Union Mail – May 2012

Regional Councils: Tell us your views

The Union’s Regional Councils will be meeting in May and June and these will provide members with the opportunity to tell us their views on a range of topics through consultation with their local Constituency Rep. Topics for discussion will include:

Pay Review 2012: We are keen to hear members’ views in relation to the Pay Review 2012. We are due to begin formal negotiations about Pay later this month and further meetings are scheduled for June. If we are able to reach a pay settlement, any awards will be implemented from 1 July 2012.

The Pay Review in 2011 saw the implementation of the final phase of the ‘Future Reward’ Agreement – including the final element of contracting the range of salary scales to 90%-110% of the Market Anchor. With the Agreement now ended we will be talking to the Society about the future pay strategy with our focus being on how to appropriately reward long serving employees who are at the maximum of their salary range and how to move new employees from the minimum of their range to the Market Anchor.

Performance Ratings: Individual pay awards are linked to Performance Ratings. Over recent years we have expressed our concerns about the implementation of Performance Management and, in particular, the distribution of Ratings. We have not been satisfied that the number of employees being rated as ‘Part-Met’ was fair and therefore have resisted attempts to completely exclude employees with this rating from the Pay Review.

As we enter this year’s negotiations we are keen to hear about members’ experience of performance management – do you think your rating is fair; were you able to influence your ratings, was this imposed on you by decisions made at calibration? If you are concerned about your Rating please use the Appeals Procedure.

Branch Overtime and Saturday Working: We continue to be contacted by members in respect of the overtime issues in the branch network. We are concerned that, in some areas, employees are being put under pressure not to claim contractual rights to overtime or are being excluded from working on Saturdays because of their contract type. Please tell us your experiences so we can discuss these at the Regional Councils and escalate issues via the Employee Involvement Committees (EICs).

My Scorecard: We have asked our Representatives to monitor the implementation of the new bonus arrangements in the branch network. In particular, we want to hear about the use of the ‘Behaviours Quadrant’.

How to Tell us Your Views

There are number of ways you can provide feedback to the Union: by talking to your local Representative; registering on our website Forum or by contacting us direct by phone on 01295 710767 or e-mail us at ngsu@ngsu.org.uk.

You can find details of your Rep on our website – just follow the ‘Who’s My Rep’ from the ‘Quick Links’ menu on the home page. If you have not got a Rep in your Area, please consider coming forward to represent you and your colleagues views.

Tim Poil
General Secretary

Regional Council Dates

Dunfermline 2 – 3 May

Retail North 1 – 24 May

Cheshire & Derbyshire – 29 May

Retail North 2 – 31 May

Bournemouth – 12 June

Northampton – 14 June

Retail South 3 – 15 June

Swindon Support Services – 19 June

Swindon Products, Service & Sales – 19 June

Retail South 2 – 20 June

Retail South 1 – 29 June

Health & Safety Representatives

The Union would like to appoint some additional Health & Safety Representatives to support our work in consulting with Nationwide about matters of health, safety and welfare. Although Nationwide is generally a low risk environment, it is still important that the Union has the capacity and expertise to inspect workplaces and raise concerns about welfare on behalf of our members. We are therefore asking members to come forward from all parts of the business, Nationwide and Regional Brands, to help us with this work.

The role of a union-appointed Safety Representative is recognised in law and their functions include representing the workforce on health & Safety generally; making representations about potential hazards and having contact with inspectors from Health & Safety Executive or Local Authority. Safety Representatives are also entitled to take paid time for training to acquire the skills and information they need to represent their colleagues effectively. Under the terms of our Recognition Agreement with Nationwide, Safety Reps can take eight paid days to fulfil union duties plus additional time off for training.

As a Safety Rep you will be our ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, monitoring the effectiveness of health and safety procedures across the Society and alerting us to problems and potential hazards. You’ll also be invited to be part of the Union’s team on the Strategic and Procedural Health & Safety Committees. We will work with you to identify any training needs and will agree how much time you are able to devote to the role.

If you are interested in becoming a Safety Rep or would like more information, please contact Kerry Wagg, Rep Support Officer, on 01295 710767 or e-mail kerry@ngsu.org.uk.

Transactions on Personal Accounts

There has been an increase in the number of incidents of branch based employees being identified to have conducted transactions on their personal Nationwide/Regional Brands accounts. This follows the introduction of new monitoring and detection systems by the Society.

Conducting transactions on personal accounts of any kind, including ‘balance’ enquiries, is considered to be a breach of procedures and will result in disciplinary action. The Society considers that branch based accounts held in the name of an employee, for example Christmas club or Lottery accounts, to be personal accounts and the same rules regarding transactions apply.

The Union will support members at disciplinary hearings called because of such breaches of procedure but we’d urge members to avoid the need by observing the procedures at all times – never conduct transactions (financial or non-financial) on your personal accounts.

May Draw Winners

First Prize: £10,783

Angela Evans – Pension Fund Member

Second Prize: £5,000

Doreen Henderson – Pension Fund Member

Third Prize: £2,000

Sarah Bentley – Financial Reconciliation 1

Fourth Prize: £500

Patsy-Ann Smith
Lisa Bull
Jennifer Newbold