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Scottish Labour Link: Affiliated Political Fund

The Value of Labour Link


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 Toolkit..>

As a result of the APF and UNISON's lobbying, Labour has adopted many positive areas of policy at UK and Scottish levels including:

  • Establishing the Low Pay Commission and the national minimum wage.
  • Recognising the role played by support staff in schools and pre-school workers
  • 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 health

  • Recognition of the impact domestic violence has on health issues.
  • 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 staff.
  • 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 Labour?

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.

UK Labour Party | Scottish Labour Party