Officials of Chernihiv city council: on the issue of payment of labour (1901 – 1917 years)

The municipal self-government of Chernihiv at the beginning of ХХ century was presented by duma – an administrative organ and by a council – executive. The staff of council was formed by a mayor, secretary and a few leaders who were accountable for the certain spheres of municipal economy. All of them had a status of civil servants and got their income in the size which was ratified by duma. The salary was appointed before the balloting on positions, that allowed to estimate really work of each leader and not to concentrate on a concrete person. The employees’ salary was constant. During 1901 – 1905 the Chernihiv mayor got 3000 roubles on a year, a secretary – 1500 roubles, three members of council – 900 roubles each of them and additionally 300 roubles for business trips, in total – 1200 roubles each of them. In 1905 according to expansion of executable duties the increase of rates took place. 3600 roubles was counted to a mayor, to the secretary – 1800 roubles, to the members of council – 1500 roubles each. The marked salaries remained unchanging to revolution of 1917 Chernihiv, comparatively with other province centers the size of salary had low economic parameters, that is why the size of income was determined not only once in four years but also remained static during a few next elections. In a period of the First world war, taking into account rising the price of foodstuffs, fuel, necessaries, a non-permanent material help was given.

Municipal self-government of Chernihiv in early twentieth century structurized by two institutions. Regulatory functions assigned to the Duma, the executive – to the board. They were elected for four years by representatives of local community, endowed with voting rights. Personal structure of the board presented by mayor, secretary and several managers who were responsible for specific areas of municipal economy. All members of the executive institution were in the status of civil servants moving up the career ladder in accordance with the Table of Ranks and received a salary in the amount determined by deputies of Duma.

The executive branch of self-government not only performed resolutions of Duma, but enjoyed the right of independent decision-making. Were approved plans for the construction of private homes, public baths, industrial facilities, safe from the environmental point of view; issued permits for various restructuring and capital repairs; together with police officers controlled the process of building of settlement.

The purpose of this studio is to analyze the volume of earnings of employees in Chernihiv City Council during 1901-1917. It is appropriate to determine whether the size of the official salary acted as a factor that stimulated the initiative and productivity, or, on the contrary, caused a desire to work at half strength?

Size of bets for managers defined by deputies before balloting on the posts. In this way, tried to avoid the subjectivity and adequately evaluate in monetary terms work of employees. Thus, from 1901 to 1905 mayor of Chernihiv received 3,000 rubles per year, the Secretary – 1500 rubles, three members of the Board – 900 rubles and additional 300 rubles for business trips, together – 1,200 rubles each. So each year 8100 rubles were allocated from the budget.

After elections to the institutions of municipal government for the period of 1905 – 1909 raised an issue of increasing salaries of Board members. As arguments emphasized heavy workload, responsibility and low level of payment for employees of municipal administration in comparison with other professions. Therefore deputies determined that during 1905 – 1909 for mayor it was counted 3,600 rubles, for secretary – 1800 rubles, for board members – 1,500 rubles (1200 rubles – wager and 300 rubles – for business trips).

Determining the size of salaries of officials of city government of Chernihiv explained by the following factors. First, in the early twentieth century significantly expanded the range of responsibilities in respect of communal economy, exploitation of objects of municipal property, implementation of socially important projects. With the accession of Empire in World War I added problems related to furnishing of military units, wounded and refugees; economic crisis forced to take care of proper food supply of the city, regulation of the price on local markets and so on. Bodies of self-governments, more than ever, need competent professionals, who were able to work with maximum efficiency. By the time of elections they occupied certain positions in accordance with the professional education with appropriate payment. Being delegated to the institution of public administration, they hoped, it’s quite natural, on the a decent financial reward. Secondly should take into account the level of responsibility of city leaders before community and state authorities. The members of the board were under constant and captious glance of the local community. Perceiving for the proper improvement of beautification of the city, it had a little thoughts over the fact how much efforts worth, for example, putting of pavement in Chernihiv, electrify, establish a centralized water supply system, open a new school and so on. Instead, any, even small, shortcomings in the work caused a wave of criticism and even making complaints to higher power institutions. So far as members of the board were civil servants, their activities in the same way were controlled by provincial government. Its representatives demanded from the self-governing structures primarily finance so-called «compulsory nationwide needs». Sometimes an important questions for the city is not resolved through bureaucratic delays or personal dislike between leaders of self-government and provincial administration. Therefore for people who sincerely wanted to change for a better life of citizens, a constant balancing between the interests of the community and the state led to significant psychological pressure, which can hardly compensate in monetary terms.

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