Barclays banks on union-staff initiative

Barclays will train 300 line managers and union staff representatives in
partnership working this September to improve employee relations.

The aim is to put Barclays’ partnership agreement with Unifi at the heart of
the bank’s work culture with buy-in from all staff, to prevent it being
regarded as a board-level initiative.

The partnership agreement was formed following a series of crippling one-day
strikes over pay and grading in 1997.

The course will include conflict resolution, joint communication and problem
solving.

Peter Dugmore, director of employee relations and policy at Barclays, said:
"The course is very important in getting line managers and union
representatives to work together and engage in the spirit of the partnership
agreement. It also builds the skills of our employees."

The company will hold a follow-up day in December to evaluate how line
managers and Unifi union representatives have implemented what they learnt into
the working environment and how the next stage of the training will be shaped.

The company, which employs 60,000 staff in the UK, has also set up a handful
of HR working parties, including one for performance and reward, made up of
union representatives and HR officers, who meet regularly to discuss key
topics.

Barclays also sends staff who are part-time union officers on secondment to
work full-time for Unifi to improve the understanding and working relationship
between the union and company.

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