Finally, after three months deliberating, the Personnel Committee authorised the new grading structure on
October 1st 1974, without amendment. By the time this article appears in print, all Staff will have had a letter of appointment to
the Birmingham District Council, the many moves will have been made and the dust will have settled. I stated in the previous edition
of "Contact" that the objects of the working party were to provide incentives for Staff and also to provide unqualified Staff with
a career structure. I am sure that everyone will agree that this has been achieved and the fact that this is possible with present
national and international inflation is a tribute to the management of the Bank.
Concerning the reorganisation, time will prove that
the anomalies built up with 40 years of personal gradings have been removed; however it is not possible to apply rules which will
entirely suit 72 different Branches and in some instances new anomalies will arise which we hope can be overcome without too much
The major problem for the Staff side of the working party was the acceptance of the management principle that many smaller
Branches, when computerised, would not warrant the inclusion of a full time Manager, and that great difficulties were encountered
in view of the ever decreasing numbers of qualified Staff available for promotion. It was agreed that experienced Staff, whether or
not qualified, would be able to take charge of a Sub-Branch under the direction of a Branch Manager.
By altering the new structure
to provide two Relief Branch Managers and one Relief Clerk in Charge per group, the final outcome meant an increase in AP5 posts and
no block on promotions from the AP4 grade would be caused by personal grades.
There has been no reduction in the number of S02 Branches
and progression to POl(d) is now established at Branch level. If a small number of AP5 Managers feel aggrieved it is regretted; the
position will right itself within a very short time as retirements occur and new Branches are opened. It was not felt justified by
the Staff representatives to phase out AP5 Branches as this would prevent numerous promotions on the AP3 grade. No member of Staff
is losing out by the new agreements and greater opportunities are available. The new structure may well be with us for the next 40
years, so look ahead, compare with existing opportunities and accept it for what it is - a very good package deal.
Every effort has
been made by the General Manager to keep Staff informed of the discussions taking place concerning possible TSB status for the Bank.
Secretary has written to the General Manager requesting facilities for Staff representatives to attend meetings of all interested
parties either as observers or in a negotiating capacity. Whilst it is in the best interests of the Bank to obtain TSB status, many
problems may arise concerning pensions, conditions of service, trade union membership and amalgamation which will require many decisions
to be made on your behalf. It is hoped that progress reports on these discussions will be circulated to all Staff.