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Geoban ISSUE 4 | AUTUMN 2013

NEWS

A D VA N C E – YOUR VOICE AT WORK

You areTHE

BACKBONE OF THE BANK Without you, Santander would not be so successful… bear that in mind at your appraisal

Telephone: 01442 891 122 www.advance-union.org


Welcome CONTENTS News

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Pay Progression Update on the Pay Progression Policy.

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Home Insurance 5 Advance and Geoban are currently in discussions regarding Home Insurance. Be Prepared! 6 You will soon be having your end-of-year appraisal. Performance Development Plans 8 Recent discussions with Geoban senior management.

Published by Advance, 2nd Floor, 16/17 High Street, Tring, Herts HP23 5AH Telephone: 01442 891122 Fax: 01442 891133 Email: info@advance-union.org www.advance-union.org All articles © Geoban News 2013 or the author. The contents may not be reproduced without permission. Writers’ views are not necessarily those of Advance. Editor: Linda Rolph Design & production: www.design-mill.co.uk Printed on recycled paper.

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GEOBAN NEWS Autumn 2013

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hope that you all had a very good summer, now that we are fast approaching the last quarter of the year. Soon many of us will reflect on the year, as it quickly reaches its end and remember what our thoughts and issues have been. My team and I do exactly the same thing, the difference being that we reflect on what changes have taken place in our members’ working lives and discuss what we believe our priorities should be for 2014. We know that our members work extremely hard. In Geoban you have seen changes in working practices in targets, new PDPs... the list goes on. On a positive note, the amount of people given Close to Performance (CP) ratings in their half-year appraisals was relatively low. However, Advance has made no secret of our dislike of “Close to Performance” ratings and question why ratings are needed. We believe that it is not always used correctly and one of the consequences of it being used at the year-end rating means that your yearly pay-rise is less and you are not always able to apply for promotion or a job change. Many companies are not using PDP ratings due to the demotivational effects that they have on their employees. Whilst people need to have regular discussions with their managers and constructive criticism regarding their performance, training and development is a much fairer way to ensure that individuals reach the company’s goals rather than being penalised by being given a CP rating. Advance are delighted that Geoban has signed up over 600 employees to the New Operations BTEC qualification which is an externally recognised national qualification. Well done Geoban! We are all aware that there are very few new jobs currently available. However, as we know, unpredicted changes happen. Just look at the news this year. Advance believes that it is the companies that

Linda Rolph, General Secretary train and develop their staff that will benefit when the jobs market picks up. Their staff will remember the support they were given. Other companies’ employees will remember the threats and unfairness that they were subjected to and will leave to give their loyalty to companies who appreciate them. Advance believes that targets of 100% or >99.5% (which, effectively, is the same thing) are not always achievable. Human error happens to all of us and everyone can have an “off-day” for a multitude of reasons. Office work is not infallible. People need to have time to think, plan, train and even have a cup of tea! Advance will be talking to your senior management regarding the CP rating issue and will review the 2014 PDPs. We will not accept PDP’s that allow for no errors or targets of 100%. If you are expected to work at this level, let us know. Some of you already have contacted us regarding this issue and we have raised your concerns and discussions continue. Advance is your voice at work. Help us to help you by keeping us updated with your concerns. All calls are confidential and no names are given, just the issues. Life is tough for many people right now. Work should not increase the stress. Until the next time,

Linda Rolph, General Secretary


NEWS

Evening helpline Contact Linda every Wednesday 8.30 – 10pm 07850 742340

NEWS ...

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS Advance received some calls last Christmas from members who were unhappy with the way in which Christmas festivities were dealt with. We discussed this issue with management and are pleased to say that we have agreed more choice for ways in which work celebrations can take place. However you choose to celebrate the festive season, have a good one!

PROJECT BEIJIING Advance has secured an incentive payment for those aligned to the Project Beijing Team in Complaints in Teeside, as part of Project Beijing. The incentive process for the second half of this project has seen an additional £100 monthly payment. Bonuses have been paid up to date. For each role, there are different measures that would apply for individuals to qualify for this payment. Specifically, these measures are: ■ Case Investigators & “Come Backs” need to be on target for Quality scores and Productivity. ■ Those in Telephony need to reach an “on target” quality score and no more than a 6% “Not Ready” score. ■ For Team Managers, they need to be on target for Quality for their team, be on target for Productivity and have no more than a 6% score for “Not Ready”.

■ Central Teams’ bonuses are determined by their role and individual targets. July bonuses were paid in August. Advance wants assurances that Team Managers conduct regular one-to-one to reviews to assist individuals in achieving this bonus. We will be asking for updates regarding members who have not been paid the bonus. If you have any queries relating to this issue, please contact our team on helpline on 01442 891122. All calls are treated confidentially.

Geoban

UPCOMING ADVANCE ELECTIONS

Advance will be holding elections for the posts of Advance Representatives and that of the National Executive Committee Representative from November / December. If you wish to put your name forward for one of these posts, please contact Gerry Moloney on 07917 578 979. Full details will be available on the Advance website in November.

ISSUE 3 | SUMMER 2013

PERSONAL INFORMATION Following our written request for your personal information, many of you (two-thirds, in fact!) kindly gave us your personal contact details and this will enable us in the future to inform you of important information and to use this facility to send a copy of our magazine by HTML email to your computer to read – and delete afterwards (joke!). Advance wishes to be as environmentally aware (or, to coin a phrase “green”) as possible. So, let

NEWS

ADVANCE – Y OUR VOICE AT WORK

Advance is the first finance trades union to sign up to the

Living Wage

us know if you have any questions. In addition, because people matter! if you have any ideas for what issues you would like to see covered in our magazine, going forward, please let us know. We will be sending a survey out to you in year end / early 2014 to get your opinions so that we can strategically plan for 2014. Telephone: 01442 122 www.advance-uni891 on.org

ATE POLICY UPD ucting a Policy

Advance will be cond November review with Geoban in ain fair and rem to ensure that they needs of the up-to-date, serving the business. as ll our members as we y changes We will advise you of an ve any ha u yo as talks progress. If rry Ge ct queries, please conta 9. 97 8 57 Moloney on 07917

Autumn 2013 GEOBAN NEWS

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MEMBERSHIP

Advance are delighted that 128 people in Retail Operations have received a pay increase through Pay Progression. This brings the total number of employees in Geoban to 883 which was negotiated by Advance.

FOR PAY PROGRESSION

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ou may be aware that Advance and senior management negotiated a clear Pay Progression policy last year. We requested a full update on the Functional Guidelines on Pay Progression for Geoban. This was provided at our recent quarterly meeting. We wanted to ensure that there is a clear path and that as many members as possible benefit from the Pay Progression agreement. We are delighted that at a recent meeting, Pam Speed (Director of San UK Retail Operations) updated us on Pay Progression in her area and has confirmed that, to date, 128 people in Retail Operations have received a pay increase through Pay Progression. All people who have completed their Probation period satisfactorily and who have received an SP rating (or above) are included in Pay Progression. The approximate timescale for Pay Progression is as follows: ■ Tier A (0 – 6 months) – This is the individual’s Probationary period although it may be extended. ■ Tier B (from month 6) – All individuals who achieve this level will progress to Tier B of the scheme at which their salary will increase to £13,559 (FTE). 4

GEOBAN NEWS Autumn 2013

■ Tier C (normally from months 12 – up to 36). At this tier salaries will increase to 93% of the reference point for the relevant salary range for the member’s Job Pool. ■ Tier D (normally from months 24+). Salaries will increase to 100% of the reference point at this level. For Tiers C and D, if there is no business need to upgrade individuals to these levels, those who meet the criteria to progress will be given development plans and training support to develop into their chosen career path. When a member moves to a new Tier, a bedding-in period (from a minimum of 3 months to 5 months) is allowed to enable them to consolidate their knowledge. On successful completion of this consolidation period the individual will receive a salary increase to that level and will receive a new PDP to reflect the new (increased) expectations of their role. Once confirmed, this salary cannot be subsequently reduced by the Pay Progression process. If a member has to take extended leave (due, for example, sickness absence), their progression through the tiers will be “paused”: in such cases, their pay rate will remain unchanged for this period, unless increased by the

annual pay review. When they return to work their line manager should review and update their skills level. Progression should continue from where it was paused. In rare cases where members experience difficulty in maintaining a new level of expectation, Advance has ensured that they have the option to return to their previous tier level. The decision to return to a previous skill level can be taken by either the individual or their line manager. The only level that cannot be reversed is from Tier B to Tier A. Advance has ensured that the Functional Guidelines on Pay Progression be as fair and transparent as possible. If you have any queries on these guidelines, please contact the Advance office on 01442 891122. All calls are treated confidentially.

Advance has ensured that the Functional Guidelines on Pay Progression be as fair and transparent as possible. If you have any queries, please contact the Advance office on 01442 891122. All calls are treated confidentially.


Got any questions? Contact the Advance helpline 01442 891 122

CHANGES TO

E C N A R U S N I E M O H s in on-going discussion Geoban and Advance are t urance activity tha regarding the Home Ins rtakes on behalf of Geoban currently unde rvices (SISUK) which is Santander Insurance Se n Santander UK . SISUK a separate entity withi to outsource the sales have made the decision ce Aviva who currently pri and servicing activity to lly siness to create afu and underwrite the bu d nce model. Aviva inten outsourced Home Insura m fro d servicing work to carry out the sales an in Perth, Scotland. their existing operation ed that this decision Advance are disappoint in Geoban and will do by SISUK impacts jobs rking with the business everything possible, wo opportunities. Due to to secure redeployment ted and subject to a payments will be pro-ra to Aviva, the effect on All rk ■ wo ng the of n itio ns the tra ce rating over a qualifyi mediate and is likely to Satisfactory Performan im be t no ll wi s job an Geob d period. een December 2013 an happen in phases betw a ed ect aff le op pe e giv ll wi November 2014. This ent is subject to “active” The commitment paym to find an alternative e ■ tim of d rio pe nt ica signif nus Scheme rules). contribution (as per Bo wish. Advance will so y the if , an ob Ge in role rtunity is provided to ensure that every oppo individuals included in t for these people in This proposal covers all en ■ ym plo em al ion dit ad find pools. ent the potential selection sure that this commitm Geoban. We will make ng tti ge th any concerns wi is honoured. If you have ent will apply until the ase The commitment paym an alternative role, ple ■ g din fin in ce an ist ass this is confirmed as not 595 411 956 or the point that an individual 07 on e rtl Ba da Lin ct conta loyment or at point being impacted or redep 891122. 2 44 01 on ice off e nc Adva tion of contract. The of redundancy/termina e ct to National Insuranc re will be an extended paymentswill be subje the t tha es nis og rec e nc Adva and Tax. some people and are period of uncertainty for t en itm mm co the ort pp nth following therefore pleased to su will be will be made in the mo ts ich en wh , ym Pa sed po pro en payments that have be the changes. : based on the following e a one-off payment of recognise active service. To clarify, FTC will receiv ■ A bonus payment to cember 2013 when £100) at the end of De x (4 00 £4 ll e. This payment will potentially impacted wi contacts are due to expir ir the ■ All individuals who are conditions. mmitment Payment be based on the above be paid a cumulative Co . mber 2013 with effect from Septe

Autumn 2013 GEOBAN NEWS

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APPRAISALS

You will soon be having your end-of-year appraisal in a formal meeting with your line manager…

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s it really coming up to that time of year already?’ I hear you say. It only seems like yesterday since we were packing away our Christmas decorations! Okay, it’s only the start of Autumn but you know what we mean!! You will soon be having your end-ofyear appraisal in a formal meeting with your line manager. It is very important that you do yourself full justice at your annual appraisal and that you get full recognition for all of the hard work that you have undertaken throughout the year. You should already have had a similar meeting when you were given a half-year appraisal rating, indicating areas where you had done well and, equally, areas where you could enhance your performance. If you were

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GEOBAN NEWS Autumn 2013

promised any support or training which was not subsequently delivered, you cannot be penalised at your endof-year appraisal. Related to this point, one ongoing complaint that Advance hears from some individuals (albeit, only a few

‘IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO YOURSELF FULL JUSTICE AT YOUR ANNUAL APPRAISAL AND THAT YOU GET FULL RECOGNITION’

from Geoban members) is the fact that some individuals have not had a halfyear appraisal, nor have been told what their half-year rating is. Advance negotiated that, from last year, our members had the right to appeal against their half-year rating. This was essential for those who did not agree with their rating. The point of a halfyear appraisal is to either acknowledge the fact that a person has achieved their objectives or give them the opportunity to address mitigating factors as to why they did not. In attending your end-of-year appraisal meeting make sure that you are fully prepared, giving examples of all the work that you have undertaken. This should include any additional responsibilities that you have carried


Evening helpline Contact Linda every Wednesday 8.30 – 10pm 07850 742340

out. Your preparation should also include any mitigating reasons as to why you may not have achieved objectives. For example, if you have not met the objectives set, this does not mean that you have underperformed: there may be significant mitigating factors that may have led to you not meeting your agreed objectives. Appraisals are an essential part of Geoban’s commitment to you as an employee. Managing performance should be managing for the individual to succeed. The meeting that you have with your manager should be relaxed and both of you should participate in discussing the year just gone (and the year ahead). For most people constructive criticism is acceptable – no-one is perfect. However, it is the way that feedback is delivered that upsets most people. As with any meeting (and believe me, we know this from experience) preparation is the key. Listening and debating the issues are also important. There is more than one way to resolve issues. APPEALING AGAINST YOUR ENDOF-YEAR APPRAISAL RATING: If you feel that the rating that you have been given at your end-of-year appraisal is unfair, you have the right to appeal against it. Firstly, follow the Informal Process by discussing your reasons for appeal with your line manager. The outcome of this discussion should be documented on your Review Form and should be signed by both parties. A member of Advance’s senior team can advise you on this matter. In many cases, issues are resolved at this informal stage. If the informal process does not resolve the matter, you should follow the formal process. There are 2 stages to the formal process: Stage 1: Complete a Ratings Appeal Form giving reasons as to why you feel that your end-of-year rating is unfair. You need to complete this form fully and give

‘AS WITH ANY MEETING PREPARATION IS THE KEY. LISTENING AND DEBATING THE ISSUES ARE ALSO IMPORTANT. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO RESOLVE ISSUES’ comprehensive reasons for appealing against your rating. Ask us for help, if need be. Because management will return incomplete forms, you must make sure that this form is fully completed. Your line manager then gives their written rationale as to why they gave the rating that they have. They will include copies of review forms, PDPs (which would highlight areas in which you have not achieved your objectives), feedback and Management Information. An independent manager (who is not within your reporting line and who has not attended the initial consistency meeting) is then appointed to decide if the rating was fair. As an exception, if this independent manager did attend the consistency meeting, they can only be chosen if your case was not discussed during that meeting. Your line manager should advise you of who has been selected as the independent manager. You should forward your Ratings Appeal form, via your line manager, to the independent manager. Your line manager will also forward their rationale and evidence supporting their rating to both the independent manager and you. The independent manager should acknowledge receipt of all of this information. They must speak to both you and your line manager for any further clarification. These discussions are not formal meetings and therefore you do not have the right to be accompanied by an Advance representative to this meeting. The independent manager then makes their decision to either uphold your appeal or

not. They must write to both you and your line manager, advising both of you of their decision and their reasons for making this decision. The first stage Appeal should be lodged within 14 calendar days of you being advised of your rating and the independent manager should have made and communicated (in writing) their decision within 14 calendar days of acknowledging receipt of all relevant information. Stage 2: If you are still unhappy you can proceed to Stage 2 of the Appeals process. You are entitled to be accompanied to this meeting by an Advance representative. You should lodge your Stage 2 appeal within 14 calendar days of receiving the outcome to your Stage 1 appeal. Second stage appeals should also be made in writing (but, as the Appeals Form would have already been completed, a letter will suffice). The letter should be comprehensive. You would then meet with a different independent manager (who should be at least a G3 level manager or at least the same level as the first independent manager) within 2 weeks of lodging your second appeal. The second independent manager then makes their decision and communicates this to all parties in writing, again within 14 calendar days of this meeting. All appeals should be made in writing and sent via your line manager to the relevant independent manager. At both stages, the independent manager is selected in discussion with the departmental senior management team.

Please remember that a CP rating or an IP rating can affect your Pay award and Pay Progression at an end-of-year appraisal. If you have any queries, please contact the Advance team on 01442 891122. All calls are confidential.

Autumn 2013 GEOBAN NEWS

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Got any questions? Contact the Advance helpline 01442 891 122

PERFORMANCE ANS L P T N E M P O L E V E D meeting with At our recent quarterly ment and HR, Geoban senior manage content of the Advance discussed the nt Plans (PDPs) me lop Performance Deve for their staff. that Geoban implement ctation for staff We challenged the expe er 99.5% which, to achieve 100% (or ov expectation) of effectively, is the same d that this was any target as we believe tion for any an unreasonable expecta ieve. We made member of staff to ach attended work the point that nobody liberately with the intention of de in everyone’s t, tha t making errors bu mistakes case from time to time, to a level of rks wo dy happen and nobo even computers have 100% all of the time – ve time. We strongly belie “glitches” from time to ers mb me of pectation that to have such an ex individuals up to fail”. ng tti “se was effectively be an individual deems to Setting a target which ate tiv mo de ly serves to unachievable often on th reach an agreement wi to nts wa them. Advance ic list rea of g tin to the set management in relation to is e rol e’s nc va mbers. Ad expectations for our me t no are u yo If nsparency. ensure fairness and tra t y because you have no lel so ing given an SP rat da Lin ct nta co ase target, ple achieved 100% of your m. tea ine lpl 6 or our he Bartle on 07595 411 95

t a mistake is a genuine By virtue of the fact tha ted, one cannot plan to error and not pre-medita that ur a financial loss. To say have no errors that inc st co no a mistake that has a person can only make of e typ they choose what would be to imply that is obviously wrong. mistake to make, which eful s that PDPs can be a us Advance acknowledge ir the members to improve tool in supporting our on ies the use of a PDP rel performance. However, line manager in the the ongoing support of t they have made ng the commitments tha uri no ho rly ir performance. distribution of half-yea individuals to raise the ng lpi he in However, reviewing the as ld be given in a s has not been an issue e vein, all feedback shou sam the In ratings, it seems that thi issue than being delivered as . In order to clarify the tructive manner rather ns co CP ratings have reduced ich only serves to vance and Geoban will a negative message wh concerning targets, Ad (in ng eti me eiving it. xt rec at our ne demoralise the person review all PDPs for 2014 in are ers mb me ere our your November) to ensure wh or concerns relating to will keep you updated. We . ue iss If you have any queries on m relation to this tea e helpline ase contact the Advanc ple P, PD y. all nti no ated confide d the target to “Ensure 2 891122. All calls are tre 44 01 Advance also challenge your processing errors”. financial losses due to

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GEOBAN NEWS Autumn 2013


2013 Geoban Autumn