Protections for all and big wins for some in Santander harmonisation deal


Comprehensive safeguards and a number of important gains have been secured for nearly 1,000 CWU-represented employees across what was formerly known as Santander Technology in a new agreement aligning terms and conditions across the bank’s IT operations with those in the rest of the Bank.

Since the creation of Santander Technology in 2018, the CWU has been working with Santander to address differences across a broad range of policy arrangements covering ex-Produban and ISBAN members and those applying to their counterparts in Santander UK. The alignment of reward arrangements is the final, and most complex step of this process, and that goal has now been achieved under a meticulously negotiated agreement that was unveiled to staff at the end of last week.

The complex alignment deal – which is outlined in detail in Santander Members’ Bulletin No. 175/2023 – covers, amongst other things, pay management policy, grading, arrangements for additional hours (callout, standby & overtime), allowances and the eligibility for benefits, including the provision of private medical insurance.

CWU Telecoms & Financial Services (TFS) Executive member and CWU Santander National Committee chair, Gordon Johnston told CWU News: “We see this as a very positive outcome that fulfils a longstanding commitment to bring our former Santander Technology members in line with their colleagues in the rest of the bank.

“This has been an alignment exercise on a huge scale, and crucially in this instance we have ensured that there is no reduction in base pay for anyone at the point of implementation. We have also agreed some important safeguards for those who could have been negatively impacted by differing overtime terms – and overall we are seeing very positive outcomes.

“While most people will see no change to their ‘shadow’ S-band grade, there are 91 colleagues who will see an increase in grade from January 1, 2024 – not just receiving a 5% minimum pay increase but also a new entitlement to a £6,000 car allowance.”

Another important gain stemming from the new agreement involves the implementation of published (and therefore transparent) salary bands which have not previously existed in Santander Technology.  CWU have reached agreement that for the forthcoming 2024 pay award, anyone who sits below their newly published pay range on March 1, 2024 will be uplifted to the new minimum in advance of any annual increase.

Meanwhile, concessions negotiated by the union include the company’s agreement that:

  • For the 2024 pay award only, any former Santander Technology employee who already sits above the maximum of their newly allotted pay range when next year’s pay deal is implemented will see their rise fully consolidated – despite the fact that the normal Santander UK pay policy states that pay awards that take individuals above the pay band maximum are unconsolidated.
  • S3-graded individuals in the eight Technology job families will (subject to prior approval) still be able to claim overtime at least until January 2025, when that deviation from the standard Santander UK policy will be reviewed.

Gordon concludes: “It should be noted that the Santander UK Pay Management Policy contains legacy Alliance & Leicester elements and, as such, colleagues with this heritage will continue with those protections as appropriate.

“This simplification and alignment to the Santander UK Reward Policies for our former Santander Technology members has been something we’ve been working on for a long time now – but with the safeguards and concessions we have managed to secure in a number of areas, I believe this is a fair and just outcome that was well worth the wait.”