'Bullied' lecturer wins case

26th March 1999 at 00:00
A LECTURER who claimed she was bullied out of her part-time job has won her case for constructive dismissal. Her college failed to turn up at an industrial tribunal hearing.

Maureen Nash, formerly a hairdressing lecturer at Skelmersdale College, in Lancashire, says she was driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown after she had complained about the college's selection procedure to fill a vacant post.

According to lecturers' union NATFHE, which represented her, she unsuccessfully applied for the post and was subsequently bullied, harassed, and "sent to Coventry" on the instructions of the department manager.

"After a year of such treatment, which led to several absences due to stress-related illness, Ms Nash resigned from her post last October. We say she was constructively dismissed," said her union.

The tribunal unanimously ruled that she was subjected to humiliating treatment and her life had been made "wretched".

Sue Berryman, head of NATFHE's colleges' department, said: "The college has made real errors of judgment in handling this case - including its no-show at the tribunal and the failure to answer questions."

Ms Nash said: "I'm really pleased at the outcome. I hope the college will not now ignore the complaints of staff, including their part-timers."

A college spokeswoman said it had tried to reach a conclusion through conciliation with ACAS assistance, but Mrs Nash rejected this. Faced with a three-day tribunal which would have rekindled earlier distress, the college decided not to contest the hearing.

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