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Pay Dispute with previous school

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Vickykom, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Vickykom

    Vickykom New commenter


    I wonder if anyone can offer a bit of advice? I am, at present, in dispute with a school I used to teach at and am looking for sound independent advice. I am not a union member and wondered if it would be worth my while joining and getting them to represent me?

    Or is there an alternative organisation?

    Any pointers/advice is most welcome.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @Vickykom Unions won't normally represent you in something that arose before you joined.

    Depends what the issue is but either own solicitor or Citizens Advice might be your best bet. @GLsghost may be able to comment further.

    Even if they won't help you with this it's foolish not to be a union in case something else happens in future - @TheoGriff has advice on this somewhere.on here.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Oh dear me!

    Oh dear me that you aren't in a union . . . most unwise.


    And oh dear me that you think that, having saved paying the union in the past, they will now let you join so that they can help you out now, for free, over something that happened when you weren't in the union . . .

    :( :(

    As @Rott Weiler says, they won't.

    Why should they?

    That's why people pay their union subscription regularly, for years and years, so that they can act on their behalf if it ever becomes necessary.

    It's like the Fire Insurance on your home - you hope that you will never need it, and if you don't have insurance, you don't expect an Insurance Company to allow you to join after the fire so that they can pay out compensation . . .

    :( :( :(

    Join a Union. Yes, now!

    You may be able to get help from the Citizen's Advice Bureau. Or your home insurance policy (you DO have insurance?) may in the small print have legal support for disputes. If you have that, then you could try contacting them about it.

    Otherwise you are going to be stuck with paying for an Employment Lawyer yourself, Perhaps with the money saved from not paying your Union subscriptions?


    I can only hope that the pay dispute is something fairly minor, so that you haven't lost out too much.

    And that you are at this very moment, filling out the form for your bank to start paying the subscription for the union membership that you are now taking out, for future not past problems.


    Best wishes

    Rott Weiler likes this.
  4. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Yes, Citizens Advice can assist at no cost or there may be a local Law Centre. As others have said, a union will not usually assist with a problem that pre-dates an application for membership.

    Also, have you checked your home insurance? Many policies include free legal cover.

    Citizens Advice does have employment specialists but, as many are volunteers, you may need to spread your net to find a Bureau with the right level of expertise in house. We all have access to specialist support, but it's not the same as having someone who can drafdt documents or represent, if necessary.

    If you are really stuck (i.e. after trying local options) and you PM me, my Bureau (with employment specialists) can advise you by email or phone - but it will have to be done via the CA mechanism. I am not able to advise on TES. All CA involvement is free of charge.

    And now take @TheoGriff 's advice and join a union!!!!
  5. Vickykom

    Vickykom New commenter


    Many thanks for all of the advice. I am not teaching in a school anymore which is why I am no longer in a union.

    Thanks once again. X
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    My union were anxious to tell me, when I wanted to leave, that they would no longer cover me even for things relating to the time I had been a member. (I did know this, and had stayed for a while because of this.)

    This policy seems entirely reasonable if the person concerned has joined a different teaching union, or just decided they won't bother with being in a union, although they're still teaching.

    But in my case, I now teach in Higher Education, and there was a limit to how long I wanted to stay in a union which wasn't involved in contract negotiations with my employers and wasn't campaigning on my pension scheme. I've moved to the UCU, but I've now no cover from either if anything blows up relating to my previous jobs. It seems similarly unfair on those now retired - the "retired member" fees are less, but a lot for someone on a pension.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Although I have now retired, and have no intention of doing any teaching, I pay a reduced rate to stay in my union in case something arises from the past. Not that I expect anything to. If I had a dispute with my old school, I would have been even keener to stay.

    If you are pretty confident of your grounds and have no way of getting free legal advice, you could try https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/overview .

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