Union retains political fund

Almost three out of four BECTU members have voted to keep the union's political fund in a postal ballot.

In the ballot, which is required every ten years by law, 74.9% of members participating voted in favour of retaining a political fund. Turnout in the ballot, at 7390, was 29.1% of the union's entire membership in Great Britain, and voting closed on November 12.

Members in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands, were not balloted since current laws preclude them from contributing.

BECTU's political fund receives £1.56 per year from members who have not consciously opted out of subscribing to it, and the money is used for a variety of campaigning purposes.

It is the only legal source of funds which can be used to pay BECTU's subscription to the Labour Party, although this now represents less than half of the fund's expenditure, after the union cut back its contribution last year.

Among the other beneficiaries of BECTU's political fund are industry training body Skillset, the British Screen Advisory Council, and Labour Research Department, an independent body providing fact and figures to the labour movement.

Result of BECTU ballot on retention of its political fund
Papers issued 24935  
Papers returned 7390 29.1%
Spoilt papers 1  
YES 5520 74.7%
NO 1869 25.3%
15 November 2004