Since the founding days of the movement, trade unions have been
involved in politics. This activity recognises that the interests
of our members have to be promoted through the political progress.
Unions helped form the Labour Party in 1900 and have been central
to its organisation ever since.
Following a ballot of all members in 1995, UNISON
uniquely decided to have a political fund with two sections. The
General Political Fund (GPF)
which finances political campaigns in the wider public arena and
the Affiliated Political Fund (APF) which finances our affiliation
to the Labour Party. Members individually choose which fund to contribute
to. They can also decide to opt out of any political levy or contribute
to both funds. more in Branch Officers
As a result of the APF and UNISON's lobbying, Labour
has adopted many positive areas of policy at UK and Scottish levels
- Establishing the Low Pay Commission and the national minimum
- Recognising the role played by support staff in schools and
- Health policy now embraces the concept of the healthcare team,
not just the work of clinical staff
- A general recognition of the link between poverty and poor
- Recognition of the impact domestic violence has on health
- The expansion in opportunities for all through lifelong learning
as the key to promoting social inclusion including legal footing
for workplace union learning reps.
- Three-year funding settlements for local authorities and partner
organisations will move towards three-year funding as well.
- A commitment only to move forward with best value when there
is agreement with staff.
- Action to turn the Fuel Poverty Strategy from a paper strategy
into real action on the ground.
- A policy of encouraging equal pay audits, and a commitment
to provide better data for gender monitoring.
- Recognition of the vital work carried out by police civilian
- Recognition of the importance of locally provided public services
in rural areas.
- Stronger equality legislation including improvements to maternity
leave and pay, and paid paternity leave.
- Reforms of the immigration and asylum system and the replacement
of the current voucher system.
What happens when UNISON Scotland disagrees with
From time to time, there will be major issues where
we think the government has got it wrong. The Public Finance Initiative
(PFI) is a key example.
When we don't support government policy we argue UNISON's
case in the Labour party at every level. Local UNISON members raise
the issues in the local constituency and lobby MSPs, MPs and MEPs.
We argue our case at local and Scottish policy forums and at conferences,
winning the support of party members.
UNISON Scotland ensures that MSPs are given the facts
with which to take forward our policies in the Scottish Parliament
and in lobbying Ministers. This also helps UNISON push for advances
that protect our members in the short term, for example, by negotiating
PPP staffing protection, while continuing to argue against private
funding for public services.
Labour Party | Scottish