- 2004 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
- 20 November 2004
By March 2005, UNISON is required by law to ballot the whole membership on whether or not we continue to have a political fund. The unique structure of the UNISON Political Fund allows members to choose to pay into the fund affiliated to the Labour Party and/or the fund for general political campaigns.
Conference deplores the failure of the Labour Government to remove the statutory requirement that Trades Unions ballot every 10 years and calls on the Government to remove this requirement immediately.
Conference welcomes the use of the general section of the political fund to fight the BNP in recent elections and sponsor 2004 Pride and the Respect Festival – providing excellent opportunities to recruit lgbt, black, women and disabled workers, and organise existing workers. Conference acknowledges that the general political fund has enabled UNISON to have a strong voice in campaigning and influencing change in many areas such as the abolition of Section 28.
Conference recognises that out members need our union to have a strong political voice so that our union can continue to campaign effectively on behalf of its members and for this we need to have a political fund.
Conference therefore believes it is essential for the union to continue to have a political fund and that it has a positive impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members both as citizens and public services workers.
Conference calls on all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members to vote “YES” in the forthcoming ballot and lobby every member they know to do the same.
Conference recognises that the campaign for a YES vote must involve all sections of the union and clearly explain to members why UNISON members need a political voice, and that the ballot is not about affiliation to the Labour Party, but about our union’s ability to campaign effectively for our members.
Conference therefore instructs the NLGC to campaign vigorously to achieve this and to:
1Work with the other national self organised groups and the National Executive to campaign for a YES vote
2Encourage regional and branch lesbian and gay groups to actively campaign at their level to encourage members to vote YES.