Santander UK integration agreement out to ballot

Members urged to vote 'yes' to major new agreement

Members throughout Santander UK are being urged to back a major new draft agreement on the next phase of the bank's integration that goes out to ballot today (Monday).

Following months of detailed negotiations on wide-ranging proposals to harmonise terms and conditions across different parts of the bank, the union is recommending members vote 'yes' to a deal which secures a number of longstanding CWU objectives.

Crucially the deal on the table - branded 'Santander Integration Phase 2' - addresses the CWU's dual demands for an improved pay and grading structure that introduces national pay progression arrangements for all staff for the first time.

Nigel Cotgrove
Assistant secretary Nigel Cotgrove explains: "As well as securing these long cherished CWU aims, the agreement further integrates terms and conditions across the various groups of employees from the various financial institutions that came together to form Santander UK.

"These are important steps forward and the CWU has successfully ensured that there will be no reductions in pay and the small number of our members who are paid above their new pay maximums are protected".

All CWU members in Santander will receive ballot papers imminently - and, assuming the deal gains membership approval, a new simplified 'Job Family Framework' will be introduced from January 2013 that aligns all roles into one of 12 Job Families. The new framework will enable the pay structure to be further simplified and from January, there will only be 70 national pay ranges aligned to the Job Families - as opposed to the 1,000-plus that currently exist.

The new National Pay Progression Framework will cover over 75% of roles and mean that the majority of customer-facing colleagues in both Retail and Customer Operations could benefit from pay progression from March 1 next year. For those in non-customer facing roles, pay progression will be based on career paths designed to accelerate movement through the pay range.

Changes are also proposed to a number of employment policies. These include the introduction of a single holiday policy; changes to overtime rates; a new integrated policy for additional responsibilities; and new arrangements for recognising long service.

Urging members across Santander to participate in the consultative ballot - which opens today and closes on December 21 - Nigel concludes: "The deal on the table achieves a number of things the CWU has been seeking for a considerable period of time.

"The CWU's national negotiating team is convinced this draft agreement represents a good deal in a tough time for the financial sector - and I have no hesitation in whole-heartedly recommending it to members."

The CWU represents staff in retail, commercial, corporate, customer service and support roles in Santander UK.

The full agreement and a special CWU newsletter outlining the key components can be viewed on the members-only section of the CWU website >here<.

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