fixed at four shillings per day for a Knight and two for a Burgess or citizen. These payments were made by the constituency, and continued regularly until the end of the reign of Henry VIII. When the time came to incorporate Wales with England, the Act of Parliament providing for representation of Wales, passed in 1535-6, 27 Henry VIII. ch. 26, provided that towns should pay wages to their representatives, and the second Act, passed in 1543-4, 34 and 35 Henry VIII., ch. 26, had similar provisions. And when the universities received the right to send representatives to Parliament, it was provided that the burgesses were to be at the charge and costs of the Chancellor, masters and scholars, and there is ample evidence that the members for the University of Cambridge in 1603-4, nearly if not quite the first to represent a university, were allowed five shillings per day for their expenses. The practice gradually died out. The oft-repeated story that the well-known Andrew Marvell, who sat for Hull in the reign of Charles II., was the last member of the Commons to receive wages, is not true, for in 1681, three years after Marvell's death, King, who had been M.P. for Harwich, obtained a writ from the Chancellor for his expenses as member of the House. But so far as appears it may be considered that Marvell was the last to receive a regular salary in this way. Lord Campbell seems to think that the writ never was abolished, but could be claimed as of right. However that may be, the payment of wages to members died out in England more than two centuries ago, and they served without remuneration until the other day. Many looked upon it as part of the constitution that the Commons should serve at their own expense, but it is not reported that any very dire calamity has followed the new measure. It is to be noted that both in England and in Canada the present method is payment by the country; but as we shall see, the ancient method in England was followed in Upper Canada at first, and the constituencies were liable for the wages. In the Irish Parliament, the practice of paying members also prevailed, the freeholders being assessed and the money

[ocr errors][merged small]

collected by the Sheriff; in 1666 a Bill passed the Irish Commons abolishing wages for its members entirely; but this was rejected by the Irish House of Lords, and the old law continued until the Union in 1800.

In Scotland as early as 1587 there was statutory provision for wages to be paid to members by the freeholders; further legislation took place in 1648 and 1661. The “Commissioners” or members for shires were by this last Act to receive five pounds Scots (i.e., 8 shillings and 4 pence sterling) per day. These wages were not paid after the Union with England in 1707, the last Act providing for them being in 1690; when, seventeen years afterwards, the Union came about, all wages and allowances from constituencies were allowed to lapse.

However, the “wages” given in 1793 in Upper Canada did not alarm by excess. Section 30, after reciting that “it was the ancient usage of England for the several members representing the counties, cities and boroughs therein, to receive wages for their attendance in Parliament,” enacted that every member of the House of Assembly should be entitled to demand from the justices of the peace of the district in which his riding was situated, a sum not exceeding 10 shillings per day (i.e., $2) for each day he had been engaged in attendance on the House, and been necessarily absent from his house, the amounts to be paid out of the rates. This was slightly amended ten years after by (1803) 43 (i.e0. III. ch. 11.1

*That this provision for the wages of members of the popular House was not a dead letter is seen from the records at Osgoode Hall. For example: In Michaelmas Term, 59 Geo. III., Nov. 13th, 1818, in the Court of King's Bench (praes. Powell, C.J., Campbell, and Boulton, JJ.), a mandamus misi was issued to the justices of Gore, requiring them to issue an order to the treasurer of the district for the payment to Richard Hall, Esq., a member of the Commons House of Assembly of Upper Canada, of the sum of thirty pounds, being the amount of his wages for sixty days' attendance at the last session of the Provincial Legislature, out of the monies which may come into his hands under and by virtue of any Act of the Provincial Parliament. And a similar order to pay James Durand, Esq., Member of the Assembly.

These were made absolute April 17th, 1819.

0ther instances may be of interest:

“At a meeting of the Quarter Sessions for the District of Newcastle, holden at Haldimand, April 10th, 1804, at which were present Timothy Thompson, Benjamin Richardson, Asa Burnham, Joseph Keeler, Joel Merriman, John Spencer, Leonard Soper, Asa Weller, Elias Jones and Richard Lovekin, Esquires, the following order was made: “The Magistrates in Quarter Sessions assembled in the district of Newcastle, the 10th of April, 1804, order that the sum of forty-five pounds, ten shillings, be collected in the county of Nor

[graphic][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »