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TUC HeartUnions week

HeartUnions week is a national event organised by the TUC. This year it’s taking place from 12 - 18 February 2024. Find out how you can get involved...

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What is HeartUnions week?

 

What is HeartUnions week?

What is HeartUnions week?

#HeartUnions week is a national event organised by the TUC. This year it’s taking place from 12 - 18th February 2024.

HeartUnions week is a chance to celebrate unions and the good work that we do, to tell the story about why unions are vital for everyone at work, and to encourage people who aren't yet in a union to join one.

When the pandemic hit the UK, the government turned to the trade union movement for ideas to support workers - it's because of unions communicating the value we all have as workers that we secured the furlough scheme, keeping people in employment and protecting jobs through the tough times. We're now in the midst of the worst cost-of-living crisis of generations, and unions have been hard at it keeping employers on the right track even when central government have failed to provide direction and resources. Many workers have received cost-of-living payments.

Accord's own track record speaks for itself - we secured recognition payments during the pandemic and have secured cost-of-living cash payments too. In Lloyds Banking Group, our members voted in favour of the pay agreement we've negotiated by a majority of nearly 9:1 in a record turnout. We're here every day, fighting for your right to decent pay, fair reward and dignity at work. And that's what this week is all about - shouting out loud and clear about the good work that we all do on our members' behalf.

That’s why we’re encouraging all our reps and members to speak to colleagues about Accord and why joining is so important – because ‘Every worker needs a union!

This year, we’re offering 3 months’ free membership to anyone who joins Accord between 12 February – 12 March 2024. All they have to do is enter the promo code: LOVEACCORD.

Every worker needs a union. Choose Accord as yours.

What's the benefit of being a union member?

What's the benefit of being a union member?

There are some benefits of having a unionised workforce. Let's take a closer look at some of them:

Higher pay, better work benefits

Working people standing together and collectively negotiating with employers means that union members generally get:

  • higher rates of pay and annual pay rises
  • better sick pay
  • more holidays
  • improved access to flexible working arrangements
  • plus, many other policy provisions improved beyond legal minimum requirements like maternity, paternity and adoption pay and leave

This is because they negotiate with employers, rather than leaving it to managers to decide.

Being treated with dignity & respect

Unions stand up for your right to work in an environment free from discrimination and to ensure you're treated with dignity and respect.

They push employers to make workplaces more inclusive for women, LGBT+ workers, black and minority ethnic workers, older workers, and disabled workers by negotiating progressive policies. Where there’s a strong trade union, employees are far less likely to face problems at work while pregnant, on maternity leave or when they return to work.

Safer & healthier working life

Unions tackle the causes of ill health at work, not just the symptoms. That means lower accident and injury rates, less stress and better understanding and support for those with mental health problems. Every year, unions collectively train 10,000 workers in health & safety.

Workplaces are safer where there's a strong union presence - you only need to look at the responses of unionised workplaces during the Covid-19 pandemic. Trained reps spot unsafe working practices and cut accident rates. That’s why workplaces with union representation have significantly lower injury rates. That's a fact.

Support at work

If you run into problems at work, your union has your back. Every year, unions support thousands of members who run into problems at work - from smaller issues like getting holiday approved, to the significant things like facing disciplinary action. Unions make sure you're treated fairly – without you having to worry about paying for legal support. Whether the problem is with employment contracts, harassment, redundancy, pensions or discrimination - your union will be there to help you.

What can Accord do for you?

What can Accord do for you

When you join Accord, you're joining more than just a union - you're joining an extended family with more than 22,000 other members! Our members trust us with two main tasks:

Collective representation

For over 45 years, Accord has been achieving improvements for members. All through constructive dialogue with your employer.

We negotiate terms and conditions of employment and continuously campaign for improvements. The most obvious of these negotiations occurs annually. Yes, we're talking about whether or not you get an annual pay rise and how much you'll get. But we do more than talk about pay.

Throughout the year, our team of experienced negotiators talk to your employer about policies and procedures that govern the way you're treated at work. Things like better parental leave and pay policies, how performance is managed and how issues are resolved fairly. We demand first class safety in the workplace - our record and your employer's treatment of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic speaks for itself.

Individual representation

Our dedicated, skilled team of officers and legal advisers are really accessible. They provide individual advice, support and representation at grievance, health wellbeing & attendance, performance, or disciplinary meetings, and are on hand to talk you through any other work-related matter that crops up.

Accord has around 400 trained workplace representatives who complement our professional team, spread across the UK. They're on hand to help out in your workplace when things aren't going so well. Reps are the beating heart of the union, and often the first port of call offering advice, guidance, information and representation.

Our voice is louder and stronger when we join together. That's why workers join a union. And that's why many in Lloyds Banking Group and TSB join Accord.

What has Accord done recently for members in Lloyds Banking Group?

What has Accord done recently?

For over 40 years, Accord has been working hard to improve members’ working lives. 

Let’s look back at 2023 and some of our recent achievements in Lloyds Banking Group …

Watch the video below or carry on reading for full details.

Building on our successes in 2022 as we helped members through the emerging cost-of-living crisis, we achieved even more in 2023 to help members and their families with their finances.

  • We negotiated a pay deal that provided a minimum increase of £2,000 for full-time staff, the total deal was worth between 8% and 13% for all colleagues.
  • We agreed a change to Group Performance Share awards and Flex payments to consolidate these into pay to give more certainty and to increase the value of the awards over time.
  • And to give members even more certainty and help them plan their finances, we negotiated pay increases that will apply in both 2024 and 2025.
  • On top of this, we secured an additional pro-rated £500 payment for staff in grades A to D.
  • Importantly, our agreement will increase average salaries for staff in Grade A by a further 14% by April 2025.
  • That means that through successive union agreements, the minimum starting salary in Lloyds Banking Group will have been increased by more than a third between March 2021 and April 2025.
  • And, overall, the deal we reached for 2024 and 2025 puts almost 350 million additional pounds into members’ salaries.

None of these achievements would have been possible without the strength of Accord’s collective voice. But our work didn’t end with the pay deal. Let’s take a look at what else we achieved in 2023:

  • Over three and a half million pounds in compensation was won by Accord and its legal team to settle disputes at work. That’s roughly £290,000 every month.
  • And our team of specialist personal injury lawyers have negotiated tens of thousands of pounds in compensation for members who have had an accident at work or elsewhere that was no fault of their own. Importantly, every member got to keep 100% of their award.
  • Through our private healthcare cashback scheme, we refunded just under £80,000 towards members’ excess payments - making access to employer funded schemes more affordable for many.
  • And we made grants totalling just under £12,000 to support members who applied to our Lifelong Learning fund, set up to help members in whatever course of study they choose.
  • But not everything we do is about money. We know it’s important that you’re treated with dignity and respect at work. So, we’ve introduced a network of menopause advocates available to offer support and guidance for those going through the menopause or looking for advice on how to support their friends, colleagues, or partners. Our advocates have a good listening ear and can guide you through the support that’s available.
  • And we’ve kept our vibrant network of workplace reps well-trained and up to date with issues that affect colleagues in the workplace. They’re easy to access and readily available to give advice, guidance or to point you in the right direction. They’re linked to and supported by a professional, paid Accord employee so you get the best of both – a local rep supported by a professional officer.
  • We all learnt a lot about health & safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’ve been keen to keep the focus on this important topic. We’ve set up regular meetings with LBG’s Group Health & Safety team, negotiated changes to the inspection process, and we’re doing all we can to keep you safe and healthy at work.
  • How we serve you in this fast-changing digital world is important to us and we’ve continued to make use of the tools available. We’ve invested in our website to ensure you’re able to find what you need – and we’ve been busy writing new articles, pages and helpful guides.
  • We ran several wellbeing webinars with the Bank Workers’ Charity last year too – all of which are available to watch-back on the events page of our website.
  • In 2023, we had nearly 4,000 calls to our helpline from members with issues at work, ranging from small queries to the big issues like disciplinaries and discrimination.
  • We supported around 350 members in formal meetings. That’s roughly 7 colleagues every week who would otherwise have had to ‘go it alone’ - often in a job threatening situation.
  • And there’s plenty more we do behind the scenes on a regular basis to look after our members and their livelihoods.

We’ve achieved all this, and much more, through constructive dialogue with your employer.

Now isn’t that something to shout about?

How can I get involved in HeartUnions week?

Organise an event

Organise an event (online or in person) between 12 Feb – 12 March 2024 to promote the great work Accord does for its members, talk about the benefits of joining and share stories about why being a member is important to you. Use one of the event templates available in the resources section below to promote the event for your workplace. And remember to tell your colleagues that if they sign up during this period using the promo code: LOVEACCORD they'll be given three months' free membership!

If you’re planning on running an on-site event and need some promotional merchandise, complete an online order form and in the ‘reason for request’ field mention HeartUnions so we can send you some HeartUnions merch.

If you'd like us to promote your event on our website, email the details to: [email protected]

Share your story

Your stories are powerful. As part of HeartUnions week, we want as many people to hear yours, so others can benefit too. So, if you have a positive story to tell that would encourage others to join Accord, we’d love to hear from you. Share it on X (formerly Twitter) or Facebook, tag us @AccordUnion and use #HeartUnions #HeartAccord

If you’d like to remain anonymous, that’s fine. Send us an email: [email protected] and we’ll share your story for you.

Check out our HeartUnions resources below for lots of promotional materials and social media assets for you to share during HeartUnions week.

Wishing you a Happy #HeartUnions Week!

Find events where you are

A message from our General Secretary

Happy HeartUnions Week! There's never been a more important time to be a member of a trade union. Unions have been very much in the news lately, dealing with the difficult issues that confront us. But we're here, 365 days a year, supporting our members in all aspects of their employment and providing other benefits and services to make membership of a trade union really worthwhile.

Ged Nichols, Accord General Secretary
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HeartUnions week events

 

 

View all events

Downloadable resources

Accord HeartUnions posters & flyers

HeartUnions promo flyer (LBG)

Share this flyer with LBG colleagues to help promote HeartUnions week and to highlight some of our recent achievements.

Download Accord HeartUnions flyer (LBG)

HeartUnions promo poster

Share this poster with your with colleagues and pop it on your noticeboard.

Download Accord HeartUnions poster

'I heart Accord because...' selfie poster

Print out, write down why you love your union and share a selfie on social media. Remember to tag Accord!

Download Accord selfie poster

'I heart my union' selfie poster

Print out, take a selfie and share on social media. Remember to tag Accord!

Download Accord selfie poster

'I heart Accord because...' selfie template

Share why you love Accord digitally with this template. Just add a quote, and drop a photo of yourself into the space on the right. Save as a pdf and share on your socials

Download Accord digital selfie template

Accord HeartUnions event templates

Online event template

Hosting an online event? Use this template to promote your event.

Download the online event template

Site event template

Hosting an event at your workplace? Use this template to promote your event.

Download the site event template

Team talk slides

If you're not taking part in an event, you can still get involved. We've got some slides you can use to talk to your team or branch colleagues.

Download the team talk slides

Accord HeartUnions social sharing graphics

HeartUnions Facebook graphic

Share this HeartUnions graphic on Facebook to show everyone how brilliant unions are!

Download Accord HeartUnions Facebook graphic

HeartUnions Facebook graphic

An alternative graphic for sharing on Facebook - help spread the union love.

Download Accord HeartUnions Facebook graphic

HeartUnions Twitter graphic

Share this HeartUnions graphic on Twitter to show everyone how brilliant unions are!

Download Accord HeartUnions Twitter graphic

HeartUnions Twitter graphic

An alternative graphic for sharing on Twitter - help spread the union love.

Download Accord HeartUnions Twitter graphic

HeartUnions virtual meeting background

A background you can use in Teams or Zoom.

Download Accord HeartUnions background

3 months free promo email footer

Add this to your email signature to promote our special HeartUnions offer for new joiners.

Download Accord email footer

3 months free promo graphic

Share this graphic with your colleagues or on social media to promote HeartUnions week and the special offer for new joiners.

Download the graphic

I heart my union graphic

Share this graphic with your colleagues or on social media - help spread the union love!

Download the graphic

TUC HeartUnions resources

E-learning

An e-note on talking about unions.

View the TUC e-note

Unions leaflet

Unions for a better working life leaflet.

Download the unions leaflet

TUC flyer

An A5 flyer & poster you can share with your colleagues.

Download the HeartUnions flyer

Facebook sharing graphic

A graphic for sharing on Facebook.

Download HeartUnions Facebook graphic

Instagram sharing graphic

A graphic for sharing on Instagram.

Download HeartUnions Instagram graphic

Twitter sharing graphic

A graphic for sharing on Twitter.

Download HeartUnions Twitter graphic

What our reps & members say

Join us

Support in difficult times

I had to call upon Krisna’s assistance a few times whilst I was off sick with an auto immune disease. He was extremely helpful and highly knowledgeable, especially when I was due to return to work.

Krisna represented me during formal and informal meetings with the business in regards to health and performance; making sure I knew my rights and felt supported. Without his assistance, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to return to work or push for a phased return that best suited me.

Following Krisna’s attendance, I felt a genuine shift in how I was treated at work. He was there when I needed a friendly voice reminding me that sometimes my perception of some of the actions on my plans weren’t accurate. Krisna was extremely knowledgeable about all of the policies and demonstrated that in meetings when either my manager or I weren’t agreeing.

Tara (name anonymised)
Read Tara's storyHow we support you

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