Accord's 2022 hybrid conference took place in Manchester - the same city that hosted the first one in 1980.
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Well, what a year it’s been so far. With the (seemingly temporary) ending of the worst of the pandemic, the dreadful war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, interest rate increases, industrial unrest and political instability in the UK with no clear way out of the turmoil in sight.
We've achieved much in terms of pay deals and cost-of-living awards for Accord members in Lloyds Banking Group and TSB, but the benefits haven’t been spread evenly and the pressure is on already for a fair outcome for reward in 2023 – and the earlier the better.
Both banks reported healthy profits at the half-year with LBG increasing dividends to shareholders to 20%.
Corporate Britain seems to be in good shape with the energy and oil companies seeing record profits and the banks benefitting from the measures taken by the Bank of England to control inflation too.
As industrial action is being taken by more and more workers to try to get a fair deal, the candidates in the Conservative Party leadership contest are threatening more restrictions on trade unions. The result of the leadership contest is due to be announced on 5 September. With the TUC Congress starting in Brighton on 11 September, it’s going to be an interesting time.
I’ll be in Brighton with Accord’s delegation as we connect with our colleagues in other unions on the issues that matter to us all.
But before then, we’ll be putting forward our proposals for reward to the employers we work with and dealing with the priorities given to us by the biennial delegate conference in May.
Finally, a personal Thank You. Thirty years after my first election as General Secretary of Accord, I was elected for a further five-year term with effect from 1 August.
I’m so grateful for the support and the confidence shown in me.
I’ve learned so much over the last thirty years, but I’ll need it all and more to steer the union through the coming period and to win for members in these unprecedented times.
Working with our wonderful team, the President and the Principal Executive Council and our fantastic workplace reps, we ‘ll be doing everything we can to ensure that Accord remains a vibrant, independent, diverse and sustainable union for the future.
Conference, it’s going to take a great deal of work to build back and emerge stronger from what we’ve lost in the last two years. And nobody else is going to do it for us. Let's stay true to our values but find the courage to change, to grow, to build. And to win for our members and our future members.
My Accord is the magazine for Accord members. If you have a story, question, letter or anything you think would interest readers, please get in touch: [email protected]
Ged Nichols | [email protected] | 07973 642 592
[email protected] | 0118 9341 808 | Freepost ACCORD UNION
Claire Wood | https://www.clairewoodphotography.co.uk