Antonio Horta-Osorio’s decision not to recognise grades D and E branch managers working on the front line during the coronavirus pandemic has been met with a storm of protest.
The Group Chief Executive, who we assume has been working from home since the lockdown began, said in a recent FT article that: “he keenly felt the loss of his intense weekly single matches” at The Queen’s Club; for which the £15,000 joining fee would cover recognition awards for 60 grade D and E members of staff.
Meanwhile in the real world, branch and call centre managers had more immediate concerns: like not catching the virus and the safety of their families, PPE for branch staff, implementing social distancing measures when customers were doing everything possible to ignore them and maintaining the mental health, and wellbeing of their staff. That’s what real, everyday management looks like during a pandemic and to be denied a measly £250 recognition award is a major kick in the teeth. We estimate that it would have cost the bank an extra £2 million to recognise the work of grades D and E on top of the £10 million they are already spending on recognition awards. It’s not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things.
We have received hundreds of emails and phone calls from members and non-members alike and some of the more printable comments are set out below:
“I wanted to comment that it’s totally wrong that D managers and above have not been given £250. We have been the face on the front door of the branch dealing with customers and I’ve had no stand by days. We have been the ones that have been calming staff. It’s not the money, it’s the principle.”
“Having seen the recent communication I feel outraged that Lloyds Banking Group have taken this decision not to award grades D and above”.
“What’s more astounding is colleagues that have not even attended work will be awarded £250. How on earth does that make sense?? We have managers that have gone above and beyond to play their part and fulfil their role purpose to 150%.
“Colleagues have been given stand by days in accordance with social distancing and yet managers put themselves last to ensure the safety of all”.
“A disgusting decision not to recognise me and my colleagues”.
“I absolutely agree with that (referring to BTU’s comments). Exactly what I fed back to my manager”.
“As a band D manager that has worked in a branch all the way through, I feel very disillusioned with the bank’s decision”.
We understand that Accord is telling grades D and E members who are threatening to leave the union that it agreed under protest. If that’s true, and it seems a bit of a lame excuse, why did it agree to the proposals in the first place; it didn’t have to. A union that will agree to anything because it would rather throw its members under the bus than disagree with the bank is not worth joining. Since this flawed agreement was announced it seems that many Accord members, or now ex-members, have already reached that conclusion.
It’s not too late for the bank to reconsider its position. It’s not primarily about the money for grade D and E members: it’s about having their contributions recognised by their employer.
Members with any comments or issues they would like us to deal should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).