Members are not being fooled by the bank’s headline pay figures and the deeper they dig into the figures the more they realise they are being taken for fools.
The bank is rushing through the deal in the hope that by the time staff realise they have been hoodwinked with their own money, the two HR supported staff unions will have agreed it. The bank is being very coy about how much it’s spending on pay for 2023. What’s it got to hide? According to the bank, last year’s pay increase was the most it had ever spent on pay. So, how does this year compare to last year? The bank’s not saying. Why is that? Only when the bank publishes its annual report will we see how much its actually spent on total pay for 2023. We suspect that once you ignore the consolidations and one-off cash awards, basic pay for the average member of staff will have only increased marginally more than it did last year.
Smoke and Mirrors
One wag on the bank’s intranet site said: “I guess that’s part of the job a bit like Government, “smoke and mirrors” to make the award look better without shelling out much more real cash.”. He hit the nail right on the head!
In response to a question on whether there would be new pay ranges in July, following the consolidated of the 4% flex award and part of the GPS plan awards for grades D-G, the bank said: “We have announced our proposed pay ranges from 1 April 2023 in line with our pay offer. Pay ranges will continue to be kept under review to ensure they remain competitive”.
So, what that means in practice is that large numbers of staff will move into higher pay zones once those awards have been consolidated into basic pay in July. When we move back to a matrix approach to pay, probably next year, then those staff will get smaller basic pay increases, with some not getting any pay increases at all.
Consolidating bonuses and allowances into basic pay is good a thing but only if the pay ranges are increased at the same time. If not, then the value of the Flex and GPS plan awards will simply whither on the vine. The bank says: “GPS is built into your base pay on a permanent basis”. That’s correct but if you move into a higher pay zone that increase will soon disappear because you’ll be getting smaller basic pay increases every year thereafter. After 5 years, your 10% GPS award will have disappeared like the wind.
Paying for higher salaries this year, relative to what’s happened in previous years, by consolidating awards and pushing staff into higher pay zones is a classic bank tactic – give with one-hand and take it all back, over time, with another hand. The fact that some unions can’t see that or, more likely, choose to ignore it for the sake of a pay deal now is disappointing to say the very least. Trade unions should inform their members, not dress things up for the sake of a quiet life and popularity with employers – this is dishonest!
Everyone Worse Off
When it comes to basic pay the bank talks about “a cash value typically in the range of……”. It never talks about actual pay increases. Many staff have pointed to the fact that it feels like the bank is taking money they would have been entitled to anyway and giving it back to them in a slightly different way. However, when you add it all up the pay award’s still significantly below the current rate of inflation. We estimate that if you take the mid-points for pay band 3 and factor in the current level of inflation then all staff are going to worse of as follows:
Grade A £889 worse off
Grade B £989 worse off
Grade C £1,442 worse off
Grade D £1,708 worse off
Grade E £4,242 worse off
Grade F £6,038 worse off
Grade G £8,558 worse off
If inflation rises between now and April 2023, which is almost inevitable, the pay squeeze members have suffered over the last few years is going to be much worse. So, using the bank’s own figures, all Lloyds staff are going to see their pay fall relative to the cost of living. You can’t hide that fact, no matter how hard you try.
Members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 (Choose Option 1).
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