Strike action – claim your reimbursement

Have you taken strike action when working in a sixth form college during the past six years? If so, you can now claim reimbursement if the pay deduction made by the college was greater than it should have been. I am writing to you to let you know how the NUT will help you secure that reimbursement.

All of this follows a recent Supreme Court judgement (the Hartley case) in which the court ruled that any deductions from pay in respect of strike action for sixth form college teachers should be made at a rate of 1/365 of annual salary, rather than the rate of 1/260 of annual salary which colleges have generally used. You are able to seek reimbursement for up to six years after the date of any excessive deduction.

If you took part in the NUT’s national strike action on 15 March 2016, the previous national NUT strikes on 10 July 2014, 26 March 2014, 30 June 2011 and 30 November 2011, the regional NUT strikes in June or October 2013, or in NUT strike action in your own college at any other point in the past six years, you can seek reimbursement from your college, if necessary via a legal claim in the County Court.

NUT is helping members to secure reimbursement in the following ways:

  • We have written to all individual colleges, asking them to agree to reimburse such teachers and thereby avoid the cost of court action. Well over half of colleges have already replied stating that they will reimburse teachers who suffered inappropriate deductions. A list of those colleges can be found here
  • If you have had deductions made by any college which has offered such an undertaking, the NUT is advising you to write to the Principal stating that you wish to receive a reimbursement. The NUT does not intend to support such members in submitting any County Court claims which involve additional legal fees. Obviously if any college was to renege on its undertaking, we would work with members to submit court claims for all strike action deductions, escalating the cost to the college considerably via the legal fees involved.
  • So, if you have a claim against any college which has agreed to make reimbursement, please use the template letter available here to notify the college of your claim. If you have had deductions made by any college which has not offered such an undertaking, the NUT is advising you to contact the relevant NUT regional office for assistance in submitting a County Court claim. If you wish to make a claim against a college for which you worked previously, rather than your current college, you should contact the NUT regional office for the area where the college is located. You can find contact details for NUT regional offices at www.teachers.org.uk/contactus
  • This assistance is only available to NUT members currently paying an in-service or retired membership subscription. However, NUT advice on making a claim in the County Court seeking compensation for former members who were in membership at the time of industrial action is available here. Former members who were in membership at the time of industrial action and where the College has agreed to reimburse payment can use the template letter here.

The sums involved may not be large – for a teacher paid £36,500 at the time of a strike, for example, the sum to be reimbursed will be around £25 – but the principle is an important one and the NUT wants to ensure that all of its members receive the compensation to which they are entitled.

 

 

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