We are funded principally by members' contributions, although investment income is also received by the various funds.

Members' contributions consist of three parts:

National contributions:

These contributions provide the principal source of income for the General Fund from which is met the routine expenditure of the Institute as well as expenditure incurred in support of the professional interests of members.

A proportion of members' contributions are allocated on a year to year basis for expenditure in support of the professional interests of members and from 1 September 2001 1.5% of these contributions have also been allocated annually to the Benevolent Fund.

Local Contributions:

These contributions which vary from local association to local association provide the principal source of income for the local associations of the Institute. Expenditure by local associations is governed by local constitutions but is essentially similar to that met from the Institute’s General Fund. Members of Self-Governing Associations may opt out of paying these contributions. 

Political Fund Contributions

These contributions provide the principal source of income for the Political Fund which is for the furtherance of political objects as defined by legislation.

The EIS was formed to promote sound learning and to advance the interests of education in Scotland but more recently the objects have been extended to include the interests and welfare of teachers and lecturers generally in Scotland.

We protect and advance the interests of our members by negotiating with employers on matters such as pay, hours, working conditions and pensions. We also provide support and protection to members when they are most needed.

We cannot operate in a vacuum as the interests and welfare of members are affected by events elsewhere including:

  • the state of the economy,
  • the policies of local and central Government
  • legal provisions governing, for example, employment

Trade Union Legislation makes clear the rights of unions to pursue the interests of their members through political activities although, where a union does so, the cost must be met from a separate "Political Fund."

Trade Union legislation states that unions are required to renew the mandate for their political fund every ten years. The EIS Political Fund was set up in 1987 with support from an overwhelming majority of members. In 1997, 2007 and 2017 the vast majority of members supported by ballot the continuation of the fund. The resolution approving the EIS Political Fund was last approved in 2018 by Council.

A political fund protects against legal challenges to our campaigning role. It allows us to put the case forcefully for quality education at all levels and to maintain a high profile on issues central to the interests of education - e.g. prior to General Elections, thus ensuring education is a big issue and focusing attention on the educational priorities for the future government.

The 2015 Trade Union Act amended the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and meant that new trade union members have the right to opt-in to contribute to a political fund and that existing members contributing to a political fund have the right to opt-out of (the right to be exempt) contributing to the Political Fund. Please contact the EIS Membership Department for more information on opting-in or opting-out of making contributions to the EIS Political Fund.

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 handed or sent to the General Secretary or the Membership Dept, EIS, 46 Moray Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BH.

We are not affiliated to any political party

We have no intention of engaging in any party political campaign and members should note that the EIS Constitution contains a provision that prevents the EIS from affiliating to any political party unless such a proposal has been approved by a majority of EIS members voting in a ballot on that particular proposal.

The Political Fund is maintained by means of a separate political levy of £1.80 p.a. payable by members over and above the normal EIS subscription. All members are strongly urged to pay the political levy.

Any member, who wishes to contract out of contributing to the political levy, must give notice in the form laid down by the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act and by the EIS Constitution or in a form to the like effect – (see the EIS constitution for further details).

Members who contract out of paying the political fund levy will not be excluded from any of the benefits of membership or placed in any respect, either directly or indirectly, under any disability or disadvantage as compared with other members of the EIS. Contribution to the Political Fund of the EIS is not a condition for admission to the EIS.