Pay and reward in LBG & TSB
The early months of 2023 have seen widespread strike action as union members have tried to secure the kind of pay increases they need to get them through the cost of living crisis.
During our talks with Lloyds Banking Group in the summer of 2022, there was a meeting of minds that, as the economic and industrial situation was deteriorating, it would be best, if possible, to go early and go strong on the reward proposition for 2023. This would reduce the stress on members and their families as Christmas and the January fuel price increases approached. In doing so, it would enable LBG staff to concentrate on helping the Group and its customers navigate through the economic challenges.
LBG took the lead amongst financial sector employers in mid-2022 by being the first to make a cost of living payment in response to claims from Accord and Unite.
The 2023 pay talks progressed early with the outcomes published in early November. See video for a reminder of what was included in the proposals.
Accord members were consulted in an independently scrutinised online ballot which closed on 25
November. There was a record turnout in the ballot and an overwhelming majority, 87%, of the members who voted were in favour. We were delighted to sign an agreement to bring the pay rises into effect on 1 April.
This built upon the positive outcome for GPS awards for 2022 (paid in March 2023) and the next step is for base salaries to be increased through the consolidation of Flex and part of Group Performance Share (GPS) awards in July.
But despite the great ballot result, we recognise, as always, that there is more to do.
A number of members were worried about the impact of the consolidation of their Flex allowance (and for some part of their annual GPS award being consolidated too) on future pay increases if the pay ranges in each grade remained at April 2023 level.
Further engagement has taken place between LBG and Accord & Unite on the pay ranges and the pay zones within grades (the definition of Market Primary, Market and Above Market sections of the ranges) to try to ensure that staff will not be disadvantaged by the consolidations which take effect in July. More information will be provided when the talks are completed.
Another issue that arose from the reward changes has been the predicament faced by staff who receive Universal Credit or other benefits. They need support to cope with the cost of living most but find themselves not getting the same value from the cost-of-living payments and GPS awards from LBG as other colleagues. This is a difficult and complex area but the union is committed to campaigning for better treatment of colleagues in this situation within the parameters of Government policy. We also support the campaigns of the TUC for a better deal for working families.
Accord’s 2022 conference gave the union a series of additional objectives on pay to pursue. Accord submitted a letter outlining these claims on 22 August 2022. Much has been achieved but there’s more to do. We’re particularly keen to make progress on the review of pay and grading from staff in grades A & B and ensuring that managers in grade C have a level of remuneration which is commensurate with their responsibilities.
Though we’ve focussed on LBG so far in this article, there was also an excellent outcome to the reward review for members in TSB and the re-shaping of their remuneration package. The details which were announced in two stages in November and January secured broad support and have now been confirmed in a collective agreement between TSB and Accord & Unite.
Commenting, Accord's Ged Nichols said:
We support all workers taking industrial action to try to secure their pay claims. Striking is the last resort but is necessary when acceptable deals can’t be secured by negotiation. We’re pleased that both Lloyds Banking Group and TSB listened to us and responded positively with pay offers that the vast majority of Accord members feel to be fair and are happy to support.
We hope to build on the progress made as 2024 approaches. The rate at which prices are increasing is expected to drop but that doesn’t mean that prices will go down from their current high levels or that members and their families won’t still need understanding and action from their employers in partnership with their unions as we work through the challenges together.