Santander ‘final’ pay offer out to ballot

Telecoms & Financial Services, Santander

Members across Santander are being urged to accept a one- year pay offer which delivers an across the board increase of £1,000 (pro-rata for part-timers) for all apart from the lowest performing employees.

The CWU-brokered deal – which covers all S1-5 employees in Santander UK and Santander Technology (including colleagues who were in Santander Operations ‘G grades’ and are now mapped to the equivalent S grades) – also includes a one-off unconsolidated lump sum payment of £250. That payment applies equally to full and part-timers, in recognition of their outstanding contribution over the last 12 months of the pandemic.

Crucially, the proposed settlement maintains a pay progression scheme previously negotiated by the union for S1 and S2 grade employees in Santander UK that is unique in the banking industry – with those in scope receiving  the higher of either their pay progression payment or £1,000.

In a sector in which performance-related rises are the norm, the headline flat rate pay deal is not performance related – applying to everyone apart from those with a 2021 performance rating of ‘Not Achieved’. Even they have the potential of a pro-rated increase being retrospectively applied in September 2022 pay if they successfully complete a documented coaching plan by August 1. Similarly, anyone who successfully appeals a ‘Not Achieved’ rating will retrospectively be awarded the £250 ‘cash’ payment.

For the majority of members  the £1,000 flat rate increase will be fully consolidated – though for those already earning above the maximum of their pay range the award will either be unconsolidated or split into consolidated and non-consolidated elements as appropriate, unless special ‘protected arrangements’ apply.

The company’s ‘final offer’ – which was reached following  intensive negotiations in which the interests of CWU members were represented by national officer for Santander, Sally Bridge, and T&FS Executive member Gordon Johnston – additionally includes:

  • A 2% increase to S1/G1 and S2/G2 pay range midpoints – meaning pay range maximums and minimums will be upwardly adjusted as the deal become effective on March 1
  • Pay-related allowances, such as overtime, being recalculated in line with any increase in salary
  • Minimum full-time entry salaries (S1:P1) increasing from £17,370 to £18,520 – meaning that the lowest entry salary for any new starters joining Santander will be £10.41 an hour
  • An increase of paid maternity leave from 20 to 23 weeks – with the same increase applying to Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave
  • An increase to Paternity Leave to extend the fully paid period from 4 to 5 weeks.

Commending the deal to members prior to the imminent commencement of the e-ballot, Sally stressed the deal on the table delivers many of the National Team’s key objectives in a difficult negotiating environment. These included securing a decent ‘cost of living’ rise for lower paid workers who are disproportionately affected by sharp increases in the price of life’s essentials, while simultaneously securing a guaranteed increase for senior managers in CWU-represented grades whose pay rises have traditionally been discretionary.

“Recent volatility in the inflation rate, which is  which currently expected to peak in the spring before falling back later in the year, has only served to complicate negotiations that were always going to be challenging in these extraordinary times – especially when you consider that the  last two-year deal was agreed  before the pandemic even took hold,” Sally explains.

“Against that backdrop we’ve managed to conclude, in constructive and businesslike talks with management, a ‘final’ offer from the Bank which provides a level of certainty for members in world where very little is ‘certain’ just at present.

“Taken in conjunction with the CWU’s success in securing a firm commitment by the business to conduct a joint review of the S1 and S2 pay ranges during 2022, ahead of the 2023 pay negotiations – and some very positive improvements to the Bank’s already industry-leading Family Leave offering – the CWU National Team believes this is the best deal that can currently be negotiated.

“That is why we are strongly and unreservedly recommending it to members.”

For more details on the deal, please see: Santander Members’ Bulletin No. 01/2022