Better pay for infant mistresses

A view of the lawn and grandstand at Wingatui during the Dunedin Jockey Club's winter meeting,...
A view of the lawn and grandstand at Wingatui during the Dunedin Jockey Club's winter meeting, which attracted a record crowd. - Otago Witness, 11.6.1919
The discussion at last week's meeting of the Otago branch of the Educational Institute upon a motion brought forward by a woman teacher concerning the salary attachable to the position of infant mistress in large schools was somewhat amusing.

The teacher who proposed the motion, herself an infant mistress of long service and tried experience, had evidently need of all her courage in venturing to assert the claims of her department of the profession, so very one-sided was the debate and so conclusive the rejection of the motion.

Her temerity consisted in asking the Institute to recommend that the position of infant mistress should carry a salary equal to that of the first assistant in schools of the grade in question.

The position of first assistant in these schools being a male teacher's position, her proposal unmasked promptly all the Institute's heavy batteries of male opposition.

We confess to some surprise that head teachers of large schools should be so upset by such a proposal as that which they seemed to agree in denouncing.

Their status is not likely to be prejudiced if that of the infant mistress should be improved, and the dignity of first assistants should not be outraged by their finding themselves on the same level in respect of salary as the most experienced, hard-worked, and highest graded women teachers in the service.

We cannot see that it is at all intolerable that a woman teacher in the primary schools should be able to look forward to an emolument equal to that of a male first assistant as the highest prize available to her sex in the teaching profession.

At the risk of shocking a number of male teachers we are even quite open to the conviction that the duties of the infant mistress may be even more exacting than those of the first assistant.

Longevity in Taranaki

The chairman of the Taranaki Hospital Board (Mr M. Fraser) stated at the Hospital Board's Conference at Stratford that the average age of the inmates of the Old People's Home, New Plymouth, was 83 years, and they have several persons over that age up to 93.

Terrific gale in Dunedin

A terrific gale from the south-west, accompanied by blinding sheets of rain, shook Dunedin and its environs in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A few night workers, journeying homewards to the comfort of bed and blankets, heard the unmistakable roar of its approach, and wisely sought shelter from the oncoming hurricane which swept over the city, shrieking in its violence, and testing the strength of fences, trees, and buildings with a force not equalled for many years past.

Fortunately no loss of life was occasioned, though in King street a mother and her baby had a remarkable escape from being crushed by a falling chimney; and when the strength of the gale is considered it is surprising that the resultant damage was so little.

Hoardings and fences yielded to the force of the wind in various places, the iron and wood fence in front of the gasworks being blown to the pavement.

- ODT, 12.6.1919


Add a Comment