Trip to Cuba

Rarely for me, I missed yesterday’s Amicus NEC meeting because of union commitments in my Trust. With the merger proceeding, more and more decisions are being taken by the Joint Executive. I didn’t expect to miss any crucial discussion or votes.

I have had some reports of the meeting from fellow EC members and now wish I had been there.

Apparently the Union had received an invitation to attend the May Day celebrations in Cuba in 3 months time. I am not opposed to sending a small delegation, perhaps combining the trip with a look at healthcare or education in Cuba. That’s not was proposed though. The proposal was that all members of the NEC be invited to go on the trip. That’s around sixty people. I don’t know how much that will cost, but I can think of many better uses for members’ money.

Thankfully, one solid left-wing activist on the NEC argued against the proposal. It was nevertheless agreed overwhelmingly.

I, for one, won’t be accepting the invitation. I never even claim the £25 ‘beer money’ that NEC members can get for simply attending a meeting.

I believe NEC members are elected to represent their members’ interests. They should not need financial incentives or ‘free’ holidays – paid for by the members. For me, it has been a privilege to serve on the Amicus NEC for the last four years, fighting for our members in Health.


7 Responses to Trip to Cuba

  1. Barbara Rush says:

    This is scandalous. It’s just a ‘jolly’ for them.
    A UNISON colleague of mine from Essex Rivers went to Cuba last year and that included a look at healthcare in Cuba.. She found the trip enlightening. What these people are after is a free (for them) holiday.

  2. Peter O'brien says:

    Hi gill

    Sorry I have not been at branch for some time. This is due to my disillusionment of AMICUS and its representation.

    However, I do agree that spending member’s money on a lads jolly in Cuba is not warranted. A small delegation of a about 3 or 4 maybe acceptable, but at this time of crisis, and the rush by this government to hit the stops at the end of the track, is sure to end in disaster, and our elected representatives should be concentrating on this and not enmassing for a good ole jolly to Cuba, as worthy as a look at the health system there maybe, it does not need the whole of the NEC to go and have a look.

    I as a member of AMICUS I am therefore pleased that you have taken this stance. But this is just another instance that adds to my disillusionment at the moment.


  3. Ian Rez says:

    This NEC trip to Cuba is absolutly bloody scandalous. Can’t they think of much better ways of using our hard earned members’ money, especially those that are low paid!
    I of course agree that a small NEC delegation might have been a good idea, especially if it looked at public services such as the health service in Cuba and reported back. But not a “jolly” for those NEC members and the General Secretary who think that their £25 ‘beer money’ isn’t enough!
    Congratulations to the one NEC member who voted against at the NEC meeting and to Gill for letting us know what’s going on on the NEC.
    I know who Ill be voting for in the current NEC elections, and it won’t be for any of those ars*****s!!!!!
    Ian Rez
    (Health Service Unite Amicus Rep. for over 30 years)

  4. Guess Who says:

    I think this is absolutely outrageous. As a former NEC member from a previous merger, I am absolutely disgusted that only one voice of discontent was raised, or maybe I’m not, some of my former colleagues who are now on the outgoing NEC – you know who you are!!have proved themselves to be the self centred smug arrogant b****** they purport to protect our members from. Poachers turned gamekeepers- Jobs for the boys and girls! I’m sure the membership who are struggling to make ends meet, worrying whether they will still be in work tomorrow will be delighted to hear this one? Bet Mr Simpson didn’t mention that one to the Northern Rock members before his turn on Question Time the other week.

  5. Laurence Galbraith says:

    I totally agree with the comments by Jill and others regarding the Jolly Boys Outing. The members money should be used to fight for better pay, improved pensions and working conditions. Some of the “Jolly Boys” who are going did nothing for their members, did plenty for the bosses but will gladly booze it up in Cuba. Will someone please contact Fidel before he goes and kindly tell him to keep certain NEC members in Cuba for a while, preferably for some years. Maybe even George W could accommodate them in his illegal prison. If only. I wonder what the ordinary member who pays their subs every month will think as they receive their ballot paper this month when they realise what THEIR money is being used for. Not even Roger Lyons did this.

  6. Dan says:

    Another ex NEC member from times past, and one who will have disagreed with Gill in the past on some things. On this she is right and Simpson is wrong and the puppets who sit on the present day NEC should be ashamed of themselves.

    But the other question is there are 2 ways to bribe the NEC (£25 beer money is not enough to make a difference), one is the promise of jobs and the other is overseas trips.


    I can not rember what was the issue over which an ex NEC member was allegedly “bribed” with a trip to Milan to vote a certain way but he was not so happy having done what he was told to recieve an invite to to M.I.L.A.N (Moter Industry Liason Automotive National) Meeting in Coventry. The craven and the stupid take bribes those there to represent the members intrests have better things to do.

  7. NR 4 Ever says:

    In reply to Guess Who, I recently attended our Northern Rock Branch meeting and discussed this Jolly to cuba, we were lucky enough to get 3 of our young members to cuba this year with the Cuba Solidarity. They were so disillusioned that they even considered withdrawing in digust at the news of these greedy self centered NEC members going to Cuba. All of those present at our branch meeting were completely disgusted by this, particularly when our members have gone through the uncertainty of job losses in the past five month’s. This is also a fact of double standards for Unite, they complain of NR directors getting the company into the trouble it is, by feathering their own nests and cashing in. Then they simply go and it themselves, congratulations to Gill on making this news wider knowledge, otherwise it would simply be another thing that they do ‘under the carpet’. Its about time, that the NEC were held accountable to our members, and actually earned the priviledge of serving on the NEC for our members, rather than them thinking that our members are there to serve them!!!

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