A QUARTET of Dudley school workers have lost legal claims involving thousands of pounds for equal pay.

Supervisory assistants Margaret Stanley, Carol Braiden, Michelle Johnson and Karen Churm of Alder Coppice Primary School, Northway, Dudley, wanted the same pay as council road sweepers and gardeners backdated six years with interest.

Mrs Churm and Mrs Braiden are also cleaners.

The women claimed it was unfair that male employees should receive more money than themselves and complained they had not received bonuses paid to the men.

The women also referred to a job evaluation study in 1988 which they said declared their work was the equivalent to that of the gardeners and road sweepers.

The claimants made their legal claims for equal pay against Dudley Council and the school at Birmingham Employment Tribunal.

The council and the school opposed the claims – the council alleging the school employed the claimants and not the council.

Simon Bodenham, former chairman of the school governors and Lisa Morgan-Danks, HR service partner for the council, gave evidence on behalf of the respondents.

Both respondents asked tribunal judge David Dimbylow to strike out the claims after alleging the claims had been misconceived.

Other women employees in Dudley schools who were in similar situations had been waiting for the outcome, it was said.

The tribunal was told that the school recognised national agreement rates but was not obligated to honour them.

Mr Dimbylow said:”I have decided that the four claimants were not in the same employment or service as their comparators (the road sweepers and gardeners).

“They are employed by the council but the claimants are employed by the school’s governing body and, a result, the claims are struck out because the tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter.”