In his History of the Staff Association, Howard Powell describes how the Bank's Welfare Fund Committee was started in January 1929. He also states that staff representatives were informed in August 1945 that the Welfare Fund Committee would cease at September 30th 1945.
Background to the purpose of the Staff Welfare Fund, and the reasons for its cessation, are contained within a report by the General Manager in July 1945:
In January 1929 a Staff Welfare Fund was inaugurated to meet expenses in connection with Corporation Sports Grounds and social activities, provide prizes for juniors, etc. The Fund has been built up by contributions of 2d per week from each member and an equivalent contribution from Bank funds, and is now in credit to the extent of £288. 17. 11d. Management of the Fund is vested in a Committee consisting of three members of the Bank Committee and three staff members. Some objects mentioned have ceased to apply. Corporation Sports Grounds for games were not supported to any appreciable extent, and gradually the staff failed to make use of the Grounds. Prizes to juniors ceased many years ago, being supplanted by a more generous scheme of grants from Bank funds on passing examinations. In 1934 the objects were extended to bring in activities of the Staff Club, formed in connection with use of the new Assembly Hall at Head Office, and to meet other purposes.
The Staff Welfare Fund Committee is not a welfare organisation as generally understood. The function of the Committee is mainly that of approving grants to members on retirement, etc and scarcely warrants the time of members of the Bank Committee attending the meetings.
It would be better to replace the present Committee by a Staff Welfare Sub-Committee of the Bank Committee, which would deal with matters affecting the welfare and working conditions of the staff (excluding questions of remuneration), to whom the Welfare Officer (Miss R M Brown) could present reports, and upon which the Sub-Committee would give directions. Minutes could be kept in the usual way by the Clerk to the Bank Committee, who would summon any necessary meetings.
If this meets with approval, contributions for purely social activities would become a staff matter entirely, whilst expenditure on welfare matters would be met from Bank funds.
A decision should be reached regarding the balance now standing in the account.
In due course, the existing funds were transferred into accounts of the BMB Staff Social and Recreational Fund.
Howard Powell's account of the Staff Association's history also recalls the rules laid down by the Bank's management in regard to the use of the Head Office's Assembly Hall in 1934. In July 1945, the General Manager also reported (to the Bank Committee) on the current conditions for use of the Assembly Hall:
In March 1934 conditions were laid down for the use of the Assembly Hall by non-manual staff of the Bank for social or recreative purposes, in conjunction with the Staff Club, then established. The Club only functioned for a few years, and became merged into the Staff Committee.
Applications have been made on several occasions for sanction to a licence for intoxicating drinks to be obtained on the premises at dances, etc. Such applications have been refused by various Chairmen. It is advisable that such attitude be maintained.
In view of a probable greater use of the Hall in future, revised conditions applicable thereto have been prepared and are now submitted for approval, as follows:
Conditions applicable to the use of the
Assembly Hall by Non-Manual and Manual Staffs
of the Municipal Bank.
1 Any member of the Staff may use the Assembly Hall for social or recreative purposes on any week-day, excluding Saturday, between the hours of 4pm and 6:30pm.
2 Should the staff desire to use the Hall at other times, application must be made to the General Manager, who will give his decision on such application.
3 At specified functions such as dances, etc, a member of the Staff will be allowed to bring one visitor, whose name must be registered in the Visitors' Book. One member of the Staff appointed by the Staff Committee (whose name must be notified to the General Manager before the function takes place) will be responsible for the supervision of the function and the general conduct of those taking part.
4 The use of the Assembly Hall for any special function will be restricted to the Hall itself and the necessary cloakroom accommodation.
5 No charge will be made in respect of heating and lighting. Expenses in connection with any function such as the cleaning of the Assembly Hall, taking up and re-laying the carpet, removal and re-erection of any furniture or fixtures, etc must be defrayed by those responsible for the function.