Is my Union telling me porkies?

I have been a member of the GMB since a few years after leaving the mob and have just received a ballot paper for the 10 year vote on the political fund. I normally vote against this because I believe that Unions should spend more time building relationships with employers and industry and rather less on saving the planet, advancing socialism and rooting out fascists etc.
My gripe about this round of voting is that the blurb accompanying the ballot is going to great lengths to reassure me that the political fund is not about party politics, but is about getting better pay and conditions etc, well if they can't do that without a political fund then what are my fee's being used for?
 
Do you not have the option to opt out of paying just the political fund?

Many unions do now.


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Does your union not have an opt out, I am in the CWU and we have which i opted out of
Yes, I don't contribute to the labour levy, this is a fund which they have to keep separate by law for political campaigning and have to seek a mandate from the membership every ten years.
 
I thought it had to be freely given on an individual consent basis, or is that what the ballot is about?

I did a search on google, other engines are also available, and inly thing I could find came up with this

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/gmb-ballot-on-political-fund

GMB members paying political levy likely to be balloted on funds going to Labour party.

Issue will go to the next meeting of GMB Central Executive Council in September which will determine GMB policy on this matter.
 
I thought it had to be freely given on an individual consent basis, or is that what the ballot is about?
It is about whether or not they actually have a political fund to contribute to, my gripe is with what appears to be a bit of a porkie when they say that it is not about party politics when I am pretty sure it is.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
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In my working days I belonged to Unison and opted out of the political levy. It did not reduce my fee and I am not in any way convinced that the opt-out actually meant anything.

Unison gave money to Labour but also, off their own bat would run campaigns which were basically Labour campaigns, paid for from my subs.

I joined and stayed in for one reason and that was information. There was so much change going on and management would not give out much info. Unison on the other hand made available everything that was on the table.
 
Pretty much my own reasons for membership, the overtly political stance taken by most Unions is the reason why they have become so ineffective in my book, too many class-warriors and freeloaders. I prefer the German model.
 
it would appear that other unions are doing the same apparently if they want to take part in political campaigning/lobbying they need to set one up

Here is UNSON's bit

To take part in political activity unions have to maintain a political fund - and in UNISON you can choose whether to pay a proportion of your subs into the affiliated political fund (Labour Link), the general political fund (GPF), both, or neither.

http://www.unison.org.uk/about/our-organisation/political-affiliations-and-support/

So looks like you can still opt out
 
Looks like you can definately opt out

http://www.findlaw.co.uk/law/employment/pay_and_work_rights/trade_unions/8458.html

Voting for a political fund


If a trade union wishes to start a political fund, its members must vote in favour of creating one. This vote must be conducted by a secret ballot held under rules approved by the Certification Officer. The trade union must allow all its members to vote in the ballot.

If a trade union's members vote in favour of creating a political fund, the trade union can maintain the fund for a period of ten years.

If a trade union wants to continue maintaining the political fund after the end of the ten year period it must hold a further ballot of all its members asking whether they wish the trade union to continue running a political fund. This is sometimes called a 'review ballot'.The rules for the ballot must be approved by the Certification Officer.

Paying into a political fund

If you contribute to your trade unions political fund the contribution will usually form a part of your trade union membership subscription. This contribution is sometimes called the political levy.

If your employer deducts money from your pay for your trade union subscription (known ascheck-off), this money will usually include a political fund contribution if you contribute to it.

Your trade union must have arrangements in place enabling you to find out how much of your trade union subscription is a contribution to the political fund.

How to stop paying into a political fund

You do not have to contribute to your trade unions political fund and have the right to stop paying at any time. This is called contracting out.

If you wish to contract out, you must do so in writing. If you ask your trade unions local office or head office for a form to contract out of political fund payments, they must supply it. You can also ask the Certification Officer for a form.

If you have contracted out of contributing to the political fund you can also tell your employer in writing that you have done so. If you do this your employer must make sure that no amount representing a contribution to the political fund is deducted from your pay.
 
It seems that Labour leader Ed Miliband declared last year that his party would no longer accept donations from trade unions without the explicit consent of the contributing members. Hence the arrangements by UNISON as mentioned in post #9 by @johnboyzzz.

There was talk of this being included in the new lobbying legislation (Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014) but I am not sure if this actually happened.

Individual union members retain the right by law to opt out of any political fund contribution, whether linked to a particular party or not. Edit: (as confirmed by johnboyzzz's above post).
 
On the 'secret' ballot aside from the opt out, are there options to choose which Political party you would like to contribute to, or is it just for the Labour party, or is it a simple 'I agree to pay into the political fund and allow the Union leadership to spend my money wisely on whatever party they feel like supporting this week because you know better than I do ballot' ?
 
IS there no option to donate to the Conservative party, or the Liberal Democrats?
No, but the SWP/UAF get quite a bit of Union members money.
 
It seems that Labour leader Ed Miliband declared last year that his party would no longer accept donations from trade unions without the explicit consent of the contributing members. Hence the arrangements by UNISON as mentioned in post #9 by @johnboyzzz.

There was talk of this being included in the new lobbying legislation (Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014) but I am not sure if this actually happened.

Individual union members retain the right by law to opt out of any political fund contribution, whether linked to a particular party or not. Edit: (as confirmed by johnboyzzz's above post).

Ah, so this was the way to get round the demand for and 'individual opt in' - a collective vote to opt in, with an individual right to opt out. Weasel words as usual!
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
The Tories want you opt out so that they can further restrict the labour parties ability to function and work for the betterment of the working class.
The Tories are and have hallways represented the rich ruling classes' from the satanic mill owners to the big banks. They have yet to pass an act for the real betterment for the majority of the population of the UK.
The labour party was founded by those descendants of the industrial revolution.. and passed tons of laws for the good of all, education' NHS just two pensions three.
But the point is, if any one wants your money do so research and make an informed choice. Happy hunting.
 
what have they ever done for the working man ?

Dunno about the LDs, but the Tories have time-after-time wiped up after Labour had been in power and made an utter pig's ear of everything.

St Margaret even found new jobs (eventually) for millions of people stuck in declining industries. All those miners, steelworkers, shipyard wallahs, they were all doomed. When the union is getting say $5/hr, but wants $7 and will strike for it, and the far eastern market charges $1.50/hr, the writing was on the wall. Sorry for the dollar signs, no pound symbol on my keyboard. But you get the drift.
 
As much as you might like to think that, those people that were previously rent-slaves in council houses were given the right to buy those houses by the Conservatives.

Who worded the legislation so as to prevent Councils from re-investing the money from sales in new build projects, meaning there was less social housing, and higher private rents for those who could afford to get a property to rent of their own, never mind the dream of owning a property.
 

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