Following intense pressure from the union, with the publication of our seven-point plan last week, TSB has said that branches will now close at either 1pm or 2pm, depending on whether they are open at lunch time. That should go some way to stopping the continuing migration of staff between branches. A number of branches will also now be closing on Saturdays, with effective from the 16th January.
But TSB’s actions don’t go far enough. The expectation is that staff will continue to work in branches that are closed to customers until 5pm. Why? Staff are telling us that they have got nothing to do and are simply standing around twiddling their thumbs. Some are being asked to do made-up jobs. Every other bank is allowing their staff to go home early and avoid the rush hour. It seems that TSB is intent on extracting every last minute of contracted hours from staff. It’s unseemly. Debbie Crosbie needs to step in and tell Carol Anderson and Robin Bulloch to do the right thing by staff and give them a break from this pandemic. After all, they are on the frontline, every day.
Back To Basics – Now
The next few weeks are going to be the worst since the pandemic began according to Chris Whitty, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer. And TSB now needs to revisit the issue of essential banking quickly.
There is a minority of customers who are simply too stupid to understand the severity of the pandemic and think they can carry on doing what they have always done. Essential banking allowed staff to limit the activities of those customers, and it worked well. We know that some customers didn’t like being told what they could and couldn’t do and complained but, to put it bluntly, that’s just tough luck in the biggest medical emergency this country will see. The health and safety of our members, TSB’s staff, trumps the banking concerns of a few malcontents who seem to inhabit a different planet to the rest of us.
The situation now is significantly worse than it was in March. We are dealing with a mutated virus, which we are told is up to 70% more transmissible. In a message at the weekend, Professor Chris Whitty said: “Every unnecessary interaction you have could be the link in a chain of transmission which has a vulnerable person at the end”. TSB shouldn’t, however unwittingly, be encouraging customers to leave home simply to do a bit of unnecessary banking. The responsible thing for all banks to do is to limit activities to essential banking only until at least the middle of February. TSB know that as well as we do.
What’s The Point Of Accord & Unite?
The bank supported staff unions have done nothing for staff since this third lockdown
began. Both unions refuse to criticise the TSB for fear of losing their financial support. And how can you be an independent trade union if you take money from the employer? You can’t. Rather than challenging TSB’s actions, Accord said last week “We’ll continue to monitor this ever-changing situation…”. Monitoring is just an excuse for inaction. Accord and Unite should try getting off their knees for once!
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (choose Option 1).