Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answer to all of your questions before you vote YES.

What is the Political Fund?

The Political Fund is our union’s campaign fund. It’s what allows us to have not only the strongest possible industrial voice, but the strongest possible political voice too. It allows us to fight for our members not just in the workplace, but also wherever power lies.

Decisions that affect our members aren’t just taken by employers, they’re also taken by governments, from council chambers across the country to our Parliaments. Pay, pensions, working hours and conditions, employment rights, our ability as a union to represent people at work and the future of the industries our members work in - these are just some of the issues the government and politicians shape and decide, and that the Political Fund helps us influence.

At its most fundamental level, the Political Fund means we can brief politicians on GMB campaigns, spend money printing materials, and pay for travel for you, our members, to speak to politicians.

How do I vote in the Political Fund ballot?

Your voting paper will be sent to your home. Look out for a black envelope with GMB branding.

Read your voting paper carefully, put a cross in the box for YES, and return it in the pre-paid envelope. Ballots must arrive to be counted before the 1 November.

Voting in this ballot is completely free and very simple.

What’s the timeline for this ballot?

The voting period runs from 11 October to 1 November. All ballots must be returned by the 1 November.

Voting papers in black envelopes should start arriving from the 6 October.

Who gets a vote in the Political Fund ballot?

Every member of our union will receive a voting paper for this ballot, regardless of whether you pay into the Political Fund or not.

Why is the vote happening now?

Anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s mean trade unions have to renew their Political Funds every ten years. This must be done by postal ballot.

Last time we held a vote on the Political Fund, our members voted overwhelmingly to keep the fund and keep fighting out campaigns.

What would it mean if we lost our Political Fund?

Losing our Political Fund would mean be fighting employers with one hand tied behind our back. Without it, we will be less effective, less influential, and less likely to win the campaigns our members need.

Your employers are always organising, and they don’t face hurdles like needing a vote on renewing their mandate. The Political Fund is essential in making sure our voices are heard wherever power lies.

What does the Political Fund do?

The Political Fund is what allows us to have a political voice as well as an industrial one. On a practical level, it’s what allows us to bring our members to speak to politicians directly, spend money printing materials and brief politicians on the issues that matter to our members.

It also allows us to fight against laws that would restrict workers' rights, and campaign against cuts to the public services our members rely on, like the NHS.

Employers and businesses are always organising. They don’t have to renew their mandate to lobby. That’s why voting yes and keeping the Political Fund is so important, to allow us to have our voice heard wherever power lies.

What do I do if I haven’t received a ballot?

If you joined the GMB before 31st August 2023 but haven’t received a ballot before 12th October, you should in the first instance contact our independent scrutineer on

You can also email GMB at

Are my subs more expensive because of the Political Fund?

We’ve kept our membership prices frozen since 2021.  

The political fund is just a tiny percentage of the money we as a union spend and is an additional fund of money that is ringfenced for political campaigning. You have to opt-in to make an additional payment, which is pennies a month and is currently fixed at 52p a year, or a penny a week. And through it we have achieved so much.  

Our political fund contribution is also the cheapest of all the trade unions. 

Do other unions have votes like this?

By law, all trade unions are required to renew their political fund mandates every ten years. Other unions like Unite and USDAW have had ballots in recent years.

How do I sign up for the Political Fund?

When you joined the union, you were asked to tick a box on the membership form or website that asked if you wanted to make a ‘political contribution’. This is a small amount every month as part of your subs that goes into the Political Fund. 

If you currently don’t pay and want to – as it’s just pennies a month – you can join at any time. We can send you an electronic form if you email Please have your membership number to hand.

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