Portrait of cheerful mixed age range multi ethnic women


Welcome to the April 2023 edition of My Accord magazine. Hear from Ged and get the latest headline news.

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Ged Nichols
Accord's General Secretary Ged Nichols

Welcome from Ged

Welcome to the latest edition of our online magazine for members.

It’s a little while since our last one following the sad and premature passing last year of former editor, Helen Freeman.

We have a new team in place now and will return to more regular production of the mag.

This edition marks Women’s History Month, and the content reflects that, but we hope there’s still something for most readers. If we’re not covering what you’re most interested in, please let me know.

Since I last wrote for this magazine, Britain has seen a wave of industrial action as workers have tried to secure pay offers to help them through the cot-of-living crisis.

We support all trade unionists in their struggles, but we were also pleased to avoid being in the same position ourselves. We secured early deals on reward for 2023 for members in Lloyds Banking Group and TSB and it was great to have so much support for the deals from members. But there’s no rest and we’re already back at the table to discuss what comes next.

On job security, agreements have been reached with both LBG and TSB. The former after protracted and difficult discussions but we’re really pleased to be talking about job opportunities and the new skills agenda rather than redundancies.

Last year we “steadied the ship” and halted the decline in union membership numbers that we experienced through the pandemic.

But we need to get back to growth and work out how to engage with members and representatives who aren’t in offices as often as they used to be.

I’m really looking forward to meeting workplace reps around the UK at our events in May and stepping up our momentum for growth.

You can play a massive part too by encouraging any of your colleagues who aren’t currently members of Accord or Unite to join us.

There’s lots of important things for us to do as the world of work continues to change and we’ll be better placed to meet those challenges if we have the voices of more members with us.

So, thanks for being a member of Accord but please think about what else you can do to help strengthen your union.

Enjoy the magazine and the coming summer …

Very best wishes


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.

New jobs not no jobs

A new agreement was reached between Accord & Unite and Lloyds Banking Group on redundancy related policies and compensation after more than two years of talks.

For too long, talented colleagues have left LBG because of a business restructure knowing that their experience and skills could have been put to good use if only more effort had been made to help them find a new role or career path.

On top of that, colleagues have been left worrying where the axe will fall next and, if it’s on them, what redundancy compensation they’ll get.

We worked exhaustively to deliver a new career movement policy that invests in colleagues' skills and abilities and how they can continue to contribute to the success of the business – not only when it needs to change, but also when they want to explore a different role or career path.

And a new redundancy policy that provides certainty for colleagues who, as a very last resort, must leave.

As members would expect, we built in protection arrangements that make sure they're treated fairly as their role changes over time and their career develops across the breadth of the business. These include salary and benefit protections and robust appeal arrangements if they feel they're not being treated fairly or in accordance with the spirit of the new policies.

And if there’s no option other than redundancy, there are key improvements we negotiated. 

In a message to members, Accord's General Secretary, Ged Nichols said:

We hope you’ll agree that these new arrangements offer improved job security and new opportunities for you to grow your career. Plus, certainty about compensation terms if there’s no alternative but for you to leave. As always, we’ll be here to guide you through the changes, offering support and advice on your individual circumstances whenever you need us.

Following publication of the agreement, the new approach to re-training and re-deployment in LBG is starting to take shape. The union is keen to encourage members to take advantage of the new opportunities as the Group moves into its more digital future. We want to discuss building skills and new employment opportunities instead of being consulted on job losses and redundancy programmes.

Of course, we appreciate that for some members who have witnessed nearly 15 years of redundancies and hoped that one day, their time would come, that this requires a change of outlook. However, redundancy has always been compensation for loss of office when your employer can no longer provide you with the kind of paid employment you rely upon. It's never been a reward for long service or a right when organisational changes take place.

Find out more

We’ve extended our Accord family

In February 2023, Accord became the union for staff who work for Union Insurance Services.

The UK-based company offers trade union staff and their families insurance policies and cashback schemes. More than 2.5 million union members have benefited from their products and years of experience.

By joining Accord, Union Insurance staff have access to advice on all employment matters, to our benefits package and to individual representation.

Accord’s General Secretary Ged Nichols said: "We’re delighted to provide trade union services to the employees of Union Insurance. The company makes an important contribution to UK trade unions and we’re happy to support its staff and their families through our services.”

Accord rep in Union Insurance, John Eccles, said: “As a company that has its core business with trade unions, it’s great that we’re being represented by Accord – a leading union in financial services. And I’m proud to be the union rep. Our staff will have the backing they need when times are challenging.”

We look forward to welcoming more members from Union Insurance to the Accord family.

John Eccles
John Eccles, Accord rep in Union Insurance
DEC Appeal Aid Worker

Accord donates

To the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal to help provide aid to people in desperate need.


The Accord Yammer page for staff in Lloyds Banking Group is growing by the day with over 1,100 members joining the community.

If you're a member working for LBG, make sure you check it out. It's managed by our fantastic team of Assistant Regional Officers (AROs) - keeping you informed on all the latest news, important information and upcoming union events. Followers can ask questions and it's also a great opportunity to network with fellow members and reps. 

Join the community by searching "Accord Union" on Viva Engage (only accessible via an LBG device).


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]

General Secretary:
Ged Nichols  |  [email protected]  |  07973 642 592

Magazine editor:
Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin  |  [email protected]

Accord HQ:
[email protected]  |  0118 9341 808  |  Freepost ACCORD UNION