Accord has been supporting its members for more than 30 years and has been a rock for many staff who have faced problems in their day-to-day work. Accord’s high membership and partnership approach within HBOS meant that the union constantly punched above its weight in negotiating terms and conditions with the company. Soon it will be looking to offer this support to all colleagues in the Lloyds Banking Group.
Many people start a new job without knowing the potential pitfalls that await them; poor or inexperienced line managers, or poor employment practices and policies, for example, can make life at work a challenge, and in some cases a nightmare.
Yet so much depends upon the ability of individuals to earn a decent salary – the well-being of their family, their home, future holidays, a car and much more besides. And whilst no one would think twice about insuring their life, their home and its contents, their car, their holiday travel and even a pet, many don’t think about insuring their job – their most important asset. Union membership does exactly that, is surprisingly inexpensive and carries with it a whole host of other benefits.
Some people say ‘I’ve got a great manager, I’d never need anyone to help me’ and yet we know that managers – especially good ones – move on, get promoted or even retire and there’s no way of knowing just how good – or bad – the next manager will be. Others say ‘I’m big enough to look after myself’ and yet there are many instances where those very same people when faced with disciplinary action or other problems at work are desperate for help.
You can’t be a member of Accord without hearing people say ‘I never thought I’d need the support of my union, but………….’ Or ‘I’m so glad I was a member – they really stepped in and saved the day’.
At £9.30 per month, or less, membership of Accord is excellent value, bringing access to the very best advice and support at work, as well as services such as free legal advice, free personal accident insurance and discounted holidays.
Accord isn’t a distant union with officials stuck in an office issuing newsletters; it has a network of almost 1,000 workplace reps with information and contacts at their finger tips. The reps are supported by a team of full-time officers whose knowledge of the business and its procedures is second to none.
With such a large team on your side there’s almost always a rep working nearby. Accord’s full-time officers help develop and train these reps and are always on the lookout for new ones to add to the extensive UK coverage. Any member can volunteer to become a rep and take advantage of the personal development the role offers.
Accord reps still do their regular jobs for the bank. They are ordinary people doing an extraordinary job for their union and their colleagues. They are people who have gained the trust and confidence of their members. They get the latest information to share with members and help them with work-related problems – and for members with more serious problems they have access to the union’s full-time officers.
Accord isn’t a union that goes around shouting and stamping its feet – it’s a union founded by people that came from organisations like the Halifax, the Leeds, Clerical Medical, the Bank of Scotland, Intelligent Finance, Birmingham Midshires and other HBOS companies. People who know just how important it is to work for a successful business.
These people know the value of good business relationships when defending employees’ rights, but are not afraid to stand up to management when necessary. A working, adult, stakeholder relationship has been built over many years with business leaders to ensure that members have a clear voice in the business whilst also ensuring that the company is successful enough to be able to provide the security of employment that these same members desire.
Accord has been at the forefront of modern trade unionism. It was one of the first unions to understand the importance of working in partnership with employers – each respecting the other and developing staff and management relationships to the benefit of all employees. Accord calls this ‘a better way’ and this approach has been recognised and applauded by the Involvement & Participation Association, the Trade Unions Congress and Government.
Accord wants the Lloyds Banking Group to succeed so that its members will feel secure in their jobs, be fairly rewarded for their work and be treated with dignity in their workplace. Sometimes this means standing up for members when management gets it wrong, sometimes it means working together to give members the best opportunities to develop and succeed for themselves and for the company.
This is what a grown-up trade union does. This is what Accord does.