To win on industrial action we need to be able to sustain it and make the effect bite, which means the union must provide strike pay. Over the last few years we have funded effective action in a number of disputes, most notably in the National Museums Wales dispute and more recently for private sector security staff working at BEIS.
While some members have contributed to the strike fund on a voluntary basis, this has not provided anywhere near sufficient funds to support sustained industrial action.
The strike fund mainly consists of a one-off contribution of £1 million agreed by the NEC as a result of winning £3m from the DWP in the court case over the withdrawal of check-off. While this is welcome there also needs to be continuing contributions to the strike fund to ensure there are sufficient funds to support sustained strike action.
Following consultation the NEC agreed that the only way to fund a sustainable strike fund is to increase subscriptions by 50p a month, for all members on the “recognised” rate for subscriptions. This will be implemented in June 2019 by increases to direct debits
The ballot opens on 18 March and closes on 29 April.
A separate organising guide to the ballot will be issued in print and online outlining why we need at least 50% of members to vote, and how we ensure that we beat that threshold. It will cover using technology, phone banking and face-to-face organising to maximise the yes vote, turnout and recruitment to the union during the ballot period.