Monday, 15 February 2010

Motion: Voluntary Political Fund for Lambeth

The following motion has been proposed to Lambeth UNISON Branch Committee.

Voluntary Political Fund for Lambeth

Branch Notes

That there will be a general election and local elections in Lambeth this year.

That members have the right to fund the Labour Party through the union if they wish to. A minority of members currently exercise this right.

UNISON gives around £1.5 million a year to the Labour Party. The Labour Government has supervised widespread attacks on public services and public sector workers.

The Labour Party, along with the Lib Dems and Tories, have pledged widespread cuts to public services and jobs to pay for the latest capitalist crisis, namely the “credit crunch” and subsequent recession.

That the majority of members are currently unable to fund alternatives on a collective basis.

That there are currently at least two active UNISON members in Lambeth who have declared that they are running in the forthcoming elections in the borough, whom have a consistent record in supporting our aims. Neither of them are members of the Labour Party.

Branch Believes

That members have the right to collectively fund and support the political candidates who best serve their interests in order to maximise trade union influence in the political arena.

That member-led democracy is positive for trade unions.

Branch Resolves

That this Branch Committee establishes a voluntary collection amongst members from now until the election campaigning period, likely to be May for both sets of elections. It will be used solely to fund political candidates in Lambeth who have been deemed to be campaigning in the interests of UNISON workers by the Branch membership.

For this Branch Committee to organise a meeting open to all Lambeth UNISON members where candidates from all political parties, other than the far-right, are invited to address members. After this a ballot is arranged by the Returning Officer to determine how the voluntary fund will be allocated. On this basis the Branch will publically support those candidates that command the democratic and collective support of the membership.

For the contents of this motion to be publicised widely within the union movement and also amongst our membership by the Publicity Officers.

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