Ref NoNUMDA/7/4/2
TitleAscertainments (monthly)
DescriptionThe ascertainment system was a way of regulating miners' wages. After the 1926 strike a minimum wage was established. Under the ascertainment system, each district paid a premium over the minimum wage, expressed as a percentage. The percentage was fixed by deducting certain agreed costs from the total sales revenue of the collieries in the district and dividing the remainder proportionally between wages and profits. The percentage was based on teh price of coal sold at the pit head only and not on the overall profits made by the coalowners from by-products or by selling coal cheaply to their own subsidiary companies. Neutral accountants arrived at the final percentage, known as 'the district average'. The percentage was what each man would be paid on top of the minimum wage during the next wage period, usually one or three months.
(Taken from Harry Tootle's Mining Dictionary
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