The absolute scandal of the Lloyds and Accord pay deal is played out every month. This week, the latest figures showed that the RPI measure of inflation, the one used by unions when negotiating pay deals, was 12.3%. That figure is almost certainly going to hit 16% in October, when the energy price cap rises again. The bank’s £1,000 cost-of-living bonus, which we’ll address in a future Newsletter, is a sticking plaster that’s not going to make up for the worst pay deal in 40-years. And Accord is gearing itself up for another rubbish pay deal next year.
If you’ve spent the better part of 10-years sucking up to the Lloyds management, on whom you’re dependent, and the only thing you’ve got for it is a pay deal worth 3.6% when inflation is at its highest level in a generation then you need to change your approach.
But Accord can’t.
The simple fact is that financial dependance on the bank comes at a price. When a union crosses that line and takes a bank’s money, like Accord does, the bank expects something in return and that will inevitably be at the expense of their members’ interests. We are currently dealing with members in Bournemouth who lost valuable holiday rights because of an agreement reached with Accord, who, incidentally, don’t have any members in that business unit. You couldn’t make it up.
Members may recall that the bank asked about union membership in one of its engagement surveys a few years ago. The bank’s senior management team were so alarmed by the survey results they increased the support it gave to Accord to aid efforts to increase their membership in specific areas of the bank.
In the North East for example, the bank’s survey revealed that Accord’s membership was virtually non-existent, and still is. Lloyds directed Accord to despatch recruiters to the area and told branch managers that they mustn’t utter the name BTU in case people join us! It didn’t work because members in the North East knew full well that the only truly independent trade union in Lloyds is BTU. Accord will sell them down the river at every opportunity.
One of our major concerns about the very close relationship that exists between Lloyds and Accord is the amount of personal information on staff that is being passed between the two organisations. Does the bank provide information to Accord about union membership, which it’s then able to use to recruit new members? Does it still help to collect its membership subscriptions? Equally, does Accord provide information to the bank about members who contact it for advice? There is always a suspicion that this kind of personal information is flowing freely between the two organisations. It would be a breach of the GDPR regulations for Lloyds and Accord to divulge personal information on employees and members to third parties. In this case, although they work hand in glove on most issues, Lloyds and Accord are third parties.
We’ve done some work on this in the past but we are in the process of gathering further evidence on that relationship and, if we have sufficient hard evidence, we will not hesitate in writing to the Information Commissioner‘s Office setting out our concerns and asking that it looks into whether the regulations have been broken.
We are very interested to hear from members who have been contacted by Accord directly at work either face-to-face or via letter or email.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
MEMBERS SHOULD PASS THIS NEWSLETTER ON TO THEIR COLLEAGUES SO THEY TOO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE ONLY INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION IN LLOYDS.