UNISON regularly lobbies politicians in the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly as part of our campaign work and to pursue our objectives and priorities.
Lobbying is how we get our message directly to the politicians who make the decisions that affect our rights, our quality of life and the quality of our public services.
Our political funds
To take part in political activity unions have to maintain a political fund – and in UNISON you can choose whether to pay a proportion of your subs into the affiliated political fund (Labour Link) or the general political fund.
General political fund
The general political fund (GPF) is not affiliated to any political party. The money paid into the fund is used to support local campaigns, to give a boost to the union’s national political campaigns and pay for political advertising.
Much of the high profile political campaign work you see from UNISON is paid for by the general political fund.
But it’s not just the big things the GPF funds. All sorts of national and local projects and campaigns benefit from receiving funding this way, such as anti-cuts campaigns or local campaigns against hospital closures for example.
Affiliated political fund
Our affiliated political fund (APF), also known as ‘Labour Link’, works directly within the Labour Party to take UNISON’s policies into the heart of the party. UNISON has 2 seats reserved for it on the ruling body of the Labour Party, its National Executive Committee
We work at local and national level and have a network of Labour Link officers at branch, regional and national levels who work together and with other affiliated unions. Sarah Cawston is our branch’s Labour Link Officer.
Members of the APF are supporting the Labour Party, and also get a direct say in important internal Labour Party matters, like leadership elections where APF members can vote.
APF members can also get full Labour Party membership at a reduced rate of around half-price.
Now is a good time to be in the APF as the Labour Party is undoubtedly undergoing a transformation into a mass membership political party.
If you want to change your GPF membership to APF, or vice-versa, please contact our branch office admin team via firstname.lastname@example.org