Union Mail – May 2013

Regional Brands Integration

Today’s announcement that Nationwide intends to begin the process of integrating the Regional Brands into Nationwide will be greeted with mixed emotions. The decision will come as no surprise to Brands employees and many will welcome the end to the uncertainty that has been hanging over them since the Society set out its long term plans for a single brand in May 2012. Many will be sad to be losing the regional identity of the former societies and will be worried about the reaction of their customers and local community.

Whilst we are very disappointed at the potential scale of branch closures and the scale of potential job losses for branch, IT and other support staff, we have started collective consultation with the Society in respect of these proposals. We are pleased that the Society has confirmed its commitment to working with us to manage the impacts on the employees in the best ways possible (see below).

There is some good news in the announcement. The Union welcomes the Society’s commitment to retain Caledonia House in Dunfermline and to establish this as a customer service centre with the creation of additional jobs.

We also accept that the early announcement of these proposals gives employees the opportunity to plan for their future without the imminent fear of redundancy. This will provide time for everyone to consider options for redeployment and for us to work with the Society to minimise the ultimate number of redundancies. Employees who eventually leave by means of redundancy will be eligible for severance terms and outplacement support specified in the Job Security and Redundancy policy.

The Union is now consulting with Nationwide to understand the detail of the integration plan and these discussions will continue over the coming months. We will be working with our Representatives across the Regional Brands and impacted Nationwide branches to ensure that the integration process is conducted in a fair and transparent way.

The Union is seeking a number of commitments from Nationwide in respect of the integration programme.

To minimise the impact of job losses by:

  • Managing on-going recruitment and promotion in a way that provides the maximum opportunity for affected employees to retain their careers with Nationwide.
  • Applying an imaginative and pro-active approach to accommodating flexible working solutions where this will enable employees to stay in work.
  • Supporting employees finding alternative employment within Nationwide with relocation support where appropriate.
  • Offering a voluntary redundancy programme that allows impacted employees to leave with full severance terms if that is their preference.

To create a level playing field for employees across all of the four brands where selection for roles is required and to provide support throughout the integration programme by:

  • Providing employees in all affected branches with the necessary training and support they need to be effective in future roles within Nationwide branches.
  • Ensuring that on-going performance management is conducted in a fair and consistent way so that all employees have confidence that their performance rating properly reflects their contribution and potential.
  • Providing a comprehensive communication programme to employees to ensure that they are informed in a timely manner.

The Union is here to provide support for our members throughout the integration process. If you have immediate concerns please call us on 01295 710767 or talk to your local NGSU representative. We will be consulting with your Representatives on an ongoing basis and at our Regional Councils.

Tim Poil
General Secretary

NGSU Representatives in Regional Brands

We have a number of Union Representatives across the Regional Brands and they will play an important role in the consultation process and supporting members. However, we still have a number of vacancies, particularly in Dunfermline branches, and would encourage members to come forward to fill these roles and help shape the Union’s response and approach to integration over the coming year.

If you are interested in becoming a Rep please contact Kerry Wagg, Rep Support Officer on
01295 710767 or e-mail kerry@ngsu.org.uk, or visit our website www.ngsu.org.uk.

Branch Working Arrangements

NGSU Representatives from across the South regions had the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the new branch working arrangements at a joint meeting of the Employment Involvement Committee (EIC) in March.

This was a constructive meeting with Reps providing important feedback on aspects of the arrangements that are working well and issues that are still causing concern – particularly the inconsistency of the approach to overtime/TOIL in different branches. The Society repeated its commitment to ensure that the working arrangements are implemented in accordance with the agreement between NBS and NGSU and promised to work with Area teams to ensure this happens. Reps were encouraged to raise issues on behalf of members with their Area teams as part of local EIC arrangements.

Reps from our North Regional Councils will be attending a joint EIC later this month. If you work in the North please talk to your local Rep about what works well and where there are still concerns, so that we can have an informed discussion.

We continue to review the arrangements with both Divisional Directors and discussions have taken place about the impact of TOIL on branch resources. We believe that there will be increased opportunities for paid overtime as we approach the holiday season and it becomes increasingly difficult to roster in TOIL and maintain an effective service. We would like to remind members that TOIL which cannot be taken within a reasonable time and is older than two weeks or exceeds 14 hours (or two average days for a part-time employee) can be claimed as an overtime payment at the end of the month.

Tim Poil
General Secretary

May Draw Winners

First Prize: £10,924
101217: Joanne Uprichard of Portadown

Second Prize: £5,000
076942: Patricia Nairn of Pension Fund Members

Third Prize: £2,000
111846: Nigel Boulter of Data Centres (Swindon)

Fourth Prizes: £500
090961: Charlotte Millard of Risk Management (Swindon)
099499: Dawn West of Training (Northampton)
097336: Sally Crook of Basingstoke