Big ‘Yes’ to improved Santander pay offer


Members across Santander have voted decisively to accept a substantially improved pay deal that was brokered by the union following the overwhelming rejection of the Bank’s initial ‘final’ offer by members in Santander UK and Santander Operations.

Following that earlier offer’s rejection by 70 per cent of those participating in a consultative ballot – and its equally emphatic acceptance by a much smaller group of employees in Santander Technology and Produban(now renamed Santander Global Technology) – both sides had returned to the negotiating table, with the union intent on securing a single company-wide settlement that provided a fairer deal for everybody in 2019.

Prior to the initial ballot the CWU had warned company negotiators that the deal was likely to go down in Santander UK on account of the fact that more than 1,400 workers would have received no consolidated increase at all on account of technical factors surrounding salary scale maximums that do not apply in the San Tech subsidiary.

And, following more than 20 hours of intensive talks, a significant concession by the company on the union’s key demand that, barring exceptional circumstances, everyone should receive a consolidated rises, enabled the CWU to place the revised deal before members last month with an unequivocal ‘vote yes’ recommendation.

Commenting on last week’s ballot result, assistant secretary John East said: “A clear message has been delivered to Santander that when CWU members are convinced something is fair, they will support it – because, on a slightly higher turnout than the original ballot, no less than 87 per cent of those voting accepted the revised deal, compared to a 70 per cent rejection last time round.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the solidarity shown by members in their unequivocal rejection of the initial deal was the decisive factor in getting the company to reconsider a position on which it had previously refused to budge, despite the CWU negotiating team’s best efforts.

“Having effectively been told by members that  we needed to do better, the CWU was able to re-enter talks confident that members were solidly behind the harder stance we subsequently adopted – and I hope the lesson has not been lost on Santander that its employees are the best arbiter of whether or not they feel they are being treated fairly.”

The Bank-wide pay settlement for 2019, which will now be paid in May salaries, backdated to 1st March, provides for 3 per cent increases for those below 80 per cent of the mid-point of their pay scales, tapering to 1.5 per cent for those on up to 130 per cent of the mid-point of their pay scale. In addition, changes to existing pay progression arrangements will accelerate the time taken to get from entry rate to mid-point for thousands of Branch Network and Call Centre staff, resulting in additional rises for those in scope.

Other highlights include:

  • A guaranteed minimum underpin of £475 consolidated for all S1 and S2 grade employees who are paid up to 130% of their scale mid-point.
  • A flat rate increase of £475 consolidated for all S1’s and S2’s who are already paid more than 130 per cent of their pay scale mid-point.
  • Consolidated pay increases for S3 grade senior managers paid below 110 per cent of the mid-point of their salary scale – and a new £300 unconsolidated underpinning payment for anyone paid between 110 and 130 per cent of their scale mid-point.
  • An additional annual leave day for all staff in 2019 – and, from January 2020, an additional one day’s annual leave entitlement for all employees with at least five years’ service which they will hold in perpetuity.

Full details of the deal are set out in Santander Members’ Bulletin No.6/19, which can be viewed here