Unite and Accord are telling their members that they are holding urgent talks with the bank following Charlie Nunn’s recent announcements on hybrid working and compressed working hours. Lloyds may change its position but it won’t be because of anything Accord or Unite do. Both Unions were consulted on the change before it was announced. Accord said in the ultimate weasel words that it wasn’t asked to agree the change when under its partnership agreement Accord was gagged completely but could and should have told Lloyds what it could do with its announcement. It did nothing of the sort and we understand that Unite actually agreed it! Now there is a great deal of huffing and puffing to save face with their members, something Lloyds will be keen to help with if only to support its chosen unions.
As my colleague Emma Stopford said in her Newsletter last week, Lloyds knew what it was doing and how staff would react and Accord and Unite should have known too.
Members need to see this in the context of the recent changes – reduced severance terms and accelerated performance dismissals, driven by Ms Sharon Doherty, Chief People and Places Officer. It’s part of her, and Mr Nunn’s, plan to disrupt Lloyds and make life uncomfortable for long serving staff in hope that many leave before it announces large-scale redundancies either later this year or next year. It’s a cynical approach to the management of staff but we’ve seen it all before.
Staff are apoplectic with rage, with almost 99% of the messages on the bank’s intranet site opposing Mr Nunn’s instruction. What this announcement also shows is that the Partnership Agreement between Lloyds and the in-house staff unions is a one-way street which works against the interests of staff.
Both Accord and Unite wax lyrical about the benefits of their Partnership Agreement but many of their members are now questioning the point of such an agreement when Lloyds can do what it wants in the ‘partnership’ anyway. When push comes to shove – and the recent changes are a case in point – it’s quite literally, not worth the paper it’s written on. That’s why we refused to sign such a one-sided agreement.
Recent history tells us that Lloyds might offer the in-house staff unions a few crumbs to buy their silence. They must resist the urge to sell their members down the river again. The in-house staff unions should renounce the Partnership Agreement and work with us on stopping Lloyds from forcing staff back to work and ripping up compressed working agreements. If the two in-house staff unions aren’t prepared to abandon an agreement that works against interests of Lloyds staff, then we will know that they are only interested in preserving their cosy relationship with the bank.
Members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
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