Accord reps meeting Leeds - credit Andrew Wiard

Reps' meetings

Around 250 reps attended the latest round of reps’ meetings in May and June. Here's a round-up of the important issues discussed.

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Ged addresses delegates in Leeds - credit Andrew Wiard
Ged addresses delegates in Leeds
Credit: Andrew Wiard

Reps discuss the important issues

Around 250 reps attended the latest round of reps’ meetings which took place in Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds and London. An online get-together was also held for those who were unable to attend an in-person event. Here’s a round-up of the important issues discussed…

Accord’s General Secretary Ged Nichols kicked off proceedings at all meetings by looking back to the events that have happened in the previous months, the challenges being faced and what Accord is currently working on with Lloyds Banking Group.

Ged said that as we focus on the issues ahead of us, we don’t always look back on the distance travelled, but since reps had last been able to get together face to face, so much had happened.

The union had worked closely and constantly with Lloyds Banking Group throughout the pandemic and achieved very positive results in the most difficult of circumstances. He encouraged reps to remind themselves and their members about just how much was done by reading the independent report on Partnership at LBG during Covid 19.

Ged spoke about the success of the cost-of-living awards and the 2023 pay deal that had the support of 90% of the members who voted.

On security of employment, he talked about securing the heritage Lloyds & HBOS redundancy compensation terms on an open-ended basis and the new focus on skills and job retention.

Reps were given the chance to take part in a Q&A session where the hot topics across all meetings included the changes that LBG had proposed to compressed hours and hybrid working, branch closures and the changing nature of roles within branches, the increasing complexity of operations, the cost-of-living payments and the lack of benefit for staff on universal credit, increasing interest rates and the need for more support from LBG as an employer as the squeezing of incomes was really beginning to bite.

The feedback from reps provided important inputs for the next round of meetings with LBG.

Reps’ meetings will be held again in November. Dates and locations will be announced soon – it will be great to see as many reps as possible there.

Online reps' meeting: Ged's introductory remarks

Hear from some first-time attendees...

Claire Wilks

This was my first time attending a meeting as a new rep in Leeds. Not only was it great to be able to meet after so long, it was also great to listen to how passionate colleagues are about the place they work in. It’s nice to know that Accord and Ged really care about us and want to hear about the challenges we face.

Claire Wilks: Site rep, Customer Financial Assistance
Errol Morris

Attending my first rep meeting was intriguing as I did not know what to expect. It was great to put faces to names and physically meet people for the first time. I was impressed with Ged’s presentation and the way he came across and throwing some humour into the mix. Attending the meeting has given me confidence to approach other site reps for advice. ‘Solitary cannot grow - Together we are Stronger’

Errol Morris: Site rep, Halifax
Gemma Ellis

In the branches it can often feel quite isolated, so it was really good to be reminded just how much Accord does for us behind the scenes and just how much support is there for staff day to day and particularly in difficult moments. It’s also great to talk to other union reps, you realise you aren’t on your own, and that you’re all in this together!

Gemma Ellis: Pool rep, Grimsby
Matt Keenan

May was the first rep’s meeting I had attended in person and it was great to see everyone face to face. It gave me the chance not only to meet people from Accord, but also to have a chat with other reps who work in branch and other business areas who I wouldn’t have usually had the chance to see. Far better than meeting on Teams.

Matt Keenan: Site rep, Belfast
Angela Dixon

My first meeting as a rep this time round and it was great to get back into the meeting rooms again, talking to and meeting reps from across the business to understand what gripes other areas are seeing. Some similar and some not so similar. Looking forward to more collaboration at the next one.

Angela Dixon: Site rep, Halifax
Ben Adams

This was my first in-person reps’ meeting since becoming a rep in 2019 and I found it to be very productive. It was brilliant to get together with other reps outside my patch and find out what’s happening in their areas, to see the bigger picture and of course great to catch up with Ged and Jim. Collaborative working is very powerful and we should take every chance we can to work closely with ourselves.

Ben Adams: Site lead rep, Chester
Kareena Thompson

I attended my first meeting in Leeds and I was blown away. Everyone made me feel welcome and proud to be a union rep - loved it.

Kareena Thompson: Site rep, Liverpool
Robert Graham

I found the meeting really informative. I was incredibly impressed by how open and honest Ged and Jim were, which was refreshing in this day and age. It made me really motivated to continue doing the work I do as a rep.

Robert Graham: Site rep, Sheffield
Cheyenne Jones

It was enlightening, personable and gives a real sense of empowerment - Accord wants the best for its members.

Cheyenne Jones: Pool rep, Bury St Edmunds

Ged's social media posts