UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Political fund opt in will be a multi-million windfall for union general funds

Securing individual agreement of union members to opt in to a Labour Party political levy (presumably with periodic renewals) will not be a priority of any union hard pressed by austerity, employer restructuring and privatisation. The requirement for individuals to opt out meant that a default position of a union's rule book political affiliation would apply. Problems of inertia and complex administration favoured affiliation as individuals opposed to the union's collective political stance were required to be proactive.
   Under Miliband's new proposals the reverse will be the case. Most trade unionists will cease to pay the levy. Their erstwhile political fund contribution will be retained by unions and will be allocated to other priorities. Labour's loss will be our gain. Independent political organisation by unions will become a necessity and, in any event, the only show in town within trade union law given the imminent demise of affiliated political funds as we've know them since 1945.