UNISON Labour Link is the body which represents members who pay into Unison’s Affiliated Political Fund (APF). We currently have over 1,000 APF members across the range of employers connected to the branch.
The structure of Labour Link starts at branch level where a Labour Link Officer (previously called Political Officer) is elected at the branch AGM. The Labour Link Officer must be an individual member of the Labour Party. Our Branch is affiliated to the two Constituency Labour Parties covering the borough – Tynemouth and North Tyneside. Labour Link delegates attend meetings with the aim to foster co-operation between both parties. The Labour Link Officer then reports into a Regional Committee, which for us sits within the Northern Region and. The Regional Labour Link Committee then feeds into a National Committee where members hold positions within the Labour Party structures.
Trade unions helped to form the Labour Party over 100 years ago. The Labour Party is the only party where trade unions can take part in policy making and are represented at all levels of the organisation as a valued stakeholder. This link with Labour keeps the party in touch with the views of working people and the needs of the public services. I think this is a very important principle to remember and is important now with attacks on trade unions by successive governments.
Our Link Officers aim is to increase political discussion and debate within those members paying into the APF, aiming to establish an APF Group to meet regularly where political and policy discussions can take place. If you are interested in contributing to this, please feel free to get in touch.