The bank’s expectation was that TSB staff would have discussed and agreed how ‘hybrid working’ was going to work before they began returning to their desks but that’s not happened. Many members have had no such discussions or agreed new working arrangements. It’s been left up to individual teams to work out what’s best for them. In many cases, staff are now being put under pressure to come into the office more.

In our latest survey:

  • 59% of members said that they had not had a one-to-one meeting to discuss their ‘new’ working arrangements.
  • 93% of members said that their ‘new’ working arrangements,had not been confirmed in writing. It is important that members get those arrangements confirmed in writing so that at a later stage there can’t be any arguments about what was agreed. A simple email confirming what was agreed is all that’s needed. TBU’s advice team will be happy to help draft those emails.
  • 76% of members wanted to carry on working remotely for most of the week. Only 1% of those responding to our survey wanted to return to the office full-time.
  • 53% of TSB staff said that they were happy to return to the office on set days of the week, which is what most TSB staff are doing now. Most staff wanted to be able to choose for themselves which days of the week to come into the office.

When you’ve got an organisation like TSB on the verge of a major upheaval how long can ‘hybrid’ working last? Is it here to stay or will it slowly fade away with more TSB staff being pressurised to return to offices full time? Only time will tell.

Off To Court

At a recent meeting of analysts, William Chalmers, Chief Finance Officer, said about the pension deficit that: “If you then bear in mind that number [the deficit] also includes £1.7 billion of contested charges because of the RPI/CPI debate that is going through the House of Lords right now, which we are not a party to but it is one we will be beneficiary of, then you can see that number will come down again”. Mr Chalmers is talking about the Government’s decision to replace the retail price index (RPI) with the consumer price index including housing costs (CPIH) from 2030. Most other pension schemes, including BT below, are saying that the RPI v CPIH change could increase pension deficits not reduce them. In some cases, significantly.

Many TSB staff still have their final salary pensions with the Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trustee Limited.

Members will recall from a previous Newsletter that the High Court granted permission for a judicial review to be heard on the government’s decision to replace RPI with CPIH. That review will be heard this summer. The application for review is being brought by the BT Pension Scheme, Ford Pension Scheme and Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme. The Lloyds Trustee refused to join the legal action.

It is estimated that 10 million pensioners will be poorer in retirement either from lower pension payments or lower transfer values because of the change in measuring inflation. CPIH typically runs at 1% lower than RPI, year on year. The BT Pension Scheme has calculated that the reformed RPI will affect 82,000 of its 282,000 members, reduce the value of the scheme’s assets by £3.7bn, increase the scheme’s deficit by £1bn and reduce the value of pensioners’ incomes by £2.8bn. Whilst the exact figures are going to be different, it’s clear that many TSB members are going to be worse off and for the Trustee to sit on the side-lines waiting for the result of the judicial review is unconscionable.

We will keep members informed of developments and will let them know when the case starts. In the meantime, members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).

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