Legislation introduced by the Tories compels trade unions to ballot every 10 years to get the agreement of members to continue with established Political Funds.
Trade Unions need a Political Fund to legally campaign on issues such as protecting pensions, opposing public service cuts, defending the NHS and attacks on workers rights as well as opposing racist and fascist organisations.
UNISON has two political funds, the Affiliated Labour Link Fund and the General Political Fund. Members can opt for a small part of their union subscription to be contributed to either fund, both, or opt out from supporting a Political Fund.
Our Affiliated Fund is used to push our policies by organising in the Labour Party.
Our General Fund allows us to campaign against any Government policy regardless of Party which threatens our members.
Thankfully there has never been a trade union ballot which closed down a Political Fund, not surprisingly as it would lead to trade unions being silenced on campaigning on behalf of members.
But we cannot be complacent.
The ability of unions, charities and voluntary organisations to challenge Government has been severely undermined by the Lobbying Act which the Tories and Lib Dems brought in to silence opposition to their attacks on working people.
The new regulations come into effect on 19th September.
It is therefore vital we at least keep our political funds to voice our members concerns and campaign on their behalf.
You will see from the slides the Political Fund UNISON ballot will start on 27th October and close on 30th November 2014.
Every member is urged to vote YES to ensure UNISON can effectively speak up for our members and campaign against attacks on their interests.
UNISON Manchester Branch
Political Fund Powerpoint Presentation[slideonline id=19348]