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Barnt Green woman claims unfair dismissal from teaching job
4:20pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
AN award winning union representative from Barnt Green complained she unfairly lost her teaching job after making whistle blowing allegations about asbestos at her school.
Kike Gbinigie, of Fiery Hill Road, sought compensation for unfair dismissal and race discrimination against Birmingham City Council at Birmingham Employment Tribunal.
The council run the Dorrington Primary School where Mrs Gbinigie was a teacher and a National Association of School Masters Union of Women Teachers (NASMUWT) representative.
The tribunal was told that Mrs Gbinigie was well respected with 13 years teaching experience, and recently won a NASUWT Representative of the Year Award.
Mrs Gbinigie was asked to work in a hut in the school’s grounds although the respondents said there was nothing unusual about the move.
Other teachers were also expected to work in the hut on a rota basis.
Mrs Gbinigie said she made a whistle blowing allegation, as a union representative, about asbestos in the school.
She said she made the disclosure in the public interest, and was not satisfied with the way the asbestos situation was then handled.
Mrs Gbinigie complained she was later suspended, then eventually unfairly dismissed.
The council opposed her compensation claims, and denied race discrimination allegations.
In a tribunal statement Loretta Barratt said she was appointed as a strategic leader to support the acting head teacher and was eventually appointed as a substantive head teacher after complaining that the school, under previous management, had been a shambles.
“The school had been 10 years behind in progress and teaching methods and standards had been appalling,” she said.
“Half the staff had left and a high percentage of parents had withdrawn their children.”
Ms Barratt said she canvassed for new build projects at the school but alleged Mrs Gbinigie became aggressive as she complained about the asbestos.
Ms Barratt also alleged Mrs Gbinigie’s personality changed. She denied both accusations.
Ms Barratt claimed there had been a misrepresentation about the asbestos and the tribunal was told that it appeared to be more confined to the boiler room.
The hearing was listed for nine days and tribunal judge Mr David Kearsley is expected to make a decision at a later date.