AFFILIATED POLITICAL FUND OPERATIONAL RULES
Chapter 1 Introduction
- 1.1 - Status of the document
- 1.2 - Name & Terminology
- 1.3 - Aims & Objects
- 1.4 - Functions
- 1.5 - Proportionality & Fair Representation
- 1.6 - Ways of Working
Chapter 2 Membership and Participation
- 2.1 - How to join the APF
- 2.2 - Political Fund Contribution Rates
- 2.3 - Rights of Individual APF Levy Payers
Chapter 3 Local Organisation
- 3.1 - Branch Structure
- 3.2 - APF Political Officer
- 3.3 - Branch Functions
- 3.4 - Financial Issues
Chapter 4 Regional Organisation
- 4.1 - APF Regions
- 4.2 - Regional Affiliated Political Committee
- 4.3 - Chair/Vice Chair
- 4.4 - Frequency of Meetings
- 4.5 - Functions of the Regional Affiliated Political
- 4.6 - Regional Affiliated Political Forum
- 4.7 - Composition
- 4.8 - Eligibility to Participate
- 4.9 - Changes to this Composition
- 4.10 - Chair/Vice Chair
- 4.11 - Functions of the Regional Affiliated
- 4.12 - Voting at the Forum
- 4.13 - Regional Elections
Chapter 5 National Organisation
- 5.1 - The National Affiliated Political Committee
- 5.2 - Functions
- 5.3 - The National Affiliated Political Forum
- 5.4 - Composition
- 5.5 - Voting Rights
- 5.6 - Standing Orders Committee
- 5.7 - Motions
- 5.8 - Changes to the APF Operational Rules
- 5.9 - Responsibilities
- 5.10 -UNISON APF Labour Party Conference Delegation
- 5.11 - Responsibilities
- 5.12 - Sectional Labour Party Conferences
- 5.13 - Relationship with UNISON Conference
- I - National Affiliated Political Forum: Rules
and Standing Orders
- II - Relationships with other union bodies
UNISON AFFILIATED POLITICAL FUND OPERATIONAL RULES
1.1 Status of the Document
This document sets out the operational rules under which the
Affiliated Political Fund section of UNISON is administered and
organised. It supplements and is governed by the requirements
for the Affiliated Political Fund which are set out in rule J
of the UNISON Rule Book. Under these rules the administration
of the APF is delegated by the NEC to the exclusive control of
a committee of NEC members who pay the affiliated political levy.
These rules have been approved in this regard by the National
Affiliated Political Committee. However, the committee are also
seeking the approval of the National Political Forum being held
in May 1995 before they formally come into effect in July 1995.
The National Affiliated Political Committee are also recommending
that any amendments to these rules in the future should have the
approval of the National Political Forum before implementation.
1.2 Name and Terminology
The UNISON Rule Book specifies that for the interim period until
January 1996 the political fund into which ex COHSE and ex NUPE
political levy payers contribute should be known as the COHSE/NUPE
Political Fund. From January 1996 it becomes known as the Affiliated
Political Fund. However, to avoid confusion the term Affiliated
Political Fund has been brought into common usage prior to this
date, although in formal terms the rule book description must
still apply. In addition the APF has a members and stewards newsletter
entitled UNISON Labour Link which sets out its purpose more clearly.
1.3 Aims and Objects
The aims and objects of the APF are centred in the traditions
of the two partner unions that were affiliated to the Labour Party.
They compliment and expand upon the Aims and Objects of UNISON
as set out in the Rule Book. The key Aims and Objects are:
a) To affiliate to the Labour Party at national, regional and
local level and play a major role in supporting Labour Party activities.
b) To campaign for support for the Labour Party and the election
of a Labour government.
c) To persuade levy payers to become individual members of
the Labour Party and become more involved in Party activities.
d) To play a major role in policy making within the Labour
Party ensuring that the interests and concerns of levy payers
are fully reflected in Labour's policy commitments.
e) To encourage levy payers to participate fully in APF activities
and policy making, using good communications to keep members
informed; developing the APF structures to involve members;
and using all appropriate measures including individual ballots
in decision making.
In pursuit of these objects the key APF functions are defined
a) Paying the affiliation fees and making donations to Labour
Party activities on the basis established by the National Affiliated
b) Developing recruitment strategies to encourage levy payers
to become members of the Labour Party.
c) Campaigning amongst levy payers and in the wider community
to win support for Labour's policies.
d) Playing a full part in local government, national and Euro
elections to maximise the vote for Labour.
e) Representing APF levy payers at Labour Party committees,
conferences and forums.
f) Maintaining a group of sponsored MPs and candidates to ensure
a voice in Parliament; develop links with UNISON members who
are Labour councillors; maintaining a group of sponsored Labour
MEPs to address concerns through the European Parliament.
g) Developing a wide range of political education activities
to assist levy payers in participating in the Labour Party more
h) Communicating effectively with levy payers to inform and
motivate their involvement and provide opportunities for feedback.
i) Establishing structures within the APF which recognise the
wide range of contributions levy payers are able to make, but
also the limitations and restrictions which need to be taken
j) Involving the widest number of members possible in decision
making and seeking their views on policy issues using all appropriate
k) Enabling lay members and paid employees to work in partnership
for the common cause.
l) Liaising closely with the General Political Fund to work
together on shared objectives.
m) Linking up with other affiliated trade unions to pursue
common objectives within the Labour Party and the wider community.
1.5 Proportionality and Fair Representation
The APF is strongly committed to the application of proportionality
and fair representation at all levels of activity. In addition,
Labour Party rules require that conference delegations reflect
the proportion of women and men in membership. In the case of
the APF approximately two-thirds of the levy payers are women.
Therefore, all committees and delegations should reflect this
requirement. In elections where the small numbers do not allow
a two-thirds/one-third split the National Affiliated Political
Committee will issue further advice on how this objective can
best be met.
The definition of fair representation is more complex but equally
important. The UNISON rule book defines fair representation as
"taking into account such factors as the balance between
part-time and full time workers, manual and non manual workers,
different occupations, skills, qualifications, responsibilities,
race, sexuality and disability".
Our commitment to this principle means that representation in
APF structures should reflect the make up of our APF membership.
There are two key aspects to the definition where it is clear
that particular steps will have to be taken, as ignoring the problem
perpetuates the discrimination.
The first area of concern is to ensure that those defined traditionally
as manual or ancillary workers have their voice and interests
fully represented within the APF structure and Labour Party.
The second element of fair representation is the need to ensure
that black, disabled and gay and lesbian levy payers are properly
represented in the APF structure.
It is therefore agreed:
a) That the definition of "manual and ancillary" representation
is based upon membership of the relevant occupational categories
within the service groups. There should be an upper earnings limit
in terms of an hourly rate of pay equal to the top of Band C subscriptions
- currently £10,000 - i.e. £4.90 per hour.
b) That the proportion of levy payers within these occupational
categories and earning below this level will be calculated in
conjunction with the national negotiators and membership records
c) This proportion will then be applied for all elections to
the regional affiliated political committees, the national affiliated
political committee, regional and national forums, and regional
and national delegations to Labour Party conferences.
d) In addition, steps will be taken to ensure the representation
of black, disabled and gay and lesbian APF levy payers at regional
and national forums and on delegations by co-opting as appropriate.
1.6 Ways of Working
These rules are laid down to protect the rights of levy payers.
However, it is intended that they will only be invoked at times
when particular guidance is needed or a dispute has arisen.
It is intended that the activities of the APF for the most part
will be conducted on an informal basis in the spirit of openness
and mutual support in a jargon free environment.
MEMBERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
2.1 How to Join the APF
Membership of the Affiliated Political Fund is available to all
UNISON members on the following basis:
Members who were ex COHSE or ex NUPE and paid the political levy
automatically became members of the Affiliated Political Fund.
Members joining UNISON after 1st July 1993 who join an unmerged
ex COHSE or ex NUPE branch will automatically pay into the Affiliated
Political Fund unless they opt out of paying the political levy.
Members joining a merged branch after 1st July 1993 can choose
into which political fund they wish to contribute. Members who
do not indicate their choice on the application form will be allocated
to the political fund into which the highest number of members
in the branch already contribute.
From 1st January 1996 all UNISON members can choose whether they
want to contribute to the Affiliated Political Fund, the General
Political Fund, or both, or neither.
Application forms are available from the steward or branch secretary.
2.2 Political Fund Contribution Rates
The political fund contribution rates are published in the UNISON
rule book. The political fund levy is part of the UNISON subscription
rate and is not an additional charge. However, members choosing
to pay both the APF and the GPF levies will incur an additional
charge for one of the levies as set out in the UNISON rule book.
2.3 Rights of Individual APF Levy Payers
Levy payers have the following rights within the Affiliated Political
a) Attend and vote on APF issues (as set out in Chapter 3)
at their branch meeting or sectional meeting if the branch includes
GPF levy payers.
b) To be consulted on policy and constitutional matters concerning
the APF and the Labour Party and receive regular reports from
branch delegates and representatives.
c) Receive regular copies of UNISON Labour Link and other publications
providing information on APF activities.
d) Vote in the ballot for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour
Party provided that the requirement to be eligible to join the
Labour Party is met.
e) Elect branch delegates to represent the branch at the APF
regional political forum, candidates for which must be individual
members of the Labour Party.
f) Attend political education events organised at a local,
regional and national level.
In addition, levy payers who become individual members of the
Labour Party are eligible to participate in other APF activities
including the delegations to regional and national Labour Party
conferences, the regional and national affiliated political committee
and the Regional and National Political Forum.
Applications to join the Labour Party are available from your
branch secretary or APF political officer.
3.1 Branch Structure
All APF levy payers within a branch should meet together regularly
to discuss APF matters within the terms of the Rule Book and the
Code of Good Branch Practice.
Where a branch contains members paying into the General Political
Fund or not paying a political levy, arrangements must be made
for APF levy payers to meet separately from the normal branch
3.2 APF Political Officer
Each branch should elect an APF Political Officer to co-ordinate
APF activities who must be a member of the Labour Party. The role
of the Political Officer will include to:
a) receive correspondence and information on APF matters from
national and regional levels and from the Labour Party;
b) help explain and develop the role of the APF within the
branch and ensure that correct procedures are followed regarding
the rights of APF levy payers;
c) circulate information to APF members in the branch;
d) convene meetings of APF members as necessary;
e) arrange discussions on policy and constitutional matters
for members and ensure reports are made by branch delegates
on their activities on behalf of members;
f) liaise with APF regional officers;
g) promote political education and policy discussions;
h) strengthen links with local Labour Parties;
i) communicate with Labour Party members within the branch;
j) encourage individual membership of the Labour Party;
k) build campaigning work around key issues and at elections.
3.3 Branch Functions
The following issues are the legitimate business of the APF levy
payers within a branch:
a) Agreeing to affiliate to appropriate Constituency Labour
Parties or District Labour Parties where members of the branch
live or work. Electing delegates to represent the branch at
the L.P. General Committees, sending resolutions and receiving
regular reports from delegates.
Forms to confirm the affiliations and delegates are sent out
to APF political officers each year from the Regional Political
b) Electing up to two branch representatives to the Regional
Affiliated Political Forum, held annually, on the basis of fair
representation as set out in Chapter 1 (at least one of whom
must be a woman) and sending resolutions, as appropriate. All
candidates must be individual members of the Labour Party.
c) Nominating branch representatives for election to the Regional
Affiliated Political Committee.
d) Nominating branch representatives who must be individual
members of the Labour Party for election to the APF delegation
to the regional Labour Party Conference.
e) Nominating branch representatives who must be individual
members of the Labour Party for election to the regional delegation
to the National Affiliated Political Forum.
f) Electing a branch APF Political Officer to coordinate activities
and represent the levy payers on the branch committee.
g) Discussing and developing policies to pursue through the
regional and national APF structures and the Labour Party and
receiving reports from delegates on activities.
h) Supporting and participating in local Labour Party initiatives
and campaigns for the Local, National and Euro Elections.
i) Organising recruitment campaigns to persuade levy payers
to become individual members of the Labour Party.
j) Participating in political education events.
k) Linking with other affiliated union branches and the local
community to support Labour Party activities.
1) Liaising with members paying into the General Political
Fund on issues of common concern.
3.4 Financial Issues
The Affiliated Political Fund, based on the income from levy
payers is calculated annually at a national level and a budget
drawn up which includes an allowance for regional activities.
Branch APF levy payers can apply to the region for donations and
grants above the CLP affiliations made on their behalf. Guidelines
will be produced for branches setting out the framework for financing
APF branch activities.
4.1 APF Regions
There will be 12 regional structures within the APF based on
the UNISON regions excluding Northern Ireland. Where UNISON regional
boundaries are not co-terminus with Labour Party regional boundaries
separate arrangements will be made to ensure that appropriate
meetings and delegations are coordinated across UNISON boundaries.
This will be the responsibility of the regional political contacts
in the regions concerned.
4.2 Regional Affiliated Political Committee
Each region will establish a Regional Affiliated Political Committee
which will be elected annually, normally at the beginning of the
All members and ex officio members of the committee shall be
individual members of the Labour Party and APF levy payers. Appropriate
measures will be taken to obtain fair representation on the committee
to reflect the make up of APF membership as outlined in Chapter
The committee will be composed as follows:
a) Nine members elected on the basis of fair representation
as set out in Chapter 1 (at least five of whom shall be women).
These members to be elected at the regional forum, by branch
ballot or by individual ballot of APF members, as determined
in advance with the NAPC. There should aim to be a spread of
service group and geographical representation.
b) Six members elected by the APF levy payers on the UNISON
regional committee from amongst the members of that committee
paying the APF levy. They shall be elected on the basis of fair
representation as set out in Chapter 1 (at least three of whom
shall be women). Variations to this may be agreed by the NAPC.
c) Ex officio members who serve on the National Affiliated
Political Committee who may speak but shall not vote.
d) Ex officio members who represent the APF on the regional
Labour Party Executive who may speak but shall not vote.
e) The Regional Political Contact, who will be a paid official
and will act as secretary to the committee: and other paid officials,
as appropriate, who may speak but shall not vote.
4.3 Chair/Vice Chair
The Committee shall elect from its membership a Chair and Vice
Chair (one of whom shall be a woman). The election shall take
place at the first meeting of the Committee following the Regional
Affiliated Political Forum. The Chair and Vice shall also act
as Chair and Vice Chair of the regional forum.
4.4 Frequency of Meetings
The Committee shall meet at least quarterly at venues, dates
and times to be agreed by the Committee.
4.5 Functions of the Regional Affiliated Political Committee
The Regional Affiliated Political Committee shall have the following
a) Oversee the organisation and administration of all Affiliated
Political Fund (APF) activities throughout the region, in between
meetings of the Regional Affiliated Political Forum.
b) Control the regional Affiliated Political Fund and budget.
c) Ensure the widest participation of members in decision making
and policy issues at all levels within the region using all
appropriate democratic means.
d) Receive regular reports from the regional Labour Party Executive
and associated committees and guide the work of the union's
e) Receive regular reports from members of the National Affiliated
f) Ensure effective liaison with sponsored MPs in the region.
g) Coordinate policy development on all issues relating to
the regional Labour Party.
h) Encourage members to pay the APF and to persuade levy payers
to join the Labour Party.
i) Organise political education events to develop the knowledge
and skills of members and activists.
j) Coordinate campaigns on Labour Party issues.
k) Provide resources and support for the regional Labour Party
before an during elections.
l) Request donations and sponsorship for particular candidates
and campaigns from national level.
m) Develop links with Labour Councillors' representatives.
n) Oversee the effective and democratic involvement of Affiliated
Political Fund representatives within the party's structures
at regional and local level.
o) Enable the setting up of separate women's and youth groups,
p) Promote equality and fair representation at all levels of
APF organisation in the region, monitoring progress and taking
appropriate action to obtain these aims.
q) Prepare an annual report to be submitted to the NAPC on
the development of the APF organisation in the region and activities
during the year.
4.6 Regional Affiliated Political Forum
Each region shall hold an annual regional affiliated political
forum prior to the National Affiliated Political Forum at a time
and venue agreed by the Regional Affiliated Political Committee.
A special meeting of the Forum may be called by the Regional Affiliated
The composition of the forum shall be as follows:
a) Up to two representatives from each UNISON branch entitled
to be represented on the basis of fair representation as set
out in Chapter 1 (at least one of whom must be a woman). Such
representatives may speak and vote and must be individual members
of the Labour Party.
b) Elected members of the Regional Affiliated Political Committee.
Such members may speak and vote.
c) Representatives on the Regional Labour Party Executive Committee,
Regional Labour Women's Committee and other Labour Party bodies.
Such representatives will be ex-officio and may speak but shall
d) Representatives from the region on the National Affiliated
Political Committee. Such representatives will be ex-officio
and may speak but shall not vote.
e) Sponsored MPs and MEPs from within the region. MPs and MEPs
will be ex-officio and may speak but shall not vote.
f) Secretary of the Regional Affiliated Political Committee
and other paid officials as appropriate. Such officials may
speak but shall not vote.
4.8 Eligibility to Participate
All representatives and ex officio delegates must be individual
members of the Labour Party.
4.9 Changes to this Composition
Variations to this composition of regional committees and forums
to take into account local circumstances can be agreed by the
National Affiliated Political Committee. Requests should be submitted
in writing setting out the proposed variation and the reasons
why this is necessary.
4.10 Chair/Vice Chair
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Regional Affiliated Political
Forum shall be the Chair and Vice Chair of the Regional Affiliated
4.11 Functions of the Regional Affiliated Political Forum
The functions of the Regional Affiliated Political Forum are
a) To receive reports from the Regional Affiliated Political
Committee, the representatives on the regional Labour Party
Executive and other representatives, as appropriate.
b) To conduct elections for APF regional representatives and
delegates in accordance with these rules.
c) To receive and debate motions from APF branches and the
Regional Affiliated Political Committee. Motions received will
be circulated to branches and the RAPC. Each branch and the
RAPC will be able to submit two amendments within a timescale
agreed by the RAPC.
d) To develop the objectives and priorities for the region
in the coming year.
e) To determine APF policy in the regional Labour Party within
the overall national APF policy.
f) To develop APF policy and organisational proposals through
workshops and political education initiatives.
g) To determine up to two motions to be forwarded to the National
Affiliated Political Forum.
4.12 Voting at the Forum
When formal votes are required on policy and constitutional issues
affecting the APF and Labour Party and for regional representatives
and delegates, it shall be carried out using a weighted system
of voting to reflect APF membership in branches as follows:
* one vote for branches with up to 250 APF members;
* one vote for each 250 APF members or part thereof above this;
* up to a maximum of 8 votes for any branch.
4.13 Regional Elections
The region is entitled to determine the following categories
of representatives through branch ballot, through a ballot conducted
at the forum or by an individual ballot of members, depending
on the method laid out in these rules or agreed in advance by
a) 9 places on the Regional Affiliated Political Committee
based on fair representation as set out in Chapter 1 (5 of whom
shall be women).
b) The specified number of places at the National Affiliated
Political Forum as determined by the size of the region, according
to the schedule set out in Chapter 5.
c) Two delegates to the national Labour Party Conference on
the basis of the schedule set out in Chapter 5.
d) The delegation to the regional Labour Party Conference.
All delegates to the Regional Affiliated Political Committee,
National Affiliated Political Forum, Regional Labour Party and
National Labour Party must be APF levy payers and fully paid up
members of the Labour Party.
5.1 The National Affiliated Political Committee (NAPC) Composition
The NAPC is a Committee established under Rule J8.2 of UNISON
Rules. It comprises 12 members of the National Executive Council
elected by members of the NEC who are contributors to the Affiliated
Political Fund and one representative from each Region (save for
Northern Ireland) elected by members in Branches in that Region
who are contributors to the Affiliated Political Fund. All members
of the NAPC must be contributors to the Affiliated Political Fund
and paid up individual members of the Labour Party.
Members of the NAPC elected by the NEC are elected for a 1 year
period. Regional representatives on the NAPC are to be elected
for a 2 year period by an individual ballot of APF members in
that region, unless a variation is agreed by the NEC on the recommendation
of the NAPC.
Membership of the NAPC should meet our commitment to proportionality
and fair representation, reflecting the membership patterns of
UNISON APF as laid out in chapter 1.
Members of the NAPC will be expected to report back to and liaise
with their respective Regional Affiliated Political Committees.
The NAPC shall meet quarterly. Meetings will be chaired by an
elected lay member of the Committee.
The Head of the Affiliated Political Fund will act as secretary
to the Committee. Labour Party NEC representatives and appopriate
officers shall attend the meetings.
The NAPC will be responsible for the efficient overall administration
and organisation of the Affiliated Political Fund.
The NAPC will -
a) oversee local and regional APF organisation to ensure its
b) ensure effective liaison and communication with the Regional
Affiliated Political Committees.
c) deal with all issues relating to the Labour Party, ensuring
proper representation and input of policy;
d) be responsible for the Affiliated Political Fund and budgets
which arise from its operation;
e) pay the affiliation to the Labour Party and consider other
appropriate donations, grants and affiliations;
f) oversee issues relating to the sponsorships of Labour MPs
g) receive regular reports from APF representatives on Labour's
NEC, other Labour Party committees and policy forums;
h) receive annual reports from APF regional committees and
take any appropriate action to ensure good practice;
i) develop political education and policy debates, encourage
Labour Party membership and campaign for UNISON APF and Labour
j) oversee arrangements for delegations to the Labour Party
Conference and other conferences, as appropriate;
k) assist the Labour Party financially and organisationally
at election times;
l) promote equality and fair representation at all levels of
UNISON APF and within the Labour Party, monitoring progress
and taking appropriate steps to obtain these aims;
m) keep members informed of APF activities and promote good
n) seek the widest involvement of members in decision making,
elections and policy development using all appropriate means
including membership ballots.
o) do everything necessary to ensure the proper administration
of the Affiliated Political Fund.
5.3 The National Affifliated Political Forum
The NAPF shall meet annually at a time and place determined by
the NAPC, taking into account the timing of the UNISON National
Delegate Conference and Labour Party Conference.
The forum shall consist of representatives on the following basis,
ensuring that our criteria for proportionality and fair representation
described in Chapter 1 are met and that all representatives are
individual members of the Labour Party:
a) Representatives from the twelve APF regions according to
the APF membership:
up to 50,000 APF members : 6 representatives (at least 4
50,000 to 75,000 " : 8 representatives (at least 5 women)
above 75,001 " : 10 representatives (at least 6 women)
They shall be elected each year by the Regional Affiliated
Political Forums or any other manner approved in advance by
b) Members of the Labour Party Conference delegation for that
c) Regional APF representatives on Labour Party regional executives
d) Members of the NAPC.
e) APF sponsored MPs and MEPs (ex officio).
f) The APF Standing Orders Committee members.
National paid officials and regional political contact officers
will also attend and carry out the responsibilities assigned to
5.5 Voting Rights
Voting rights at the Forum are restricted to those delegates
who are lay members in the first two constituent groups (a) and
(b) apart from any NAPC members who have been elected in these
5.6 Standing Orders Committee
The APF forum standing orders committee shall consist of six
members as follows:
a) two members from the NAPC;
b) four members elected from the APF regions. Each region will
be able to nominate one person and the election shall take place
at the national forum, meeting criteria for proportionality
and fair representation as laid out in Appendix I : Rules and
Each APF region and the NAPC shall submit up to two motions for
consideration by the NAPF. These should be not more than three
hundred words in length and be confined to one subject. The NAPC
is also entitled to submit an annual report and statements to
the forum on a basis approved by the SOC. Motions accepted by
the SOC for consideration by the NAPF will be circulated to RAPCs.
Each region will be able to submit two amendments within a timetable
agreed by the SOC.
5.8 Changes to the APF Operational Rules
Changes to these APF Operational Rules may be submitted from
among their two motions to the Forum by APF regions or from the
NAPC. Rule changes require a two-thirds majority for approval.
If a motion is approved by the Forum that would require a rule
change to put into practice, an appropriate rule amendment will
be submitted to the next annual Forum by the NAPC for approval.
The NAPF shall determine the policies of the APF through workshops
and plenary debates. It shall look at the best ways to promote
UNISON APF policies amongst members and within the Labour Party.
The forum shall also seek to coordinate regional organisation
and activities; receive reports of APF activities from the NAPC;
and prioritise APF campaigns.
5.10 UNISON/APF Labour Party Conference Delegation Composition
The UNISON APF delegation to the annual Labour Party Conference
shall consist of 49 members who are all individual members of
the Labour Party. The delegation shall meet the requirements of
UNISON APF and the Labour Party to proportionality and fair representation
as described in Chapter 1. The delegation is made up of:
a) two representatives from each of the twelve APF regions.
All regions must elect at least one woman each year and four
regions, on a rotating basis, must elect a second woman;
b) the Chair and five members of the NAPC, at least three of
whom should be women;
c) four members of the NEC who pay the affiliated political
levy, at least two of whom should be women and not excluding
members of the NAPC;
d) two APF members each from the black, disabled and lesbian
and gay self organised groups, at least one from each being
e) two APF sponsored MPs, at least one being a woman.
f) seven paid officials as determined by the senior officer
responsible for the APF, at least four of whom should be women.
A group meeting of the delegation shall agree positions on policy
motions and elections in accordance with UNISON APF policy, including
the position of the previous APF partner unions, and taking into
account the policies agreed at the UNISON conference as set out
in the attached statement.
5.12 Sectional Labour Party Conferences
The NAPC will draw up a schedule for APF delegations to sectional
Labour Party Conferences based upon the widest possible regional
involvement and proportionality and fair representation.
5.13 Relationship with UNISON Conference
The relationship of the APF structure to UNISON Conference was
discussed at the 1994 UNISON Conference. A statement from the
NEC was submitted to the Conference clarifying the relationship.
This is set out in Appendix IIA. A report from the Standing Orders
Committee as set out in Appendix IIB was also adopted by the Conference.
These two documents form the basis on which the APF relates to
UNISON Conference decisions.
NATIONAL AFFILIATED POLITICAL FORUM
RULES AND STANDING ORDERS
1. Application of Standing Orders
1.1 These Standing Orders shall apply to all meetings of the
UNISON National Affiliated Political Forum. The principles of
proportionality and fair representation, as detailed in the
APF operational rules, shall apply to all aspects of our work.
1.2 The National Affiliated Political Forum will be conducted
in a spirit of mutual respect and generosity. The Chair will
take all necessary steps to create a welcoming atmosphere in
which delegates can state their views freely and be heard without
1.3 The Chair will take all possible steps to guide the Forum
through the business without recourse to procedural points unless
absolutely necessary to maintain order. In such cases the procedures
being adopted will be explained clearly to all delegates by
1.4 The Standing Orders Committee will liaise closely with
the Chair of the Forum to create a programme which is fair,
democratic and understood by all delegates.
2. Standing Orders Committee
2.1 The members of the Standing Orders Committee shall hold
office from the end of one National Affiliated Political Forum
until the end of the next National Affiliated Political Forum.
The Standing Orders Committee will consist of six members,
four elected from the regions and two nominated from the National
Affiliated Political Committee (at least one woman).
The four regional representatives will be selected by the following
i) each Regional Affiliated Political Committee may nominate
a candidate for the Standing Orders Committee taking regard
of proportionality and fair representation;
each candidate to submit a statement of up to 250 words to
be circulated to delegates to the National Forum; election by
individual ballot of delegates with voting rights at the Forum;
iii) each delegate to have four votes for the four representatives
needed; to ensure proportionality the two women candidates with
most votes will be automatically elected together with the other
two candidates with the highest votes.
2.2 At its first meeting after it takes office, the Committee
shall elect a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson from amongst
its members (at least one of whom shall be a woman).
2.3 The functions of the Committee, subject to these Standing
Orders, shall be to:
2.3.1 ensure that the Rules and Standing Orders relating to
the business of the Forum are observed, and notify the President
of any violation that may be brought to the Committee's notice;
2.3.2 draw up the agenda of Forum business, and the proposed
hours of business;
2.3.3 determine the order in which the business of the Forum
shall be conducted, subject to the approval of Forum;
2.3.4 consider all motions and amendments submitted for consideration
by the Forum and, for the purpose of enabling the Forum to transact
its business effectively, the Committee shall:
1. decide whether such motions and amendments have been submitted
in accordance with the Rules;
2. group together motions and amendments relating to the
same subject, decide the order in which they should be considered
and whether they should be debated and voted on separately
or debated together and voted on sequentially;
3. prepare and revise, in consultation with the movers of
motions, and amendments, composite motions in terms which
in the opinion of the Committee best express the subject;
4. refer to another representative body within the Union
a motion which in the opinion of the Committee should properly
be considered there; the region shall be informed of the reason
for so doing;
5. have power to do all such other things are may be necessary
to give effect to these Standing Orders.
2.4 Any decisions of the Committee which are to be reported
to the Forum shall be announced by the Chairperson of the Committee
and shall be subject to ratification by the Forum.
3. Motions and Amendments: Pre-Forum Procedure
3.1 Each region may submit two motions in order for the business
to be completed in the allotted time.
3.2 Motions may be proposed by the Regional Affiliated Political
Committees on behalf of their Regional Affiliated Political
3.3 The National Affiliated Political Committee may also submit
motions and other appropriate business to the Forum.
3.4 Motions shall be sent to the Head of the APF in order that
the Standing Orders Committee may consider them for inclusion
in the agenda.
3.5 Regional Affiliated Political Committees may submit up
to two amendments. The date and time by which motions and amendments
to be considered for the Forum shall be received by the Head
of the APF shall be notified to Regional Affiliated Political
Committees by the Head of the APF.
4. Conduct of the Forum
4.1 The National Affiliated Political Forum shall meet in public
session, except that by direction of the National Affiliated
Political Committee or by resolution of the Forum the whole
or any part of a Forum may be held in private. In addition to
the elected delegates and those who have the right to attend
and speak at the Forum, the only persons permitted to attend
a private session of the Forum shall be:
4.1.1 such members of the staff as have been authorised by
the National Affiliated Political Committee or the Head of the
APF to attend the Forum;
4.1.2 such other persons as the Chair may determine.
4.2 The agenda for the National Affiliated Political Forum
shall be arranged so that the first session of the Forum shall
be in public, subject to Rule 4.1 above.
4.3 Apart from the elected delegates and those persons who
have the right to speak at the National Affiliated Political
Forum no other person shall speak except by permission of the
Standing Orders Committee.
4.4 Any questions of procedure or order raised during the Forum
shall be decided by the Chair whose ruling shall be final and
4.5 Upon the Chair rising during a Forum session, any person
then addressing Forum shall resume her/his seat and no other
person shall rise to speak until the Chair authorises proceedings
4.6 The Chair may call attention to continued irrelevance,
tedious repetition, unbecoming language, or any breach of order
on the part of a member and may direct such a member to discontinue
his or her speech.
4.7 The Chair shall have power to call any person to order
who is causing a disturbance in any session of the Forum and
if that person refuses to obey the Chair, she/he shall be named
by the Chair, shall forthwith leave the Forum and shall take
no further part in the proceedings of that Forum.
5.1 The method of voting shall be by a show of hands of the
delegates present, unless a card vote is called by the Chair
or, immediately after the result of the show of hands has been
declared, by at least 10 per cent of the delegates registered
at the Forum standing in support.
5.2 In the event of a card vote being called, the vote shall
be taken immediately, but no business shall be suspended pending
the declaration of the result of the vote except that which
in the Chair's opinion may be directly affected by that result.
6.1 Conference shall appoint delegates to act as tellers for
the duration of the Forum.
7. Withdrawal of Motions and Amendments
7.1 A motion or amendment which is shown on the agenda may
not be withdrawn without the consent of the Standing Orders
Committee, whose decision shall be reported to the Forum.
8. Motions not on Agenda
8.1 A motion which is not shown on the agenda may not be considered
by the Forum without the prior approval of the Standing Orders
Committee and the consent of the Forum, which shall be governed
by the following rules:
8.2 Such motions shall be in writing, signed by the Secretary
and Chairperson of the Regional Affiliated Political Committee
on whose behalf it is submitted and shall be sent to the Standing
Orders Committee at least five working days before the commencement
of the Forum except if it relates to events which take place
thereafter. It will state at which meeting it was debated and
8.3 If the Standing Orders Committee gives its approval to
the motion being considered, copies shall be made available
for delegates before the Forum is asked to decide whether to
consent to the matter being considered.
8.4 An emergency motion will not be given priority over others
on the agenda except where the Standing Orders Committee decide
that the purpose of the motion in question would be frustrated
if it were not dealt with at an earlier session of the Forum.
9. Procedural Motions
Delegates are requested to observe the intent of paragraphs
1.2 to 1.4 and to conduct the business of the Forum without
recourse to procedural points unless judged essential to help
the work of the Forum. In this context the following procedural
motions may be moved at any time without previous notice on
9.1 that the question be now put, provided that:
1. the Chair may advise the Forum not to accept this motion
if in her/his opinion the matter has not been sufficiently
2. if the motion is carried, it shall take effect at once
subject only to any right of reply under these Standing Orders.
9.2 that the Forum proceed to the next business.
9.3 that the debate be adjourned.
9.4 that the Forum (or any part thereof) be held in private
9.5 a motion under Rules 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 shall be put to the
vote without discussion and no amendment shall be allowed.
9.6 the Chair may at her/his discretion permit a motion under
Rule 9.4 to be discussed.
9.7 no motion under Rules 9.2 or 9.3 shall be moved by a person
who has spoken on the motion in question.
10. Limit of Speeches
10.1 The mover of a motion shall not be allowed to speak for
more than seven minutes and each succeeding speaker for not
more than four minutes, except where the Standing Orders Committee
have decided otherwise.
10.2 No person shall speak more than once on a question, except
that the mover of the original motion may exercise a right of
reply for not more than four minutes, introducing no new material.
11. Points of Order
11.1 A delegate may raise a point of order if she/he considers
that the business is not being conducted in accordance with
the Forum's Rules and Standing Orders.
11.2 Such a point of order must be raised as soon as the alleged
breach occurs or at the earliest practicable moment thereafter.
11.3 The Chair's ruling on the point of order is final.
12. Grouped Debates and Sequential Voting
12.1 Where, in the view of the Standing Orders Committee, separate
debates on specified motions dealing with the same subject matter
would lead to undue repetition in the debates, a grouped debate
and/or sequential voting may be adopted by the Forum.
12.2 The following procedure will be followed:
1. the Chair will advise the Forum of the order of business
and of the sequence in which motions will be moved and voted
on following a general debate, and of the effect of certain
proposals on others;
2. all motions included in the debate shall be moved;
3. the general debate shall take place;
4. the Chair shall again state the order of voting and shall
advise the Forum which, if any, motions will fall if others
5. voting will take place on motions preceded by relevant
amendments, in the order in which they were moved;
6. a debate being conducted under this procedure may not
be adjourned until after all the motions have been moved.
13. Reports by National Affiliated Political Committee
13.1 After the opening of the Forum the National Affiliated
Political Committee shall present its report for the past year.
The report shall be discussed on a subject basis and in conjunction
with any motions on the agenda which bears directly upon any
part of the report.
13.2 If the National Affiliated Political Committee presents
a report to the Forum which contains proposals or recommendations,
approval and adoption shall be sought from the Forum.
14. Reference of outstanding items to the National Affiliated
14.1 If at the end of the National Political Forum the business
of the Forum has not been concluded, all motions then outstanding
shall stand referred to the National Affiliated Political Committee
which shall in due course report to members its decision on
15. Suspension of Standing Orders
15.1 Any one or more of these Standing Orders may be suspended
by a resolution of the Forum in relation to a specific item
of business properly before that Forum and to the proceedings
thereon at that Forum, provided that at least two-thirds of
the delegates present and voting shall vote for the resolution
or in the case of a card vote at least two-thirds of the votes
cast are for the resolution.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER UNION BODIES
UNISON CONFERENCE 1994
A. Statement on UNISON Policy-Making and the Labour Party
The UNISON Rules make it clear that the supreme policy-making
body of the union is the National Delegate Conference and that
between Conferences the National Executive Council is responsible
for management and control of the union.
The Rules also provide for a political fund which maintains the
relationships which reflect the traditions of COHSE, NALGO and
NUPE. Therefore, the political fund is divided into two sections
to enable continued affiliation to the Labour Party on the one
hand and political independence on the other.
It is accepted that UNISON as a whole is not affiliated to the
Labour Party and the National Delegate Conference does not debate
motions in a Labour Party context.
Under the Rules, both sections of the political fund are under
the exclusive control of two separate committees consisting of
members of the NEC paying into their section of the fund. In this
context the Affiliated Political Fund has set up a structure to
mirror Labour Party areas of participation and decision-making
involving their levy payers. Therefore, the Affiliated Political
Fund, representing the members who are affiliated to the Labour
Party, should decide the most appropriate ways to pursue agreed
UNISON policy in the Labour Party.
The Affiliated Political Fund also receives policy consultation
documents from the Labour Party to which it has to respond in
a way which effectively promotes UNISON policy. This means that
the APF must have a legitimate role in helping to develop UNISON
Discussions are continuing on how the policies should be interpreted
and any differences resolved in liaison with the GPF and Policy
and Economic Committee representatives. There is a constructive
dialogue taking place which should resolve any remaining concerns
and it is recognised by all parties that agreement on this is
in the interests of UNISON as a whole.
B. Report from the Standing Orders Committee on Reference
Back on Point 7 of the Second Report
Conference, this morning you agreed a reference back from the
West Midlands Region on that paragraph of the Second Report of
the Standing Orders Committee which dealt with motions ruled out
of order because of their effect on the Affiliated Political Fund.
The Standing Orders Committee has taken on board the views expressed
this morning by Conference and subsequent representations we have
received from a number of branches asking us to maintain our position.
We have also taken full account of the Rule Book and the Final
Report and now wish to report to Conference as follows:
The Rules set out the aims and objects of the Union. There are
further sections on national delegate conference, standing orders
for that conference, and a further section about the political
With regard to this issue the Standing Orders Committee has had
particular regard to Rule B.4.1, Page 3 within the Aims and Objects
Section which states:
"To maintain a political fund and the relationships which
reflect the traditions of COHSE, NALGO and NUPE."
The Standing Orders Committee has also had regard to rules on
the political fund in Section J, in particular Section J.7.1 and
J.7.2 referring to the existence of two distinct sections of the
political fund and the creation of two separate committees with
exclusive control of these sections of the fund.
The Standing Orders Committee consideration has also been informed
by relevant sections of the Final Report which have been referred
to in the discussions with branches and regions who have raised
this issue with the Standing Orders Committee.
We have also been very aware of the manner in which the merger
discussions took place and from which the Final Report was produced.
The Standing Orders Committee believes that the Final Report
relates in particular to Rule B.4.1 in the Aims and Objects part
of the Rule that I referred to earlier.
There is no doubt in our minds that this national delegate conference
determines UNISON policy. We did, however, have to look very carefully
at the words used in submitted motions because under Rule P.188.8.131.52
we have the duty to decide whether such motions and amendments
have been submitted in accordance with the Rules.
Motions which sought to give instruction or direction in relation
to Labour Party matters were ruled out of order. However, those
which merely ask, urge, or call on were ruled in order. For example
a motion which called on the NEC to ensure that a policy decision
was taken into the Labour Party Conference, as did the West Midlands
Region motion, was ruled out of order. A branch that called on
Conference to press for the Labour Party to do something (Tower
Hamlets/Composite S) was ruled in order. Conference, the Standing
Orders Committee recognise the importance of this matter and the
strong feelings which are held on both sides, but firmly believe
given all that we have said that the Standing Orders Committee
came to the only conclusion we could have come to in dealing with
these matters and we therefore strongly urge Conference to accept
this report and the position of the Standing Orders Committee.