Freedom of association – Nationwide Group Staff Union (NGSU)

NGSU, an independent trade union, was established in 1972 as a staff association and is approaching fifty years of working with Nationwide.

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Nationwide’s relationship with NGSU

Our relationship with NGSU is underpinned by a Recognition Agreement, a commitment to work in partnership and recognising the union’s right to represent its members and Nationwide’s duty to manage the business effectively. Nationwide has a collective bargaining arrangement with Nationwide Group Staff Union (NGSU) and the union has negotiation rights over various matters including pay and overtime and have been instrumental in the development of our market-leading family friendly policies.

Nationwide recognises the importance of employee representation and, although membership of the Nationwide Group Staff Union (NGSU) is not a condition of employment, actively encourages employees to become members (we send application forms to all new joiners). Union membership is high; 65% of our permanent employees are members, which makes up 87% of NGSU membership.

We encourage employees to take on one of 250 union representative roles and provide paid time off to enable them to perform their duties. We believe it supports employee personal development and builds an understanding of employee engagement, decision making and problem resolution.

The benefits of a partnership relationship and high membership are clear – excellent employee relations and a high level of trust from employees in relation to matters that have been jointly agreed between Nationwide and NGSU. Our relationship with NGSU also offers the opportunity to resolve individual employee issues, on issues such as grievance, disciplinary, capability and ill health, in an early and appropriate way. Under the terms of the ‘collective agreement’, changes can be incorporated into employees’ contracts to remove the need for individual consultation and the partnership aims to ensure the broader impact of changes can be fully explored to mutual benefit.