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Thursday 25th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Felicity Collier

TEACHERS won a landmark victory yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled that an employer had deducted too much from workers’ wages following a strike.

Education union NASUWT argued that King Edward VI College in Stourbridge had wrongly calculated deductions from three teachers’ annual pay, after they withdrew their labour for one day in 2011.

The case first went to court in 2013, after the college had taken 1/260th of pay from Jeremy Panko, Stewart Monk and Peter Hartley.

NASUWT maintained that only 1/365th of their annual pay should have been taken to reflect the number of days in the year, whereas the 1/260 calculation excludes weekends.

After a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the college, NASUWT took the case to the Supreme Court, where the decision was overturned.

The union’s general secretary Chris Keates said: “The Supreme Court ruling is a landmark victory for teachers’ rights across the UK.

“Time and time again, employers have sought to use the 1/260th deduction instead of the deduction of 1/365th that the NASUWT has always maintained was the correct calculation.

“NASUWT has pursued this issue doggedly since 2011. While others gave up, we continued to fight this important principle, not only for the teachers at King Edward VI College in Stourbridge, but also for all those in sixth form colleges.

“We will now be seeking reimbursement of the monies unlawfully deducted from our members.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling was based on the 1870 Apportionment Act, which states that salaries “shall be considered as accruing from day to day and shall be apportionable in respect of time accordingly.”

The three teachers pointed out that they had regularly undertaken additional work during evenings, weekends and annual leave.