NEW LAW – NEW MEMBERSHIP FORMS
I am writing in relation to the production of new membership forms that we must use from the 1st March 2018.
The main reason for the change is that from this date the Tory government’s attack against unions using political funds to campaign and support political initiatives comes into force.
Our new membership forms will now have to have a box that must be ticked by new members joining the union from March 2018 to allow us to use part of their union subscription to fund the Political Fund. As you will know the fund is essential for supporting campaigns to defend our members’ interests.
If this box is not ticked then we will not be able to make the Political Fund deduction. Please note the political fund aspect of the subscription is only £3.12 per year – that’s just £6p a week as part of member’s main subscription.
There will also be new EU legislation that will be coming into force later in 2018 regarding data protection. The union is currently receiving legal advice but to comply with this legislation it is likely there will also need to be a privacy statement on the form that new members will have to acknowledge they have read.
Once all the legal hurdles are cleared the new forms will be distributed to Regional Offices and Branches and also activists in the New Year.
The new membership forms for new members will be red to distinguish them from the existing green forms. It is therefore very important that our Branches and Regions put some thought towards ensuring that the new red forms are distributed around all workplaces and that the old green forms are recycled and not used after 1st March 2018. Any of the old forms used after that date will mean the union will not be able to take the political fund deduction from that new member and the union will have to write separately seeking authorisation.
I will also be asking Regional Organisers to draw up plans in conjunction with our Regional Councils to assist in ensuring every location and every activist has the stocks of new membership forms.
I can also advise you that the online form through which many new members join the union will also be updated.
It is vital that when recruiting new members from 1st March 2018 we ensure that whether joining by form or online that they are reminded of the need to tick the box on the membership form to join the political fund. The new forms will contain supporting propaganda to encourage this. I will also be sending advice to activists as to the arguments to use around the political fund and this issue will also be covered on our courses at the Bob Crow education centre.
Note the legislation only applies to new members joining the union from 1st March 2018. It does not apply to existing members or members who join the union before 1st March 2018.