General Information

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Review of Unionline

25 August 2017

The NEC has agreed we are at a point in the development of Unionline, where it is beneficial for CWU to review the overall performance of Unionline as a business model.

As such, the NEC has agreed terms of reference for an independent review that will be carried out under authority of Dave Ward, General Secretary, working in conjunction with the Head of Legal Services.

Unionline was established as an innovative response to far-reaching and much publicised changes to legal funding brought in by Lord Justice Jackson. At that time, in light of the Jackson Review, the NEC fully understood that the previous legal structures we operated within were not sustainable and with further changes to the legal profession planned; this remains the case more than ever. Therefore, Unionline was created on the basis of an alternative business structure (ABS) that was jointly owned by GMB and CWU.

In addition to providing quality legal services for our members, a key objective of Unionline was also to generate income for GMB and CWU and the ongoing financial performance of Unionline will be considered as part of the review.

We have kept the GMB fully informed of our intentions and will work closely with our sister union throughout the course of the review, which we aim to conclude by the end October 2017.

At an appropriate point, we will be seeking the views of branches and members on the services provided by Unionline. Furthermore, it may be that this takes the form of a wider survey in conjunction with the GMB. We will advise Branches separately on this in due course.

Finally, in taking this course of action, the CWU remains committed to Unionline and continuing to work proactively with the GMB to ensure it is a success for both unions and our respective members.