As you can see from the text of the amendment, the NEC is proposing to increase the political levy for the first time in the history of the CWU.
In the period since the establishment of the CWU, inflation has risen every year for the past 17 years.
With an average inflation of over 2% a year, and given the compound effect of each yearly rise, this means the contemporary levy is probably worth around half of what it was in 1996.
In the meantime, our political involvement and activity have not reduced – even though the number of levy payers has reduced alongside the drop in overall membership.
Quite simply, we cannot maintain a serious level of political activity without substantial increase in the levy.
We arrived at the new figure after consultation with the unions regions. We wanted a sense of what would be acceptable to branches.
Making this move to 20p will allow us to resolve our debts, and strengthen our political influence.
The NEC will be taking a report from the Political Fund Management Committee after June when a new budget will be drawn up. - This reflects our desire for responsible use of the new money.
Certainly there is no shortage of demands on the fund. In line with last year’s conference decision, we have revised our panel of constituency supported MPs, MSPs and AMs.
This means we have more influence in the political arena.
At the same time, every delegate in the hall will understand the tremendous strains that are being imposed on the people we represent by the Coalition Government.
Only by well targeted political action can we push them back. And ultimately, push them out.
Carrying this will amendment will allow us to respond strongly in difficult circumstances.