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(title page) Some North Carolinians on Equal Pay 36 p.
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"Every measure in every program must be tested by this question, and this question only: Is it just, is it for the benefit of the average man, without influence or privilege; does it embody in real fact the highest conception of social justice and of right dealing, without respect of person or class or particular interest?"--Woodrow Wilson.
[FOREWORD.--Last spring the writer, who has spent her life in the class room and knows very few of the prominent men and women of our state, sent a request to some of our influential men and women for a statement in support of equal pay for equal work. Many of our prominent men and women failed to get this request because of the writer's ignorance and because of lack of time. The women of the state, however, have been very much encouraged by the hearty support of equal pay given by the men and women whose statements appear in this pamphlet. They consider this a most encouraging report. The men and women who are interested in the educational progress of the state realize that they cannot secure and keep a strong enthusiastic corps of teachers until this injustice has been removed. The women teachers have been much encouraged by the frankness with which men in all professions and vocations acknowledge the injustice of unequal pay, and by the earnestness with which they pledge themselves to help eradicate this evil. The teachers wish to use this opportunity to thank each contributor for his contribution.--Julia Dameron.]
I take pleasure in responding to your request for a statement favoring equal pay for equal work to teachers in the public schools.
I do this the more readily because it can be done in few words as well as in many. Public school money is or should be paid only for work done. The price paid should be based solely on quantity and quality. The personality of the teacher should have nothing whatever to do with it except as this personality may affect the work either in quantity or quality. If a woman does as good work as a man and does as much of it, then she should be paid as much. If she does not do so much or does not do so well, she should be paid less. If she does better or does more, then she should be paid more. This principle, I think, applies to all work of whatever kind. When we understand fully that money is paid for work and not on the basis of any kind of favoritism we will act on this subject just as we do when we buy cloth or food or land or any other commodity.--P. P. Claxton, U. S. Commissioner of Education, April 24, 1918.
I am in entire sympathy with the state-wide campaign for better schools, higher salaries, and equal pay for equal work, and I wish that I were home so that I might take a more active part in the good work in securing these essentials for our state.--Josephus Daniels, Secretary of Navy, May 3, 1918.
Replying to your esteemed favor of the 5th, I beg to say that the proposition that "justice requires that the amount of compensation should not be regulated by sex but by the amount of service rendered" is so
manifestly correct as to require no support. My own opinion is that the salaries of all public school teachers in North Carolina should be increased at least 50 per cent. That opinion has been entertained for some time.
I would be glad to write you further, but have not time to do so this morning.--T. W. Bickett, Governor of North Carolina, April 8, 1918.
I can see no valid reason for discrimination in compensation between male and female teachers when there is no difference in the ability, fitness and character. I know that the women teachers of North Carolina are doing a tremendous work for a salary totally inadequate and insufficient, and will be pleased to do whatever I can towards promoting their advancement.--O. Max Gardner, Lieutenant Governor and President of Senate, Raleigh, April 12, 1918.
It gives me real pleasure to make the statement for publication that I have all my life, in season and out of season, without hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind, advocated that when a woman did the same work as a man she should be paid the same pay.
It is one of the few questions in my mind that has only one side, and I can assure you that if the case ever comes up when I can prove my faith by my works I shall certainly do so.--B. R. Lacy, State Treasurer, Raleigh, N. C., April 8, 1918.
I think justice requires that the amount
of compensation should not be regulated by sex, but by the amount of service performed.
I believe the time will come when a woman doing the same work as a man in every respect will be paid the same.--J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary of State, Raleigh, April 17, 1918.
The proposition that compensation should be measured by the value and efficiency of the service rendered rather than by the sex of the one rendering it, is too axiomatic to need argument in its favor with any just and reasonable person.--J. Y. Joyner, State Superintendent Public Instruction, Raleigh, April 20, 1918.
It is elementary justice that there should be equal pay for equal service regardless of sex. Especially is this true as to the teaching profession, in which as a rule the women are more conscientious and careful in their work than men.--Walter Clark, Chief Justice, Raleigh, April 19, 1918.
Your letter received. In reply I will say that I have long felt that woman is at a disadvantage in the battle of life on account of her sex. If she performs a man's work with equal efficiency she should receive the same compensation.
This is especially true in respect to teachers. It is now well established that women as a rule are the equals in all respects of men as teachers.
When equally as efficient and capable they should receive as much compensation.--
George H. Brown, Associate Justice, Raleigh, April 30, 1918.
I am heartily in favor of the improvement of our schools and think it will be necessary to pay higher salaries to the teachers. I also think it is but just and right that teachers should be paid the same amount for the same work in quantity and quality without regard to sex. I am inclined to think that those in charge of the educational interests of the state will have to pay a little more attention to seeing that more of the public money raised by taxation reaches teachers.--W. R. Allen, Associate Justice, Raleigh, April 27, 1918.
It goes without saying that any one who has the interests of his state at heart should favor, a measure that will tend to improve our schools, and I approve any plan that will contribute to such an end. The education of the people is a matter of the first importance, and, in order to have anything like a perfect educational system, the state should employ those well qualified to teach, and provide for them fair and adequate compensation for their services, allowing equal pay for equal work without discrimination among the teachers. Where the quality and quantity of the services rendered are the same, I can conceive of no reason why a distinction should be made as to the compensation.--P. D. Walker, Associate Justice, Raleigh, May 2, 1918.
I am genuinely in favor of equal pay for equal work, among the teachers of North
Carolina. The present inequitable system of higher pay for men cannot be justified from any standpoint. Every element of justice, right and fair play is with you in your contentions and a just people like those who live in our good old North Carolina will see to it that your demands shall be met. If there is any service I can perform in behalf of the women teachers of North Carolina, all they will have to do is to ask me and I will gladly perform the service, whatever it may be.--Walter Murphy, Speaker of House of Representatives, Salisbury, April 30, 1918.
I note with keen interest that the women teachers of North Carolina are planning to conduct a state-wide campaign for better schools, higher salaries and equal pay for equal work.
Such a campaign should have the generous and sympathetic support of the fine, progressive citizens of our great state; for I am sure that all agree that we need better schools and more of them, and there can be no doubt in any mind as to the need for more adequate salaries. This need is especially urgent in our rural schools.
I am satisfied that the love of justice inherent in the minds and hearts of North Carolinians will lead us all to realize that a woman teacher who renders faithful and efficient service should receive as large a salary as the man teacher who renders equally faithful and efficient service. I agree very thoroughly with the one who said:
"Justice requires that the amount of compensation should not be regulated by sex but by the amount of service rendered."
The teachers of North Carolina are doing much for the state. They are moulding its future to a greater degree than most of us realize. They are doing big things quietly, humbly, unselfishly. As a people we must stand behind them, we must give them worthy tools with which to build the fine fabric of our future citizenship. We must support them adequately in order that, without undue strain, they may carry on the essential, fundamental tasks that we have given them to do.
Thanking you for giving me the opportunity of speaking a work of cordial approval of your proposed campaign.--Thomas C. Darst, Bishop of East Carolina, Wilmington, April 19, 1918.
I can but wish you well in the effort that is being made that justice may be done the women teachers of North Carolina in the matter of equal pay for equal work done. There is no reason in justice or fair play why a woman should not get the same pay as a man if she does the same work equally as well as he does. The old view that the head of the house should support the family, naturally, called for special consideration to be given the man if he was going to be able to keep going; but all this is being changed with the opening of all lines of endeavor to women; so, inevitably, there must follow a new conception as to a woman's wage.
In the new order, with the changing
views and the enlarging field, you may rest assured that ultimately justice will be done. The fetters of custom and the bondage of tradition will give place to the equality due when a better order of democracy has arrived.
May your efforts aid in the consummation so much to be wished. Speed the day.--M. T. Plyler, Pastor of M. E. Church, Wilmington, April 22, 1918.
The effort of the women teachers of North Carolina to secure "equal pay for equal work" is one to enlist the support of every lover of justice. If, everything taken into consideration, the services rendered by women are equal to the services rendered by men, there is no just reason why the pay should not be equal.--J. Clyde Turner, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Greensboro, April 11, 1918.
Please let me say that I am in accord with the campaign for better schools, higher salaries, and equal pay for women and men for equal work.
Man and woman are essential in school training as in home training. They are temperamentally different, and in the education of the young both are necessary for the best results. Society will always demand women teachers as well as men. Inequality in compensation, as the double standard in morals, is a barbaric survival that has no premise for justification in a Christian civilization. I will help you wage this fight with all my heart.--E. L. Bain, Pastor West
Market Street M. E. Church, Greensboro, April 17, 1918.
Your letter of the 16th inst. affords me an opportunity that I gladly welcome. With all my heart I'll lend a hand whenever I can to "abolish prejudice." I hate all prejudice--class prejudice, national prejudice, race prejudice, and certainly "sex prejudice" too.
And in your proposition that "justice demands that the salary of the teacher be regulated not by sex but the amount and quality of the service rendered" I also most heartily concur. Women do not get justice and they ought to have it; teachers do not get justice and they ought to have it--and most of all women teachers do not get justice and I wish I could do even a little bit to help them to get it.
My observation is that when women teachers have paid living expenses, gone to teachers' meetings and summer schools, as superintendents expect, and perhaps as the law requires, they must start the next school year with nearly empty pocketbooks.
When women teach, and especially continue to teach for a term of years, they unquestionably diminish the likelihood of marriage, and as years advance their tenure of position becomes more uncertain, and often, after a life of hard toil and self-renunciation, they approach old age with the prospect of dependence and perhaps an old ladies' home. It is a crying shame, and neither the justice nor the manhood of the state ought to allow it to continue.
Can I further serve you in pressing your cause? I'll do all I can.--N. Collin Hughes, Chaplain of State Farm, Halifax, April 24, 1918.
I am delighted to hear that the women teachers of North Carolina are planning a state-wide campaign for better schools, higher salaries, and equal pay for equal work. They have my hearty sympathy in this effort. As an ardent lover and admirer of the people of my native state, a people justly renowned for their devotion to the old-fashioned standards of honesty and square dealing, I feel sure of the acceptance by them of the principle, so self-evidently just and right, that the amount of compensation should not be regulated by sex, but by the amount of service rendered.--Egbert W. Smith, Secretary of Executive Committee of Foreign Missions Presbyterian Churches in the United States, Nashville, Tenn., April 9, 1918.
I am in hearty sympathy with the idea that justice requires that the amount of compensation should not be regulated by sex, but by the amount of service rendered. I rejoice in every properly conducted movement that has in view the end of securing equal pay for equal work.--Walter L. Lingle, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., May 7, 1918.
I am heartily in favor of abolishing the discrimination against the women teachers in our schools in the matter of salary or compensation. Equal service calls for equal
pay. The salaries of all our teachers should be increased. But to pay larger salaries to male teachers, simply because they are men, when there is no difference in equipment and capability and when there is no difference in the amount of service required, is rank injustice, and is discrimination against sex which our faithful women teachers have a right to resent. I sympathize with them in their resentment. They are only asking for a square deal, and all fair-minded people should be willing to give it to them.--Milton A. Barber, Rector of Christ Church, Raleigh, April 8, 1918.
The proposition that the amount of pay for teaching should be regulated by the amount and quality of the service, seems to me to be self-evident. Sex is not a reasonable standard for determining either the amount or the quality of service. Equal pay to women for equal work has had to contend against economic sex prejudice and a superabundance of competing labor. Both of these factors are being gradually eliminated.
The pay of all good teachers must be raised or the profession of teaching beaten to pieces on the grim necessity of making a living wage.
No other matter of public policy is more important than this critical matter of stabilizing the profession of teaching. I am glad that you plan actively to arouse public sentiment in regard to it.--Edward K. Graham, President University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, April 11, 1918.
There are two propositions with reference to the status of women in the life of our state and nation to which I stand committed:
1st. I believe that our women citizens should have the same rights and privileges with reference to suffrage that is enjoyed by our men. If there should be any limitation along this line, it should not, of course, be based upon sex, but upon the ability of the individual to participate intelligently.
2nd. Simple fairness and justice demands that the amount paid for a given piece of work should in no way be regulated by whether or not the work is done by a man or a woman. If there be any method of estimating what a given piece of work is worth, the amount so decided upon should be paid for it. This proposition is so thoroughly understood that it needs no argument.--J. I. Foust, President of State Normal College, Greensboro, June 3, 1918.
I come to think more and more that in religion, in politics, and in social and industrial life men and women should be on an equality. This means, I think, that merely because a man is a man and a woman is a woman there should be no difference. Of course some things can be better done by men as a class, and some things by women as a class. But even these things are growing fewer as science, and new inventions and discoveries following science, change methods of operations; and performances which years gone by required severe physical exertions
now can be done by easy movements of parts of delicate machinery.
Justice requires that for equal service equal wages should be paid, no reference being made to sex as such. The wages of teachers should be increased in our state for the simple reason that the profession is all the time losing to other professions men and women, especially men, whose ability and scholarship are necessary to make our schools equal to the very great importance of educational needs of our young people. The education of our children is the one great outstanding vitally important thing a state can do for its future citizens, and therefore for its own perpetuation and greatness.--L. L. Hobbs, President of Guilford College, Guilford College, April 24, 1918.
I am glad to know that you are undertaking a state-wide campaign for better schools and better pay for teachers. Both of these are greatly needed. The amount of salary received for any service, it matters not by whom rendered, should most certainly depend upon the value of the service rendered without regard to race or sex.--Wm. J. Martin, President Davidson College, Davidson, April 18, 1918.
I am delighted to have your good letter. I am convinced that a woman worker should receive equal pay with a man worker, provided that they do equal work. The equality of the work should be carefully tested. Work consists not only of the amount performed but also of the quality and continuity
of the work. Unless the woman worker can do as much work as the man worker, unless she can do it as continuously and intensely and with as much enthusiasm as the man worker, her work should not be regarded as the equal of the man worker. I am delighted to make this statement for you, and I hope that it may serve you and the other good workers to some effect.--Charles L. Raper, Dean of Graduate School University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, April 23, 1918.
In a certain high school in this state I am told there is a woman principal who is paid a salary of $80.00 a month. Under her is a young man doing, of course, less important work, who is receiving for his service $100 a month. Discrimination so senseless and cruel against a capable and efficient teacher because she is "only a woman" is a good reason for the growing power of the woman suffrage movement in this country.
I am glad to lend my voice to the propaganda which has for its object the righting of the wrong to the womanhood of our state. The compensation for service should not be regulated by sex.
I have heard the argument advanced that men are entitled to more pay for the same service than women because, being the head of the household, their expenses are necessarily greater. This is no argument at all. Being the head of a household does not enter into the matter. Salaries are supposed
to be compensation for service rendered, and not a bonus for the support of a family.
I hail with joy the movement that is on for increasing the pay of teachers generally, and while we are engaged in the business of raising the teacher's pay to at least a living wage, we should also break down the sex barrier, and abolish the senseless practice of lifting the burdens from the shoulders of the physically strong and laying them the heavier upon the shoulders of the physically weak, just because they are weak.--Archibald Johnson, Editor of Charity and Children, Thomasville, April 10, 1918.
It seems to me that no one can dispute the proposition that where a woman renders service equal to that given by a man, she should receive as much pay as the man receives. Of course, there are some positions in which masculine qualities and others in which feminine qualities are more imperatively required. But in demanding "equal pay for equal service" you seem to me to be in an impregnable position.--Clarence Poe, President and Editor of Progressive Farmer, Raleigh, April 24, 1918.
Replying to your recent letter will say that I thoroughly subscribe to the sentiment that women are entitled to the same pay as men when they do work of the same efficiency.--R. W. Haywood, Editor News and Observer, Raleigh, April 26, 1918.
It is with a great deal of pleasure that
I have learned that the women teachers of North Carolina are planning to conduct a state-wide campaign for better schools, higher salaries and equal pay for equal work.
Nature has endowed every human being with a sense of justice. It is the common possession of humanity, and the more highly educated, the more highly refined one becomes, the stronger is the sense of justice, which was born in us. It is this sense of justice which prompts the women teachers of our state to appeal to those in authority to base the compensation given upon services rendered rather than upon the sex of the individual.
The teachers of our state have a very grave responsibility during this, national crisis, and many of them, not from choice, but from sheer necessity, have been obliged to undertake other work, as their salaries were not commensurate with the advance in the cost of living. Is it not an injustice to our highly equipped and cultured women teachers that they receive less compensation than do some of the illiterate janitors in our public schools? The janitors are paid through vacation while the teachers receive nothing and are expected to attend summer school at their own expense.
There is no greater patriotic service which can be rendered at this time than caring for the children of our own country. Upon them rests the responsibility of the future and they should be as well educated and as well trained as possible. There will be need for the best character and the highest
intelligence in our citizens to work out the problems following this great world war. Therefore we need to be equipped with the best teaching force the state can command to safeguard the character and education of our youth. With such an incentive we should not hesitate to select the best teachers the country affords and pay well for the services rendered.--Laura Holmes Reilley, State Chairman North Carolina Division Woman's Committee of Council of National Defense, Charlotte, April 19, 1918.
While America is waging war "to make the world safe for democracy," those who are not on the firing line must make that democracy safe for American children by fighting the menace of illiteracy and its attendant evils.
The home and the school are the bulwarks of civilization, and the great future for which we are striving is embodied in our children. They must be educated, or they will not successfully cope with the possibilities that the future will bring. The teachers are the educators and consequently the guardians of the future. They are indispensable and the highest estimate should be placed on the value of their services to the state and to the nation.
The only foundation on which permanent democracy can be built is justice, and justice to all. Are we meting out justice to the women teachers of North Carolina? They are efficient and faithful, even under the sting of injustice.
Is not the service they are rendering to
our state worthy of suitable recognition?
Can we expect them to teach our children to revere and uphold a democracy which permits sex-discrimination in the matter of compensation for service?
The majority of the real teachers, those who train little children, are women, while men fill all the high positions. If the exigencies of war, or other demands, call men from such positions, will women who have demonstrated their ability to fill such vacancies be permitted to do so? Will any just man offer them less compensation for the same services their predecessors received? I cannot believe it of the State of North Carolina. Can they accept less pay than is given men and retain their self-respect? Would it not be an admission of inferiority which we know is not a fact? Can they respect those who fix the salaries when such discrimination is shown? They cannot, for they know they render as good and often better service than men, and deserve equal recognition.
If we desire to retain the best types of womanhood as teachers for our children, we must make it "worth while", by giving them ungrudgingly "equal pay for equal work." This is all they ask.
We must keep up our schools, we must have the best teachers for our children. To secure and keep the best we must give them "a square deal". Other occupations are calling to them and offering alluring inducements, yet our women linger in the schoolrooms because they are women and love to train the children. Let us arouse
before it is too late, raise their salaries proportionate at least to the increased cost of living, and assure them that in their chosen profession which they honor they shall be rewarded, not according to sex but according to ability and service.
Give the women teachers a square deal!--Sallie Southall Cotten, State Chairman N. C. Division, General Federation of Women's Clubs, April, 1918.
I am very much interested in your movement of "equal pay for equal work." "Work is work," in the words of Secretary McAdoo, "and justice demands that there be but one price for one and the same work." No reasonable person would think it just that the authorities of a municipality regulate the price of bread by ruling that a certain loaf of bread be sold by a man baker for fifteen cents but by a woman baker for ten cents, when the only difference in the bread of the two bakers is that the woman makes and bakes her bread under more sanitary conditions. What would we think of the democracy of the United States if Congress had fixed the price of a bushel of wheat at $2.50 when sold by a man farmer, but at $1.50 when sold by a woman farmer? And yet is it not true that discriminations similar to these are being made in North Carolina by the legal representatives of the people who fix the salaries of the men and women teachers? I am told by those who have investigated the subject, that men, because they are men, are being paid from 30 to 80 per cent. more than women for the
same work in our schools. This is not fair, nor do I believe that the argument of "supply and demand" answers the question. It merely serves to becloud the issue. If this argument has had any merit in the past, it has certainly none in the present when Dr. Claxton, Commissioner of Education, is calling on the married teachers to attend summer schools, and as a patriotic duty help supply this overwhelming demand.
Wishing you success in your undertaking, I am,--Minnie McIver Brown, Director of State Normal College, May 10, 1918.
Replying to your letter of the 22nd, forwarded me here from my former home in North Carolina, I delight to say that I am in entire sympathy and accord with the purposes which it announces. Since I have been interested in school work, which has been for quite a number of years, I have not been able to see why a woman should not be paid just as high a salary for teaching as should a man. And when I remember that to her teaching she adds, by her womanly precepts and example, all of those lessons which are inherent in the mother nature, and which, if followed, produce the cleanest and sturdiest manhood, I feel that she ought to have even greater consideration, and wonder why we, who know these things, have not long since accorded to her a righteous due. There is no truer postulate than that a just recognition of the value of women as teachers will make better
the schools, and no sounder doctrine than that in the formative period of life nothing is so surely a moulder of character as daily contact with womanly virtues. The value of its influence is priceless, and certainly deserves all that the state can pay. I regret, that by reason of my absence from North Carolina, I am not able to give practical help to furthering this merited contention on the part of the women teachers of our state. --Thomas S. McMullan, Captain M. R. C., U. S. A., Fort Morgan, Ala., April 28, 1918.
I congratulate you on your interest in increasing the salaries of teachers and in placing women teachers on the same salary basis as men teachers.
I don't see how any teacher can teach with the average salary that teachers are getting at this time and pay the prices of board that are demanded of them. They do not get half what a negro laborer gets and it seems to me that they at least ought to be worth as much as the ordinary farm hand. Of course this means that, unless the salaries are raised and raised sufficiently to make it worth while, they are going to quit teaching, and no one can blame them. I can't imagine how they have held out so long.
Everybody that knows anything about schools, knows that as a rule the women teachers do at least as good work if not better than the men, unless it could possibly be in the handling of the larger boys, and in this instance the tactful woman can beat
a man hands down. I sincerely trust that your efforts along these two lines will succeed to your entire satisfaction and to the satisfaction and benefit of the people of our state.--L. B. McBrayer, Superintendent of the North Carolina Sanatorium, Sanatorium, April 20, 1918.
I have long felt that all of our teachers were scandalously underpaid, women as well as men. Moreover, with women doing the majority of the teaching they deserve the same salaries which the men get. If we paid out larger salaries to the teachers of children between seven and fourteen and got the most experienced expert teachers, we would not have much trouble after that time with our youths' education. I recognize the difficulty in war times of increasing the teachers' salaries, but I feel it is not only justice to the teachers, but what is much more to the point, a necessity to the children growing up and to the future generations.--Charles L. Minor, Asheville, April 19, 1918.
I do not see how anyone who has the best interest of his state at heart can oppose "better schools", which means "higher salaries with equal pay for equal work". Justice certainly demands that the salary of the teacher should be regulated by the quantity and quality of the services rendered.
The nervous work of teaching demands long and comfortable vacations, which again means better salaries. Many women have the same living expenses and the same heavy
responsibilities as men, and they should receive salaries that meet those demands.
At this crucial time when our women must take the places of the drafted men, I think it very necessary that every encouragement should be offered them to perfect their training, experience and business habits, and I know of no stronger incentive than an adequate salary.
Assuring you of my deep interest in this movement.--J. C. Watkins, Winston-Salem, May 2, 1918.
My attention has been directed to the fact that the women teachers of North Carolina are planning for a state-wide campaign for better schools, better salaries, and equal pay for equal work.
As one deeply interested in all which concerns this noble band of women workers in our good state, I wish them Godspeed in this undertaking. In this time of our nation's greatest crisis, women have responded, as they always have, in such a way that we men take off our hats as they pass us on the road to patriotic sacrifices. They are doing men's work and doing it well, as they do everything they undertake, and the day of discrimination in compensation should be a thing of the past. "To the victor belongs the spoils" should apply with equal force to the workers who produce the work.
I have in my own office three of these chosen vessels and I may say, with modesty, that I practice what I advocate above.--Walker Taylor, Wilmington, April 20, 1918.
I wish to say that I am thoroughly of the opinion that women should receive the same pay as men for equal work, and especially I think there should be a more equitable adjustment of the salaries of teachers.
It will be necessary, however, to approach this ideal more slowly than we would like because of the law of supply and demand. In the past there have been more women available for positions than there were places to offer, and competition had an influence.
In future it would seem that conditions will be different, because it will become necessary for women to do a great deal of work which has heretofore been done exclusively by men, and as soon as the field for women is broadened the overcrowding in a few professions and occupations will be to a great extent avoided.
Today the Tide Water Power Company is advertising for young women to take the position of conductors on the traction lines, to perform the same duties and receive the same pay as men; and we feel that this, if the opportunity is utilized, is a practical step in the direction that you have indicated.--Hugh MacRae, Wilmington, April 24, 1918.
Referring to yours of April 23rd, I am very much of the opinion that the school teachers of North Carolina are entitled to higher salaries, and I see no reason why there should be any discrimination on account of sex for like work and service.--Geo. A. Holderness, Tarboro, April 24, 1918.
I know of no greater injustice than the present habit in North Carolina of paying women teachers who do the same work as men teachers, less money than is paid the men. I subscribe to the doctrine of equal opportunity for all and of equal pay to all who do equal work. The woman who cooks should be paid the same amount of money as a man cook is paid, provided she cooks as much as he does, and as well; and so through all professions and callings of life. Women teachers should be paid the same salaries men teachers are paid if they do the same grade and amount of teaching that men do.--Francis D. Winston, Windsor, April 20, 1918.
I have never yet had any argument presented to me, nor have I ever seen any reason why a lady teacher, a lady stenographer or a lady bookkeeper should not receive equal compensation for the same service rendered as a man, simply because he is a male instead of a female person.
Please, however, note the qualification "for the same service rendered."
As a matter of fact, there are many instances and many cases where the lady teacher, by reason of her natural advantages, should command more compensation than her male competitor.
It is my profound conviction that in all professions or occupations the compensation for service should not be regulated by sex, but by the "amount and quality of service rendered."
Let me further add that I have never been a believer in universal male suffrage. I think that suffrage should be regulated by both an educational and a tax-paying qualification, and when that time comes (as I believe it will) I am also a believer in granting the right of suffrage to the womanhood of the land.
The home is the "author and finisher" of our Christian civilization. To woman is due everything good that emanates from the home. If she is capable of rearing, teaching and developing the citizenship of the land from childhood to manhood and womanhood, she is certainly capable of caring for them in every other branch of life.
I wish you success in your most laudable campaign for a just and fair compensation for your sex.--Jas. D. McNeill, Mayor, Fayetteville, April 25, 1918.
In reply to your letter I will say that I wish you a high degree of success in your campaign for better schools, higher salaries, and equal pay for equal work. If I understand the latter proposition correctly, it means that a woman teacher shall receive the same compensation that a man teacher would receive for the same work. I don't see how the fairness of this proposition is open to controversy. I believe the proper criterion for pay for any work is the value of the service rendered. I suppose the inequality in pay between men teachers and women teachers is a relic of those days when the teacher, in order to gain the respect of his pupils, had to assert his physical prowess
over all comers. The conditions which justified the custom having been discontinued, there is now no semblance of justice in continuing the rule. The only defense of the system that I have ever heard advanced is that a man usually has a family to support and for that reason ought to be paid more money, but in no other line of work have I ever known of the rule prevailing.--Junius D. Grimes, Director of State Normal College, Washington, April 17, 1918.
It gives me very great pleasure to say a word in behalf of the women teachers in North Carolina. Women teachers ought to receive a higher salary for the same class of work than the man teacher, for the reason that the woman is a natural-born instructor and is really superior to her brother, the man teacher. The sooner the women take charge of the schools, the municipal governments and many other state agencies, so much the better it will be for the state. The present pay for teachers is a disgrace. In our graded school the teachers are all women except the superintendent and they do not get enough salary to keep soul and body together. There are enough women of ability in this school to fill any position in North Carolina. But the men happen to hold all the places worth having in the schools.
I was in Michigan University with 1500 young women and from that day I have been for woman suffrage. I there learned that women are the equal of man in most respects and his superior in many. I saw women leading their classes in almost every
department of that great university. I thank you for the opportunity to give this expression.--Zeb V. Walser, Lexington, April, 1918.
I am very glad to know that the "women teachers of the state are planning a statewide campaign for better schools, higher salaries and equal pay for equal work." I am heartily in accord with the purpose of this campaign and am quite sure we can hope for good results from such an organized effort.
I have felt for sometime that the teachers of the state are too poorly paid for the earnest and unselfish work they are doing; and I firmly believe in the proposition of equal pay for equal work. It is only a matter of justice that the women be paid as much as the men are paid for the same amount and quantity of work, and sex prejudice should not be allowed to enter at all. The women can correct this injustice when they make up their minds to do so; their opportunity is at hand.
That we need better schools does not admit of argument.
I hope your campaign much success and I will be glad to help speed the movement along as much as I can.--Claudius Dockery, Troy, May 4, 1918.
I take pleasure in sending my views upon the subject of woman's work and compensation therefor.
I have never had any sort of patience with the big mercantile houses paying a man twice as much salary for the same kind of work as a woman and paying the woman a
small salary--simply because she is a woman.
I have never had any patience with paying a teacher who may be a man a much larger salary than a woman who is doing work in the same school of the same or similar character as well and perhaps better than the man teacher does his work. The only reason for the difference in salary is the fact that the one is a man and the other is a woman.
The salary of the teacher should be fixed by the amount and quality of service rendered and by that standard alone. The sex of the teacher should have absolutely nothing to do with the salary paid the teacher. As a matter of justice this alone should be the basis of salaries paid to teachers.--C. H. Mebane, Ex-State Supt. Public Instruction of North Carolina, and Director of State Normal College, Newton, April 18, 1918.
Replying to your letter of April 16, I beg to advise that I will be only too glad to assist you in any way possible in your state-wide campaign for better schools, higher salaries, and equal pay for equal work. We all know of the splendid work done by the lady teachers in North Carolina. To my mind it is little less than an outrage that those in authority force the lady teachers to accept a salary less than is paid to those of the opposite sex. I firmly believe that if the lady teachers in North Carolina would abandon the school work, that our schools would be hopelessly lacking in efficient work. If this be true, there can be no argument against recognizing their valuable services and paying them a sum equal to that paid to the men teachers.
If at any time I can help you in any way, do not hesitate to call on me.--A. A. Whitener, Hickory, April 23, 1918.
I am in hearty sympathy with the statewide campaign which is being planned by the women teachers of North Carolina for better schools, higher salaries and equal pay for equal work. If North Carolina is to become the great state that we have a right to expect, she must have better schools. The waste caused by ignorance is enormous and must be eliminated if we are to keep pace with our sister states.
The most important thing about a school is the teacher and, while the teacher is willing to make great sacrifices for the profession, we cannot in reason expect the best work without adequate compensation. To have the best schools we must have the best teachers and we must have higher salaries if we are to hold and continue to attract to the profession the best talent of the young womanhood and manhood of the state.
Most of the teaching in North Carolina is done by the woman and without her our school system would be practically non-existent. No sound argument can be advanced for paying the woman teacher less than the man teacher, when she does the same work. For many grades the woman is incomparably superior and does a work that man cannot do.
We are confidently looking forward to that brighter day when woman shall receive full justice and her work be fairly rewarded, and when the schools of North Carolina shall
be equal to the best in any, state.--A. M. Scales, Greensboro, April 26, 1918.
I am unqualifiedly in favor of paying the women teachers in this state the same salaries which the men receive where the work is the same; if there is a discrimination on account of sex, the best and truest sentiment in this state should correct it at once. I know from experience and the great interest I have always taken in our public school system in this state, that the most valuable and most useful teachers as a class are our enthusiastic and unselfish women.--John H. Kerr, Superior Court Judge of the Third Judicial District, Warrenton, April 21, 1918.
No single utterance declaratory of a great principle has attracted more attention in the last century than Mr. Wilson's declaration that "we are in this war to make the world safe for democracy." It was a clarion call to the hosts of liberty-loving, freedom-seeking people throughout the world.
While our soldiers are fighting upon the battlefields of France to fulfill this hope and aspiration, it devolves upon us at home to educate all the people so that democracy itself may be made safe to rule the world. Outside of the influence of the Christian religion, nothing is so important in this great work as thorough education. In the educational work of North Carolina the women are doing by far the greater part. As their sisters in France are working like slaves in munition and armament factories in order that the war may be continued to a successful end, so are the women of
this state giving their all to educate the youth of the land. Indeed, it may be truthfully said of them that they are "over-worked" and "underpaid." They are not only underpaid for services actually performed, but are discriminated against on account of their sex where equal labor is performed. Now that the civilized governments of the earth have recognized woman as the equal of man, and twenty states of this Union have granted to her equal privileges and rights before the law, is it not high time that we should at least be just to the women? Vance once tersely said, "The horse that pulls the plow should eat the fodder". Shall we not with equal justice now say that the woman who does the work shall have the pay, and that, too, in the same proportion as men are paid where the work is in all respects similar and as efficient?
I hope and expect to see the time come in North Carolina, and that very soon, when all teachers will receive better compensation for the fine work they are doing. And while we are fighting to establish justice and equality among the peoples of the world, let us not forget that women are equally entitled to share the blessings flowing from a world made safe for democracy and a democracy made safe for the world.--A. L. Brooks, Greensboro, May, 6, 1918.
If any discrimination is to be made in the pay of men and women for the same grade and kind of work, done equally as well by one as the other, it should, in my opinion, be in favor of the women. Certainly I can
see no reason why it should be against them. Both justice and fair play demand that they be given a status equal with men in all kinds of work. Of course, if women had the right to vote they would quickly secure that equality, because they would then have the power. But because they have not now that right is no reason why such equality should not be accorded them as a matter of justice and right.
It was for that reason that the Republican party at its recent convention unanimously adopted as a part of its platform the following: "5. We heartily favor better pay for all our public school teachers and declare that there should be no discrimination in the pay of teachers of equal grade, whether male or female."
That resolution was unanimously reported by the Committee on Platform and Resolutions and was adopted with equal unanimity and enthusiasm by the convention.
I need not tell you that it has my hearty approval and that I shall be glad to aid in any way I can in securing such equality in the pay of teachers and of women engaged in all sorts of work. Wherever they can do the same work as well as men, they should in my opinion receive the same pay that men receive for that work. If any one can give a reason why this should not be done, I should like to hear it.--Wm. P. Bynum, Greensboro, April 23, 1918.
I wish to say that I am most heartily in favor of better pay for our teachers. It is my opinion that the teachers of North Carolina
are the poorest paid, considering the very high character of services rendered, of any other class.
As to the women teachers of the state I desire to say that in my opinion they have rendered the state a service that could not have been rendered by the men of the state, and I have never been able to understand why they should not have, for the same kind of work, performed with equal if not superior ability, the same pay as men. I am sure that the time will soon arrive when our people will see the justice of the request on the part of the women teachers of the state for equal pay with men for the same grade of services and grant the request.--Walter E. Brock, Wadesboro, April 27, 1918.
I am heartily in favor of the movement for better schools and higher salaries for teachers in our North Carolina schools. I do not believe women teachers should be discriminated against in the matter of salaries, but am in favor of paying them equal salaries with men when all the circumstances justify it.--S. M. Gattis, Hillsboro, April 24, 1918.
I am thoroughly in accord with the proposed state-wide campaign for better schools, higher salaries and equal pay for equal work. I do not see why there should be any sex prejudice in North Carolina with reference to this matter, so far as the schools are concerned, and do not think that many of our people are against equal pay for equal work. I believe that justice demands that the salary of a teacher be regulated
not by sex but by the amount and the quality of the services rendered. I see no reason why a woman should not be paid the same as a man, if she performs her work in an equally satisfactory manner.--Geo. M. Rose, Fayetteville, April 24, 1918.
The death of my father, Mr. W. D. Pruden, has caused this delayed acknowledgment of yours of the 15th inst. to him. Were he living I am sure he would be in sympathy and accord with the ideas expressed in your letter, as I certainly am. The time has come for a change and if there is anything I can do to aid in the movement, it will be a pleasure for me to be of service.--J. N. Pruden, Edenton, April 22, 1918.
It seems to me that the proposition you mention is so self-evident that it needs no argument to convince a reasonable person.
The amount and quality of service rendered is the only test that ought to be applied and it matters not whether the teacher be a man or woman, there is no valid argument for the position that one should receive more salary than the other, under similar circumstances.
You may rest assured that I am one of those who believe that compensation should be measured by the value of the service rendered.--W. F. Taylor, Goldsboro, May 15, 1918.