A digest of the latest news
Here’s a quick update on stuff that relates directly to your role as a rep and things we think you'll want to know about...
Lifting restrictions in England
On Monday 12th July, the UK Prime Minister confirmed that all restrictions in place in England will be lifted. This morning we communicated with all our members about what this means for staff in England from 19th July.
Thanks to everyone who took part in our survey about how LBG should handle the easing of lockdown rules. The feedback formed an important part of the bank’s decision to make minimal changes at this time.
Make sure your colleagues who aren’t yet members know that being a member of Accord really does make a difference – their voice is heard. Spread the word! The more members we have, the stronger our voice. Check out the details of our current recruitment offer at the end of this update.
D & E grading changes webinar
We got a fair bit of feedback from our grade D & E members following the Newsflash that went out on 25th June.
And a number of them expressed an interest in hearing a bit more about the discussions. So, we’re hosting a webinar on Wednesday 21st July to give members the opportunity to put questions to Accord’s senior negotiators.
If you’re a grade D or E and fancy joining the session, make sure you register.
TUC flexible working survey – win a £50 Love2Shop voucher
Coronavirus has had a huge impact on where, when and how we work. During the pandemic, many people have been able to work more flexibly, but for others this has not been possible.
The TUC has launched a flexible work survey for union reps to hear about flexible work both before and during the pandemic. The survey only takes 5 minutes and results will help inform how reps are supported in the future.
Those who complete the survey are in for the chance of winning a £50 Love2Shop voucher.
Long Covid petition
On the 20th June the TUC launched its report looking at the impact of long Covid on workers. Details of the report can be found here.
We’re still learning about long Covid but know it will have a real and sustained impact on workers and that the number of workers who have it for longer than a year is likely to increase from the 385,000 cases we know of so far.
To address this the TUC is calling on the government to recognise long Covid as a disability under the Equality Act, and to ensure there is a right to compensation for anyone who contracts long Covid through work.
You can show your support by signing this Megaphone petition and sharing it with the members in your workplace.
If you don’t know much about long covid, check out our help centre article for more information.
Like the TUC, Accord believes that long Covid-19 should be specified in law as a disability. We’re asking LBG not to wait for legislation but to lead from the front and recognise it as a disability so that long Covid related leave is recorded separately from sick leave, recognising that some workers who have long Covid may have different and higher forms of sickness absence.
My Accord magazine survey – win a cash prize
Since Covid-19 began, we've continued to produce our My Accord magazine but as an online publication.
The last issue was sent to members on 24th June - you can view it online here.
We're now gathering feedback on the magazine to help us shape what we do in the future, and to improve our membership offering.
We really appreciate your views, and to say thank you, we're giving everyone that takes part in the survey the opportunity to win one of 5 cash prizes (4x £25 prizes & 1x £100 prize).
Complete the survey by 5pm on Tuesday 20th July to be in with the chance to win.
BWC: Understanding grief & supporting bereaved colleagues webinar
On Friday 6th August, we're teaming up with the Bank Workers Charity for a webinar to explore grief and supporting those who are bereaved. We'll cover:
- What grief is, and the different ways it affects people
- What you can do and say to be supportive
- The well-meaning but unhelpful things to avoid doing or saying
This one-hour event will be hosted by Accord through the Microsoft Teams platform. The session will start at 11:05am but participants are encouraged to join a few minutes before.
Unable to attend? Register to receive the recording.
BWC: Managing anxiety in the "new normal"
After many months of lockdowns and measures in place, it’s no wonder some of us are feeling anxious as we navigate into the ”new normal”. Feeling uneasy about things changing again isn’t unusual.
The Bank Workers Charity (BWC) recently conducted a poll asking you what you felt most anxious about as we draw closer to the lifting of restrictions. Based on their findings, BWC have shared some tips to help reduce anxious thoughts and put your mind at ease over the coming weeks.
- Find routine where you can – Take small steps to slowly build your routine again. Whilst some of your routine may remain the same, we’ve also developed new habits during the pandemic. Allowing yourself to have a flexible routine will give you a sense of control over your day, so figure out what the non-negotiables are, and plan what you’d like to do with the rest of your time.
- Plan ahead – Prepare for the moments that make you feel anxious. Think about the things you can do to help ease your concerns, you could travel at a quieter time or opt for less busy areas when going out. You’ll soon become more comfortable and confident in what you’re doing.
- Reframe unhelpful thoughts - Learn to recognise intrusive thoughts. Many of us don’t realise that we can influence this process, so challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. In time and with practice, you’ll begin to see perceived problems from a different perspective and help break the negative cycle.
- Make time to relax - Ensure you’re making time for self-care and relaxation. By setting aside as little as 20 minutes a day to focus on your wellbeing, you allow yourself the opportunity to reflect, re-energise and refresh your mind – essential for maintaining good health.
- Share what’s on your mind - Talk to someone about what’s worrying you. Confiding in a friend, family member or your GP can allow them to support you in overcoming your anxieties, as well as reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Read BWC’s guide to anxiety for more advice and support. There are lots of other ways BWC can help too, so if you’re looking for support for yourself, your partner or children, call their free and confidential Helpline on 0800 0234 834, or use their Live Chat service to speak with an adviser - they’re open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm (except bank holidays).
Please share this information with your colleagues to remind them of the support available.
The past 18+ months have been difficult for Accord as an independent union. We’ve continued to lose members who have left the Group through resignation, redundancy or retirement and we’ve not had as many new members as we need join us due to the restrictions in place, curtailed recruitment in the Group and the fact that many of our reps have been working from home.
If you know a colleague who isn’t yet a member of Accord or Unite, tell them about the important work we do on their behalf and ask them to join you in supporting us. Everything is published on our website, so the latest news section will be a good starting point.
We’ll give them free membership for 3 months and donate £10 to the Trussell Trust to support foodbanks for every new member who joins us before the end of August.
They can join online here using the code 3FREE when the sign up.
Thank you for supporting your union through these difficult and unprecedented times.