We said last year that the bank was going to merge ‘uppers’ and ‘lowers’ for grades D and E. The bank has been looking to do it for years. In fact, it tried to do this in 2014 but we stopped it by threatening legal action. We told the bank that grades were contractual and any attempt to remove them without our agreement, which would never happen, would result in legal action. The bank decided that another fight with the union that had won a famous legal victory on behalf of female members was something it wanted to avoid. It shelved its plans, never to be seen again, until now that is. Although, it seems that our veiled threat of legal action last year caused the bank to revisit its original proposals and keep the salary mid-point for the new broad bands at the current ‘upper’ rates meaning that nobody will be higher in their pay ranges and potentially worse off.

The potential winners will be those who fall into a lower pay zone and would thus be subject to more favourable annual pay awards. However, those individuals, many of whom will have been doing the same roles for many years and will now be further away from the market rate for their jobs, will find that newly promoted members of staff will be positioned to 90% of the mid-point of the new broad pay band. That doesn’t seem fair.

The rate for the job is key and under these proposals many hundreds of staff will be worse off over time. We will cover this again in a separate Newsletter.

The bank backed off last time, but we think that it’s reached an agreement with the two smaller unions Accord and Unite – who are unwilling to contest any of the bank’s proposals because they rely on its support – to introduce the new arrangements from 1st August. That’s unacceptable, and they need to think again about agreeing to something which is going to make thousands of staff worse off. This is the dodgiest of deals.

Members with any questions on this Newsletter can contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (Chose Option 1).

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