Rule 23

 

Political Fund

Objects
1.

 

1. The objects of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers shall include the furtherance of the political objects to which Section 72 of the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (the Act) applies. These objects are:-

1.1 The expenditure of money:

(a)  on any contribution to the funds of, or on the payment of expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, by a political party;

(b)  on the provision of any service or property for use by or on behalf of any political party;

(c)  in connection with the registration of electors, the candidature of any person, the selection of any candidate or the holding of any ballot by the Union in connection with any election to a political office;

(d)  on the maintenance of any holder of a political office;

(e)  on the holding of any conference or meeting by or on behalf of a political party or of any other meeting the main purpose of which is the transaction of business in connection with a political party;

(f)  on the production, publication or distribution of any literature, document, film, sound recording or advertisement the main purpose of which is to persuade people to vote for a political party or candidate or to persuade them not to vote for a political party or candidate.

1.2 Where a person attends a conference or meeting as a delegate or otherwise as a participator in the proceedings, any expenditure incurred in connection with his attendance as such shall, for the purposes of paragraph (e) above, be taken to be expenditure incurred on the holding of the conference or meeting.

1.3 In determining, for the purposes of paragraphs (a) to (f) above, whether the trade union has incurred expenditure of a kind mentioned in those paragraphs, no account shall be taken of the ordinary administrative expenses of the Union.

1.4 In these objects:

“candidate” means a candidate for election to a political office and includes a prospective candidate;

“contribution”, in relation to the funds of a political party, includes any fee payable for affiliation to, or membership of, the party and any loan made to the party;

“electors” means electors at any election to a political office;

“film” includes any record, however made, of a sequence of visual images, which is capable of being used as a means of showing that sequence as a moving picture;

“local authority” means a local authority within the meaning of Section 270 of the Local Government Act 1972 or Section 235 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973; and

“political office” means the office of a Member of Parliament, member of the European Parliament or member of a local authority or any position within a political party.

Funding
2. Any payments in the furtherance of such political objects shall be made out of a separate fund of the Union (hereinafter called the Political Fund).

Schedule 1  

3.  The particular rules which apply to those people that joined the Union before 1 March 2018 and to political funds set up before 1 March 2018 are set out in Schedule 1 to these rules other than those in Northern Ireland who are covered by Rules 12-18.

Schedule 2  

4.  The particular rules which apply to those people that joined the Union on or after 1 March 2018 and to political funds set up on or after 1 March 2018 are set out in Schedule 2 to these rules other than those in Northern Ireland who are covered by Rules 12-18.

Contribution Payable  

5. For the purpose of enabling each member of the union who may pay a political contribution to know in respect of any such contribution, what portion, if any, of the sum payable by him is a contribution to the political fund of the union, it is hereby provided that £3.12 of the first contribution in each calendar year is a contribution to the political fund, and that any member who is exempt shall be relieved from the payment of the sum of £3.12, and shall pay the remainder of such contribution only.

Exempt Member Other Benefits 

 6. A member who is exempt from the obligation to contribute to the political fund of the union shall not be excluded from any benefits of the Union, or placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under any disability or disadvantage as compared with other members of the union (except in relation to the control or management of the political fund) by reason of his being so exempt.

Aggrieved Member  

7. If any member alleges that he is aggrieved by a breach of any of these rules for the political fund, being a rule or rules made pursuant to section 82 of the 1992 Act, he may complain to the Certification Officer, and the Certification Officer, after making such enquiries as he thinks fit and after giving the complainant and the union an opportunity of being heard, may, if he considers that such a breach has been committed, make such order for remedying the breach as he thinks just in the circumstances. Any such order of the Certification Officer may, subject to the right of appeal provided by section 95 of the 1992 Act, be enforced in the manner provided for in section 82(4) of the 1992 Act.

Not Membership Condition  

8.  Contribution to the political fund of the Union shall not be made a condition for admission to the Union.

Section 32ZB  

9.  The union shall include in the annual return that is submitted to the Certification Officer details of political expenditure as required by section 32ZB of the 1992 Act.

Allocation to Branches  

10. Of the amounts contributed to the Political Fund under this Rule, one-tenth shall be allocated to Branches for local purposes in Municipal or Parliamentary elections, including affiliation fees to the Political Fund of the Regional Council. A full statement of income and expenditure shall be submitted to Head Office within the annual Balance Sheet.

Local Government Candidates   

11. A member contributing to the Political Fund and contesting as a candidate in any local government election outside the area of the member’s Branch, may be assisted from the Political Fund of that branch. The amount shall be decided by Branch members of the Political Fund.

   Northern Ireland

Exemption from Contributions Members in Northern Ireland

Political Fund (Northern Ireland)  

12. The Rules for the Political Fund of the Union contained in Rule 23 shall have effect in Northern Ireland subject to the following modifications; namely Clause 7 shall be omitted therefrom and Clauses 13-18 set out below shall replace the provisions set out in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2.

Exemption from Contributions Members in Northern Ireland  

13. Under Article 59 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, no member of the Union in Northern Ireland shall be required to make any contribution to the Political Fund of the Union in accordance with Clause 5 unless he has delivered, as provided in Clause 15, at the Head Office or some Branch Office of the Union, notice in writing, in the form set out in Clause 14 of his willingness to contribute to that Fund, and has not withdrawn the notice in manner provided in Clause 15. Every member of the Union who has not delivered such a notice or who, having delivered such a notice, has withdrawn it in a manner provided in Clause 15, is to be deemed for the purpose of these Rules to be a member who is exempt from the obligation to contribute to the Political Fund of the Union.

  14. The form of notice of willingness to contribute to the Political Fund of the Union is as follows:

Form of Political Contribution Notice:

Name.......................................................................

Name of trade union................................................

Name of member's branch (if any)..........................

Political Fund (Contribution Notice).........................

I HEREBY give notice that I am willing and agree to contribute to the Political Fund of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, and I understand that I shall, in consequence, be liable to contribute to that Fund and shall continue to be so liable unless I deliver at the Head Office of the Union, or some Branch Office, a written notice of withdrawal: I also understand that after delivering such a notice of withdrawal I shall still continue to be liable to contribute to the Political Fund until the next following first day of January.

Name ...............................................................................

Address ...................................................................

Membership Number (if any) ...........................................

Date day of 20…………..

  15. If at any time a member of the Union, who has delivered such a notice as is provided for in Clauses 13 and 14, gives notice of withdrawal thereof, delivered, as provided in Clause 16, at the Head Office or at any Branch Office of the Union, he/she shall be deemed to have withdrawn the notice as from the first day of January next after the delivery of the notice of withdrawal.

  16. The notices referred to in Clauses 13, 14 and 15 may be delivered personally by the member, and any notice shall be deemed to have been delivered at the Head Office or a Branch of the Union if it has been sent by post properly addressed to that office.

  17.  The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers shall give effect to the exemption of members to contribute to the Political Fund of the Union by making a separate levy of contributions to that Fund from the members of the Union who are not exempt. No monies of the Union other than the amount raised by such separate levy shall be carried to the Political Fund of the Union.

  18.  If any Northern Ireland member alleges that he/she is aggrieved by a breach of any of the Rules of the Political Fund, being a Rule or Rules made pursuant to Article 59 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, he/she may complain to the Northern Ireland Certification Officer, 10-16 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG, under Article 57(2) to (4) of that Order. If, after giving the complainant and a representative of the union an opportunity to be heard, the Certification Officer considers that a breach has been committed, the Certification Officer may make an order for remedying it as the Certification Officer thinks just in the circumstances. Under Article 69 of the 1995 Order an appeal against any decision of the Certification Officer may be made to the Court of Appeal on a question of law. Additionally, if any Northern Ireland member alleges that he/she is aggrieved by a breach of the Political Fund rules made pursuant to Section 82 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1995 he/she may complain to the GB Certification Officer, Lower Ground Floor, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX. If, after giving the complainant and a representative of the union an opportunity of being heard, the GB Certification Officer considers that a breach has been committed, he/she may make an order for remedying it as he/she thinks just in the circumstances. Any such order of the GB Certification Officer is subject to the right of appeal provided for by Section 95 of the 1992 Act.

Political Funds Regional Councils  

19. Each Regional Council shall receive out of the Political Fund monies allocated to each of its Branches an annual contribution of 2p for each member of the Branch who is not exempt from Political Fund contributions under this Rule. All such annual contributions shall be paid into the Political Fund of the Regional Council.

  20. The Political Fund of each Regional Council shall be kept separate from all other funds of the Regional Council. For the purposes of Clause 2 above, payments out of the Political Fund of any Regional Council shall be regarded as having been paid out of the Political Fund of the Union.

Parliamentary Campaign Groups 

 21. That the Union creates Parliamentary campaign groups at Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the European Parliament, as determined by the National Executive Committee, funded by the Political Fund and to keep the campaign groups under review. All members of the said groups to be members of the Union.

Support for Organisations or Campaigns  

22. The National Executive Committee may be, from time to time, requested by Branches or Regional Councils to explicitly authorise support for organisations or campaigns in pursuance of the Union's policy objectives, subject to not breaching the provisions of these Rules. Any such request should be placed in front of the National Executive Committee within fourteen days of its receipt at Head Office.

Copies of the Political Fund Rules  

23. The National Executive Committee shall cause to be printed a number of copies of these Rules relating to the Political Fund of the Union, having at the end copies of the certificate of approval, sufficient for the members of the Union, and a further number of new members, and shall send to the Secretary of each Branch a number of copies sufficient for the members of the Branch. The Secretary of the Branch shall take steps to secure that every member of the Branch, so far as is practicable, receives a copy of these Rules, and shall supply a copy to any member on request free of charge. A copy thereof shall also be supplied forthwith to every new member on admission to the Union. The provisions of this Rule shall apply to any subsequent alterations of the Rules for the Political Fund of the Union.

  Schedule 1

Rules that apply to members that joined the Union before 1 March 2018 and political funds set up before 1 March 2018.

  Notice to members

1. As soon as is practicable after the passing of a resolution approving the furtherance of such political objects as an object of the union, it shall ensure that a notice in the following form is given to all members of the union.

Notice to Members

Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (as amended) A resolution approving the furtherance of political objects within the meaning of the above Act as an object of the union has been adopted by a ballot under the Act. Any payments in the furtherance of any of those objects will be made out of a separate fund, the political fund of the union.

Every member of the union has a right to be exempt from contributing to that fund. A form of exemption notice can be obtained by or on behalf of any member either by application at, or by post from, the Head Office or any Branch Office of the union or from the Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers' Associations, Lower Ground Floor, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX. This form, when filled in, or a written request to the like effect, should be sent to the Secretary of the Branch to which the member belongs and, on receiving it, the Secretary shall send an acknowledgement of its receipt to the member at the address upon the notice, and shall inform the General Secretary of the name and address of the member.

This rule does not apply to members who are “overseas members” for the purpose of Section 94 (3) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

  2. This notice shall be published to members by such methods as are used by the union to publish notices of importance to members. It is the union’s current practice to publish the notice in the union’s journal RMT News.  

  Request for exemption

Exemption from Contributions  3. Any member of the union may at any time give notice a) on the form of exemption notice specified in rule 4 of schedule 1, or b) written request in a form to the like effect, that he objects to contribute to the political fund. A form of Exemption Notice may be obtained by, or on behalf of, any member, either by application at, or by post from, the head office or any branch office of the union, or from the Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers' Associations, Lower Ground Floor, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX.

Form of Exemption Notice  4. The form of an exemption notice shall be as follows:-

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Political Fund (Exemption Notice)

I hereby give notice that I object to contributing to the political fund of the union and am in consequence exempt, in the manner provided by the Trade Union and Labour Relations(Consolidation) Act 1992, from contributing to that fund.

Print Name: …………………………………………………..

Signature: .......................................................................

Name of Branch: ……………………………………………

Address: ..........................................................................

Date: ..................

  5. Any member may obtain exemption from contributing to the political fund by sending a Notice of Exemption to the Secretary of the Branch to which the member belongs and, on receiving it, the Secretary shall send an acknowledgement of its receipt to the member at the address in the notice, inform the General Secretary of the name and address of the member and process the exemption as soon as reasonably practicable.

  Manner of giving effect to exemption

6. On giving such notice, a member shall be exempt, so long as the notice is not withdrawn, from contributing to the union’s Political Fund as from the first day of January next after the notice is given, or, in the case of a notice given within one month after the date on which a new member admitted to the Union is supplied with a copy of these Rules under Clause 23 hereof, as from the date on which the member’s notice is given. Relief from Contributions  7. The National Executive Committee shall give effect to the exemption of members to contribute to the Political Fund of the Union by relieving any members who are exempt from the payment of part of any periodical contributions required from members of the Union towards the expenses of the Union and such relief shall be given as far as possible to all members who are exempt on the occasion of the same periodical payment.

  8. Any member may withdraw their notice of exemption on notifying the Branch Secretary who shall thereupon send such member an acknowledgement of receipt of the notification and inform the General Secretary of the name and address of the member so withdrawing. 

  Schedule 2

Rules that apply to people that joined the Union on or after 1 March 2018 and to political funds set up on or after 1 March 2018.

  Opting in by union members to contribute to political funds

Opt-in Notice  1. A member cannot be required to make a contribution to the political fund of the union unless they have given notice of their willingness to contribute to that fund (an “opt-in notice”).

Withdrawal Notice  2. A member of a trade union who has given an opt-in notice may withdraw that notice by giving notice to the union (a “withdrawal notice”).

3. A withdrawal notice takes effect at the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which it is given. It can be withdrawn by the member at any stage up until the point in time it takes effect.

Method of Delivery  4. A member of a trade union may give an opt-in notice or a withdrawal notice:-

(a) by delivering the notice (either personally or by an authorised agent or by post) at the head office or a branch office of the union;

(b) by sending it by e-mail to the following email info@rmt.org

(c) by completing an electronic form provided by the union which sets out the notice and sending it to the union by electronic means with instructions by the union.

(d) by any other electronic means prescribed under the 1992 Act (as inserted by the 2016 Act)

  Information to members about opting in to the political fund

5. The union shall take all reasonable steps to secure that, not later than the end of the period of eight weeks beginning with the day on which the annual return of the union is sent to the Certification Officer, all the members of the union are notified of their right to give a withdrawal notice.

  6. Such notification may be given:-

(a) by sending individual copies of it to members; or

(b) by any other means (whether by including the notification in a publication of the union or otherwise) which it is the practice of the union to use when information of general interest to all its members needs to be provided to them such as the union journal.

This rule does not apply to “overseas members” for the purposes of section 94 (3) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

  7. The notification may be included with the statement required to be given by section 32A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Overseas members of the union will not be sent the notification.

  8.The Union shall send to the Certification Officer a copy of the notification which is provided to its members in pursuance of this section as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is so provided. Where the same form of notification is not provided to all the members of the union, the union shall send to the Certification Officer a copy of each form of notification provided to any of them.

Aggrieved Member  

9. If any member alleges that he is aggrieved by a breach of any of these rules for giving information to members about opting into the political fund, being a rule or rules made pursuant to section 84A of the 1992 Act, he may complain to the Certification Officer. Where the Certification Officer is satisfied that the union has failed to comply with a requirement of section 84A of the 1992 Act the Officer may make such order for remedying the failure as he thinks just under the circumstances. Before deciding the matter the Certification Officer:-

(a) may make such enquiries as the Officer thinks fit;

(b) must give the union, and any member of the union who made a complaint to the Officer regarding the matter, an opportunity to make written representations; and

(c) may give the union, and any such member as is mentioned in clause (b), an opportunity to make oral representations.   Manner of giving effect to decision not to contribute to political fund

Relief from Contributions  10. The National Executive Committee shall give effect to the members decision not to contribute to the Political Fund of the Union by relieving any members who are not contributors from the payment of part of any periodical contributions required from members of the Union towards the expenses of the Union and such relief shall be given as far as possible to all members who are not contributors on the occasion of the same periodical payment.

  11. Any form (including an electronic form) that a person has to complete in order to become a member of the union shall include:-

(a) a statement to the effect that the person may opt to be a contributor to the fund; and

(b) a statement setting to the effect that a person who chooses not to contribute to the political fund shall not, by reason of not contributing, be excluded from any benefits of the union or be placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under a disability or at a disadvantage as compared with other members of the union (except in relation to control of the political fund).