Overwhelming ‘Yes’ to Santander pay deal in consultative ballot


Members across Santander UK have voted by more than nine-to-one to accept a wide-ranging one-year pay deal that was negotiated by the CWU to help minimise the impact of the worst cost of living crisis for a generation.

The Bank’s final offer – which emerged during intensive talks just before Christmas – received the backing of 90.5% of members participating a consultative ballot which closed at noon today (Friday January 20).

Now it has been ratified, the deal – which delivers a minimum pay award of the greater of 6% or £2,000 (pro-rata for part timers) for all S1-5 grade employees, including those who were formerly in Santander Technology – will come into effect on March 1.

For the majority of members that increase is 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.

Taken in conjunction with a new minimum entry level (S1:P1) salary of £21,200 – an uplift of 8.7% on the current £19,500 – and 5% minimum increases in S1 and S2 pay range midpoints, most of those in the two most populous CWU-represented grades will received fully consolidated rises of 8%.

But, in line with the union’s objective of securing a further ‘cost of living’ payment for all members, the deal additionally includes an unconsolidated lump sum of £400 that will be paid in February to all CWU-represented grades. Not pro-rated, it will be paid in full to part-timers, regardless of the number of hours they work.

Taking into account both elements, S1 and S2 grade employees – who account for a significant majority of the union’s membership in Santander – are in line to receive overall average pay increases for 2023 totalling 10.6% and 8.5% respectively.

In  a sector where performance-related rises are the norm, the headline pay deal is crucially not performance-related – applying to everyone apart from those with a 2022 performance rating of ‘Not Achieved’. The CWU successfully argued, however, that those individuals will still qualify for the £400 cost of living payment.

Other highlights of the deal – which was set out in detail in Santander Members’ Bulletin No. 01/2023 include:

  • An increase in fully paid Maternity Leave from 23 to 26 weeks, applicable from April 1
  • The same increase applying to Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave
  • An increase in paid Bereavement Leave, from ‘up to 5 days’ to ‘up to 10 days’, also applicable from April 1.

Thanking all those who participated in the consultative ballot, Telecoms & Financial Services (TFS) Executive member and Santander National Committee chair, Gordon Johnston – who led the union’s team throughout the pay negotiations – told CWU News: “It’s good to see  that such a large majority of those participating in the ballot agreed with the negotiating team’s assessment that  the company’s final offer represented a fair and just settlement which will help members deal with the immediate impact of the cost of living crisis.”

Santander National Committee vice chair and Bootle Financial Services Branch secretary Tracey Griffiths concludes: “Apart from comparing very favourably against other pay deals in the sector, it was most definitely the best that could be achieved by negotiation.”