Modernisation fund hands out 3m to unions

The government has handed various trade unions a total of 3m in the first payout from the controversial union modernisation fund.

The fund is designed to support innovation and development in trade unions, but is expressly forbidden from paying out to unions that want to improve their day-to-day work or carry out recruitment drives. It is also barred from giving money if the funds will be used for advancing a union’s position in collective bargaining or trade disputes.

Gerry Sutcliffe, employment relations minister, said the fund was designed to help trade unions continue to meet the needs of their members by helping them to keep pace with changes in the workplace.

The CBI originally said it was “fundamentally oppo-sed” to cash going to “an individual lobby group”. But it dropped its opposition after it was assured the money would not be used to increase membership.

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