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14 August 2023

Accord TSB newsround

August 2023
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Your newsround this month...

Mid-year results and the cost-of-living

On 27 July, CEO Robin Bulloch announced what he described as a “strong” set of results for the bank in the first half of 2023. The statutory profit at £147.9m which is more than 40% higher than the comparable period in 2022.

Whilst welcoming the progress that the bank continues to make, Accord’s Ged Nichols drew attention to the fact that the cost-of-living crisis hasn’t only affected customers but staff too.

He said: “We’re looking forward to celebrating TSB’s first 10 years but we can’t ignore the backcloth of continuing high inflation and interest rate increases on members’ living standards.

The Bank of England has increased interest rates to a 15 year high to tackle inflation. Although this hasn’t yet impacted mortgage holders on long term fixed rate deals, it is feeding through directly to newer fixed rates and variable rates and rents. The lower paid who are more likely to be renters are facing an estimated 20% reduction in their disposable incomes.

At the same time, the BoE’s actions are likely to have a positive influence on the performance of UK banks with significant ‘unearned’ increases in profits.

There’s a long gap between the salary increases in April 2023 and the next review in April 2024 with the prospect of a long winter before then.

We’re therefore asking TSB to enter into joint talks on reward through 2023 & 2024 as soon as possible.”

Any thoughts or input should be sent to [email protected] marked 'TSB Pay'.

Sheldon property move

It’s been announced that Ariel House at Sheldon is to be sold and staff are to be re-located to new premises nearby. The bank branch will remain at Ariel House.

This won’t come as a surprise to impacted colleagues after they were recently surveyed about a potential move.

Details of the new premises are yet to be announced, but the business has given assurances that it will be to a high standard to meet both colleague and business needs. However, we do understand that the impact to colleagues is not about the standard of the building – but the change process itself and some colleagues may feel anxious about the move.

TSB has confirmed it will keep colleagues up to date with each step of the move and that there’ll be a working party created to address any issues if and as they arise. Accord will also be involved with the working party.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the move, please do get in touch with senior Accord rep, Michelle White: [email protected]

Aspiring Women

Aspiring Women Event

‘Aspiring Women’ is part of gender inclusion in TSB and offers a platform for women and male allies of all grades and across all business areas to come together to discuss issues pertinent to gender balance, share their experiences of working in TSB and to inspire others.

The latest Aspiring Women event was held in Barnwood at the end of July, and Accord senior rep from Sunderland, Michelle White, was invited to attend as a guest speaker.

Says Michelle: “I was surprised to receive the invite to attend as a guest speaker, however I knew this would be a great opportunity to connect, collaborate and build a supportive network. I spoke about how passionate I am as an Accord rep, the benefits of being a member, collective bargaining and how the union negotiates on behalf of its members for better wages, benefits and working conditions, and the importance of job security. On the back of this, seven of the women decided to join Accord which was great! Overall, an inspiring event.”

Gambling awareness

Accord was recently invited to join TSB in a training session with Betknowmore - a leading provider of award-winning gambling support and training services.

The bank has created a new addiction support page, which includes information about how to self-identify as being addicted to something, how to spot it in others, TSB’s supportive approach and sign posting some experts who can provide specialist help. This includes alcohol, drugs and gambling.

Within the next few months, another session with Betknowmore will be organised – but this time it will be for all TSB staff to bring to life the experience of living with a gambling problem and will include information about the support offered to customers and colleagues. The bank will also continue to work with Betknowmore to see what more can be done to raise awareness and help people to feel comfortable to identify that they may have a problem and seek support.

Head of Membership & Services in TSB, Linda Crouch, attended the session and said: “I was surprised to hear that as many as 1 in 10 people can experience negative impacts from a family member or loved one who has a gambling problem. It was a thought-provoking presentation, and I’m pleased that TSB is looking into what can be done to advise and support both colleagues and customers who may be caught up in gambling addiction.”

Linda's lens on policy

From time-to-time, Accord’s Linda Crouch will take the opportunity to look at one of the current policies in TSB and offer some guidance. This month her focus is on the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).

The PIP is designed to support a colleague when their performance is a cause for concern. Anyone’s performance can occasionally dip and then get back on track - but if someone’s performance has dipped for a sustained length of time, or mistakes become serious, then it’s understandable that the manager will want to discuss this.

In most cases, a 121 conversation may be all that’s needed to address any underlying issues and arrange support. But if things don’t improve or the issue is more serious, then a 'needs improvement plan’ may be introduced.

The plan should identify the performance issue(s) and the required improvement from the colleague. The plan should have mutually agreed actions and support based on the discussions between the colleague and manager. Training, experience and health and wellbeing should all be factored into the plan. And it should be designed to support the colleague to succeed – not to fail.

It’s understandable that any colleague can feel vulnerable going through this process, but as the ‘needs improvement’ stage is informal, colleagues don’t have the right to be accompanied by a representative. So, our advice at this stage is to be open and honest in your conversations with your manager and not to be worried to ask for support.

Remember – you need to agree the actions on the plan so please make sure you’re comfortable that these are achievable.

If you’d like to discuss performance improvement plans any further, or have any questions, please contact Linda Crouch: [email protected]

We have a variety of support resources available on our website – check out the guidance centre and help centre to learn more about your rights.

Please note - all policies can be found on TSB’s intranet.

Effectively communicating with you

We recently surveyed our members in TSB to find out how they’d like us to communicate with them about membership matters and union news.

Email was the most popular method, with 61% of the responses selecting this option. It was also interesting to see that members would like some more face-to-face workplace visits and an Accord presence on Yammer / Viva Engage. We’ll be exploring both these options to ensure we’re reaching as many members as possible going forward in a way that best suits them.

We were surprised that 45% of respondents have never visited the Accord website. Our website is our main hub of information - with lots of useful resources, guidance pages, all the latest news, how to access support, a help centre, info on all our membership benefits, upcoming union events, a live chat function and more.

You can also update your details directly on the website whenever you want. Simply login using your email address and you’ll be sent a unique link to access your profile.

The Accord website should have everything you need in just a few clicks. So, if you haven’t already, make sure you check it out: www.accord-myunion.org

Bank Workers Charity in partnership with PAM Wellbeing

The Bank Workers Charity are offering an app; PAM Assist, providing emotional and mental health support for mild to moderate issues including stress, anxiety and depression to improve all aspects of your wellbeing.

The built-in risk assessment and goal-setting tools help guide you to useful resources based on your individual needs, including:

If you just want someone to talk to, you can call PAM’s free and confidential Emotional Support Line. Their trained counsellors are available 24/7 so you can be confident that you’ll be supported in a professional and non-judgmental manner.

Complete the form to find out how you can download the PAM Assist Wellbeing App or contact the Emotional Support Line. Find out more

Let us know your thoughts

If you have any feedback on the above items or would like other items to be included in our discussions with TSB, please contact [email protected]

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