Santander secures union backing for Alliance and Leicester staff terms

Santander has reached an agreement with unions to protect the pay and conditions of more than 20,000 staff at Alliance & Leicester who are due to be integrated with their Spanish acquirer.

Nigel Cotgrove, assistant secretary at the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which is recommending the proposed agreement to its members in a consultative ballot, said it had secured a “good deal”.

He said: “The proposed agreement improves some terms and conditions, but crucially we have ensured that no salaries will be reduced and have put in place a whole range of arrangements to protect the interests of CWU members.”

“Some people will get a rise, but more importantly no-one will have their pay reduced as a result of moving to the new pay scales, and we have put in pay protections for the next two years so that for anyone who is paid more than the new maximum for their job will still be eligible for a consolidated pay rise for the next two years.”

A spokesman for Santander, which bought Alliance & Leicester and Bradford and Bingley in 2008, told Personnel Today: “Over the past few months, we’ve been in discussions with our three recognised unions on our proposals.

“We’re delighted that following these successful negotiations, our unions support these proposed changes and have either already agreed them or are recommending acceptance in a consultative ballot of their members currently underway.”

Integrating two disparate sets of employees and cultures is one of the major challenges for any merger or takeover, according to experts.

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