Cost cutting ideas begin to surface

| 30/07/2009

(CNS): Civil servants are already responding well to the Chief Secretary’s request to look for cost savings according to Director of the Budget & Management Unit Ronnie Dunn, who said that public sector workers are coming forward with a number of good ideas. While it will be policy changes that will ultimately address the larger part of the deficit, he said a lot of the cost cutting ideas regarding utilities and day to day savings from civil servants themselves could collectively make a significant difference.

Dunn said that things like printing on both sides of the paper, turning the A/C up a notch, not driving government vehicles after hours or weekends, cutting overtime hours to reasonable levels all will, when taken together across 120 government departments, make a difference.

“Several small drops into a bucket can still fill it,” he said. “When we have electricity costs that run into the millions for the year, we can probably save ten percent by powering down computers every evening and turning down the A/C.”

He said the goal is to calculate possible savings for each department and then collate them into a budget reduction for each one, rather than just issuing a general instruction to cut down on paper. Each department will assess how much it can actually save by cutting down on paper or phone use for example or anyother general expenses and covert that into a percentage saving for each department.

Dunn explained that currently all of the ideas are being examined and there are some very interesting suggestions on the table which are now being discussed with ministers. He noted that the really significant savings would have to be made at policy level and in some cases savings may only be made by spending more. He gave an example of employing more customs officers to help detect more of the duty fraud that currently passes through the system, which would in turn bring in more revenue.

He also said that the Budget & Management Unit had been looking closely at other jurisdictions, given that most countries are facing similar circumstances, and that assessing what measures have succeeded elsewhere could also help identify solutions that could work here. Dunn also noted that the idea of issuing government savings bonds was also being considered.

“The important thing is that we save jobs and try not to cut salaries as both would ultimately come back on government,” he said. Dunn explained that if people were out of work then they would still turn to government for help through social services and that if salaries were cut there would be less money circulating in the economy and ultimately less revenue to the treasury.

He said that so far the public servants had responded favourably to the request made by the chief secretary and it was apparent people wanted to do what they could to address the situation.

The letter was circulated by Donavan Ebanks to the 3,000 or so civil servants last week asking them to think about how they can cut costs in their departments and to suggest ideas to either their heads of department, Gloria McField-Nixon, the chief officer for the civil service or to Dunn.

Ebanks said that these were the most challenging times he had seen in his 34 years of public service. The issues which the Cayman Islands face will not be solved by `them’ — they can only be solved by `us’,” he told public sector workers.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In response to some statements that the AG’s security detail is ridiculous – didn’t someone try to kill him only a few years back?? If I remember correctly, the would-be assassin had some other man’s poor wife and kids tied up waiting for him to come home to kill him.

    Good thing (for the AG, not for the other guy!) that the potential killer got the wrong house, but how can you say "I am sure he is not under any more threat than many other top civil servants are or the lawyers in the legal department"?

    As I recall, the other top guys (i.e. Cabinet members) had security details after the incident as well, but they were all eventually re-assessed and dropped, only the AG’s has stayed. And maybe he still needs it. Maybe his office knows of a certain threat level that the general public is unaware of (they obviously wouldn’t advertise that kind of intelligence).

    Either way, let’s all remember that someone almost killed this man when we talk about how it’s "ridiculous" that he has someone guarding him. Boy we all have short term memories if no one remembers this horrific story when they complain about a security detail!

  2. Anonymous says:

    "While they are looking to cut expenses someone should step up to the plate and cut out the security guards that are always trailing the Attorney General."  I agree 100% with this post! Seriously, why public funds being wasted on this?  He is a huge man and should be able to defend himself better than those little security guys! Come on, stop wasting the little money that this country has on this stupidness. I agree as the other poster said, this really is a joke.

  3. Anonymous says:

    While they are looking to cut expenses someone should step up to the plate and cut out the security guards that are always trailing the Attorney General. This show has been going on for too long at too much expense.

    He is not the only A.G. we have had and I sure don’t remember the ones before him having security guards following them around. Plus I am sure he is not under any more threat than many other top civil servants are or the lawyers in the legal department who actually prosecute the criminals! If anyone really wanted to get him those men (some of who are less than half his size!!) would probably not be able to do much.

    This is another joke on this country and an expense we do not need! If he wants that much security following him around then government should consider if he should pay for it himself or if it is time to get a new A.G.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why Mac don’t talk about his Ellio having a Mercedes Benz after 2 months in office? Looks like everybody else in recession besides him!! Maybe they should lead by example..What are these politicians getting paid $9000+ a month for?  Huh I wonder if these politicians were getting paid $4-5000 a month would they want the job…now that’s what you call a cut! I say leave the civil servants that can barely survive with their jobs and start cutting into politician’s salaries!! Cut back on the AG/Mac and others escorts and special security detail that we have to pay for..  and why don’t they sit in coach instead of jetting around Europe in business class..

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would definately support the comments of caymandmarrow, cut the civil servants a bit of slack, they are doing what they can in these difficult times, most of them have no responsibility for the hiring or retention of the bad apples they continusly get the flak for, most are just going to work day in day out and grinding out 8 or 9 hours.

    There are some shining examples of bright and committed individuals in the Government (and yes even in the Portfolio of Finance) who never get credit for their hard work and dedication.

    A lot of these people are lifers who have given 30+ years in service to their country, we are all in this mess together, I have confidence in the service that through some good ideas and some great implementation, we’ll make our way out of this.

    Just give them a chance to fix it.

  6. Fed-UP CAYMANIAN says:

    My initial post, whilst only naming a few departments was in reality directed at the entire fleet of Government vehilces. Yes there is a SYSTEM WIDE abuse of Government property and in essence thats what my initial post was attempting to iterate. My apologies to CNS and the readers for not being more precise and clear with what I was trying to say.

    In regards to the expat issue- I am NOT against expats working in this country as I know they contribute to our GDP on a daily basis. However, what does irate me is when expats are given preferential treatment over EQUALLY qualified Caymanians. I guess yet again that my first post wasnt clear. Take for instance the previous Ministry of Education. This Ministry was laden with expats XXXXXXX With just the referred 3 job titles, I can easily think of at least 6 CAYMANIANS who could fill these jobs. SO I was NOT bashing expats and I still am not as I know they are needed BUT they are nt needed at the expense of getting rid of Caymanians like good ole Angela Martins did.

    Once again, my apologies to CNS and the readers for not being a lil more specific with my thoughts.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Mac & Ellio are definately getting them into cost cutting mode." Firstly,I am all for efforts to reduce the fat in Government and maybe he’s had it for a while, but has anyone else seen Ellio driving around in a Mercedez Benz recently?  And it’s not jealousy that’s driving that statement since I have a small car that gets me from Point A to Point B just fine, but as his only paying job is "politician" (mine is not) and while the UDP is hinting at civil servants losing jobs to save the country, for anyone to be concerned about upgrading his/her image at a time like this reeks of indifference and arrogance.  And did anyone hear him on Rooster yesterday? That guy can not answer even the simplest of questions with a straight answer.  He just goes around and around and around and after 15 minutes of waffling anyone with half-an-ear can hear that he has said absolutely nothing that makes sense.  Then he goes on attack against the caller for having the audacity to question him in the first place. Caller: "What is your first name?" Ellio: "Well let’s clarify that question, does the caller mean my given name or the name that I was given? Because if it’s the name that I was given then we can look at that as positive or negative, and if…yada, yada, yada…and I was not a member of the UDP when I received my given name so I can not say that I agreed with that decision…yada, yada, yada…and finally you should go and look up my given name yourself, the statistics are there for anyone to see because it was the PPM that left this country with a $74m deficit because the former minister of education spent too much money on schools!!!"  It’s no wonder that persons from other countries think we are such a joke XXXXXXX.  Sorry, I know we should be using these posts to aid the Government but I don’t believe people like Elio have any business speaking on national issues of this importance.  That would be like getting a waitress to perform open-heart surgery.  Apologies up front to the hard-working waitresses out there, but it could not happen! Can he please for the next four years just pull a "Capt. Eugene" and do the district groundwork and keep his mouth shut. 

    • Anonymous says:

      To Mac & Elio are definately- I agree with you one hundred percent You hit the nail right on the head but you for got something in regard to the Mercedez Benz has anyone else not seen Mac and Rolston been  cheaufered around in  Brand New Chevy Tahoes  with license plates "POO 1 and POO 2" from what I have been hearing and I am sure everyone else has been hearing the Government is BROKE and Civil servants must cut back etc. etc. etc. Thats about $80 thousand and maybe more I don’t know what the drivers are paid. In these hard times why do we need this extra extravacance come on why not lead by example, or is it do as I say but not as I do.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Simple questions which should have simples answers.

    Do you not want your children educatd by the best teachers?

    Do you not what your family to receive the best medical care when in need?

    Do you not want your car repaired by a person who knows how to do the job right.  

    If you owned a business would you not want the best people to work there?

    Now tell me this. Would you pick a Caymanian over any other to do these jobs if they were not educated, trained and had high work ethics???  Do you really believe you could do away with all expats.  Look around you.  Ask yourself why so many Caymanians who have gotten the education to do such jobs are not in the Cayman Islands but  work and live somewhere else?? What % of Caymanians do continue with their education?  Many of your self made wealth Caymanians do live somewhere else and just visit these islands.  I do not know but maybe someone visiting this site could tell us how many of the real professional jobs are held by Caymanians. I mean the jobs that require years of school and hard work.   The best person deserve the job not because they were born a Caymanian but because they have worked hard to get where they are. 

    Those of you who are so set on having all the expats removed just remember this next time you are asking a doctor to help a family member. Do not forget that person you place your trust in for your children safety and care in every day when you go off to work.  How about that perosn who is working hard at your home in the yard or in the house so when you come home after a long day of working your life is made easier.

    Be careful what you wish for my mother would say!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m an expat attorney in small/mid-size firm, and I want to add my observation to the Cayman work ethic discussion.  We’ve got a couple of junior Caymanians on staff being trained by the seniors (expats and Caymanians) and these people are soaking up the law and practice skills like sponges.  They are clearly becoming very talented people.  We’ve also got a couple who are rather laid back about the whole thing and I hate to say will not likely turn out to very formidable practitioners based on the skills I’ve seen them develop to date. 

    The defining characteristic in the soon-to-be Gods of Law as compared to the soon-to-be mice-of-law is that the people becoming very talented are working very very very hard.  Just like I did so that I would be good enough to get an invitation to come here. 

    All are Caymanian, 2 are headed to world-class practices (and I mean that literally – they’d clean up in any major center, which I know all about from having come from one), and 2 are headed (I project) to a couple of years of drifting disinterestedly through practice until they leave the profession and go look for something that they feel passionate about.

    It’s all about the hard work, and the passion that drives one to it.


  10. Anonymous says:

    3 suggestions.

    First, we need to stop the UDP/PPM political name calling and nonsense. We have a real problem and this finger pointing foolishness is not helping.

    Second, we need a "Report Abuse System". The Portfolio of Finance or the Chief Secretary or perhaps even the Auditor General should set up a website and a phone line for ordinary people to make recommendations and to report suspected abuses. We could even have an incentive like they do in other jurisdictions where the person who makes the report receives 10% of the money saved or recovered.

    There are far too many government vehicles these days and people seem to think that if they are there then they have the right as government employees to use them for personal reasons. I have seen too many government vehicles (including some identified as belonging to various government "authorities"), parked at all hours at bars and clubs and I know that they are not all food or liquor license inspectors! There should be a simple rule with no exceptions- use a government vehicle for unauthorised or personal reasons – get fired and get prosecuted for theft.

    I have seen government vehicles used on weekends for personal trips to restaurants, taking the family to Rum Point or for doing personal grocery shopping. I have even seen government trucks used by people moving apartment. That type of thing is an abuse as far as I am concerned. It should be a simple thing these days for people to submit complaints with information regarding where a vehicle with a particular license plate was at a particular time or even to submit a cell phone photo (including a license plate) showing the possible abuse. If that were done then it should be a simple matter for the audit department to find out whether the vehicle was being used on legitimate government business or whether someone had appropriated a government vehicle for personal use at the taxpayer’s expense. This suggestion may not be popular or go very far as some of the people driving these vehicles I recognise as very senior in the civil service. 

    Third, we need a system where all, and I mean all, government contracts for both goods and services  – whether issued by a government department or one of the authorities – are published within 24 hours of being awarded on a central website for the entire population to review. At present it is too easy for politicians to give out "consulting" and other similar contracts to cronies without using any tendering process simply by splitting contracts and using anonymous entities to keep the payment of our moniesto cronies below the current tendering and reporting thresholds. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of our money being handed out to cronies and it is all being done "legally" by using loopholes in the current law. This abuse should never have been allowed in the first place but it seems that the recent move to limit spending has only encouraged the abusers to come up with new ways of disguising the misuse of our money.   

    • Anonymous says:

      What a small minded silly suggestion, from an obviously junior person in an organisation. Perhaps there are some abuses, but do you really expect people that are on 24 hr call to not have transport, irrespective of whether they are in the Civil Service or in the priviate sector. They can be called at any time and need vehicles in order to respond wherever they are – it is as simple as that.

      I don’t suppose you are well travelled, but in some parts of the world private sector personnel are even given Police labelled vehicles to drive so that they can respond to emergencies. If your micro-management suggestion is implemented it will bog down Government even further by creating more beauracracy!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Heaven forbid that the starting point would ever be to review government staffing, get rid of the weakest performers and keep the best workers.  Wow, that would be an unthinkable way to streamline and improve government services.  Obviously some form of passport based decimation, (look it up)., is bound to produce a better result.

  12. Consultant says:

    Further to anonymous at 08:13’s comment; at the same time you remove the Governors car, please take in to consideration selling Government house and the adjacent property to a developer as there is nothing left of SMB anyway, stick the Guv in one of Mac’s Ritz condos or maybe even London House. Talk about saving millions!

    Anyway, to add more to my comment from last night, Fed Up Caymanian has raised a valid point, albeit in the wrong way. I’m quite sure that a number of the Ministry’s are indeed overstaffed and I’m sure we could all agree that if cuts in jobs were indeed to be made, the logical place to start would be with Expatriate held positions. My only hope is that if this does indeed take place, it is done in a sensible and properly thought through manner, whereby each position is looked at and an evaluation done regarding the necessity of each of those positions. Of course this would include looking at Caymanian held positions and whereby one was deemed unecessary, would be followed by an exercise in identifying an expatriate held position for which the Caymanian worker in the now defunct postion was qualified, experienced enough in and capable of doing.

    Probably sounds easier than it actually is but might not be a bad way to start. There is nothing wrong with downsizing the Civil Service as long as it is set about in the correct manner.

  13. Anonymous says:

    In response to Fed-UP CAYMANIAN……Agree with you on the use of Gov’t vehicles. In addition to the list of departments you’ve listed there are many more that are using these vehicles when they should be off the road after the clubs close at 3:00 am.



  14. Hard Working Young Caymanian says:

    I totally agree with this post ( So tell me, Fed-Up Caymanian, Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/31/2009 – 01:31.)

    I am also a Caymanian, and at only 21, I am sick of hearing these uneducated excuses we make just to make us comfortable.  When will we as Caymanians stop being ‘stuck up’ (like somin done stucked up…) and rather than expecting to make it in this world because we live here, take pride in the quality of work we produce.  If we want more Caymanians hired, we then have to make employers want to hire us.  We need to produce such a level of service that people all over the world not only bring their business here but are glad to hire Caymanians should some of us venture abroad.

    Not trying to stereotype, but the Filipinos/ Chinese have shown great work ethic by producing work they are proud of while also maintaining respect for others.  Jamaican’s are hard workers and have a love for their country and one another.  I could go on but I’ll keep this short.  Though no group of these expacts are perfect and all have members who are better classified as a hazard to society, are we as Caymanians exemplifying anything close to such work ethic.

    WE NEED TO WORK HARD TO PRODUCE QUALITY WORK and then maybe the ideas we have caused people to think about us as lazy will be changed to facts that this NATION NOT ONLY HAS A HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING BUT HIGH STANDARDS IN THE WORK WE PRODUCE.

    I know I work hard and know of many fellow Caymanians who do.  Many of us have such talent and ability to change the work place, the home and living in general around the world.  Will we let it waste?  Is it just luck and chance that we are not a starving country with no natural resources (as could be the case in the blink of an eye)


    God bless you and the Cayman Islands…

    • Anonymous says:

      Great points and I also agree with the post ( So tell me Fed-up Caymanians). It’s not about the expats getting a job its about Caymanians making themselves marketable ENOUGH to be competitive in the present economy. What this economy calls for is persons that are educated, determine and produce excellent work ethics. I’ve been here for the past 5 years and I’ve noticed from high schools most students would say, " I want a car" or go work for a bank. NO NO NO..there is more to it than taking out loan for a nice car when one could be the Manager or CEO of a company. As we know the term, ONE BAD APPLE SPOIL THE WHOLE BUNCH so Caymanians need to wise up and get rooted. Other nationalities on island work hard despite the incomes at some companies (KFC, Wendy’s etc.) It may not pay enough but at least you start from somewhere. The mentality is always, ‘ Oh its my country so I have to get the top position’…NO it doesn’t work that way. My suggestion is, for this country to make a full turn we all need to put our differences aside and come together as ONE. No man is an island and no man stand alone! Put away the pride or the me, myself and I attitude and just think positively towards each other. I know hard working Caymanians that I will lift my hat off to. Lets see beyond the little things and see what the REAL problems are. Lets try to get youths involved, building community centers, having technical schools and so forth. We are the generation for TOMORROW and the choices you make will determine our (the young generation to come) DESTINY.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re Police benefits and offended firemen, these differences surely must create hard feelings.  So a few more suggestions: Stop paying customs the minimum 2 hours payment, this  been resented by immigration and others for ages. Stop police retiring on full pensions at a young age and require them to work on the same pension terms as everyone else. Stop the housing allowance (!!) Give firemen something to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        The reason the expat issue keeps coming up is that the constitutional position of the Cayman Islands is a big problem.

        As Caymanians we don’t feel a sense of confidence in ourselves because we are not in charge of our own affairs — heck, we have a Governor making even constitutionally erroneous decisions — bringing in a police agency that acts outside and above our constitionally appointed offices.  Wrong.

        So, we don’t really matter and our systems don’t really matter. 

        How can that engender confidence in ourselves and our thinking?

        So something has to give — we have to find a way to enable our people more than the current arrangements are doing.  We need to make faster progress.  Or we need to have some type of catalyst that is going to impact and make a difference.

        One of the avenues, of course, is through education — and we are sadly not taking it seriously enough.  And it will not work from the grass roots.  Those in charge of education need to understand the urgency and need to take revolutionaly action.  It has been done in the US — on a small scale, admittedly — but it can be done here as well — especially as we have a small population to work with.

        We now have a permanent secretary for education who has the appropriate training and has her head screwed on.  I just wish that the Minister, of whom I have very high hopes, could visit some of these schools in the US that have been successful in turning around students destined for social and education failure and bring back some of the ideas. Of course, we know the answer already — extend and expand the teaching experience for students; strengthen their confidence — many have no one who really cares about them; expand their social and cultural experiences; make sure that they have adequate diets.

        There are people who would give their hearts to such schools, especially those for otherwise socially disadvantaged students.

        And please, Mr. Minister, try to build some insulation around education in this austerity drive — education is our hope — teachers’ salaries are already low and they are already coping with deficient situations.






    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, Hard Working Young Caymanian. Great points and I agree 100%. Let us make ourselves and the Caymanian brand so wonderful that we are known internationally for it. But it requires a complete change of attitude and willingness and commitment to work hard for it, as Bo Miller was saying on the Rooster talk show one morning this week.

      Look at the Bahamas a few years ago. They became complacent with their tourism product and had to completely revamp their attitudes and get with the programme to be able to recapture what they had lost, and it tookyears of hard work for them to do so.  Remember, "a stitch in time saves nine", and "better safe than sorry".  Let’s make remedial efforts now, rather than waiting until the horse has fully gone out the gate. If our financial industry goes bust (and we have to consider this as a very real possibility since the G20 keeps moving the goalposts when it comes to Cayman), we need to have our tourism product firmly in place as a safety net. I hope that our Government is taking a very serious look at this issue and will put some programmes in place to enhance what we already have and prepare for anything unexpected.

  15. Consultant says:

    Unfortunately Fed Up Caymanian, taking these vehicles off the road is only the first step. What needs to be done after they are all safely locked away is a full and comprehensive review of the Government vehicle use policy (if there is one, tee hee). Then, as a result of this review, each and every one of the oh so many unnecessary vehicles belonging to Government Departments need to be auctioned off to the highest bidders and gotten rid of once and for all. This is the only way to stop the abuse. I’m quite sure if contracts of employment were properly written(I chuckle again), people accepting employment would know when to expect use of a vehicle and when to expect to have to use their own.

    I use my own to collect merchandise, etc even though it is unsuitable. I don’t get a fuel allowance nor would I want one. Just the other day I purchased goods with money from my own pocket for the use of my staff because it was either that or go without. Many others I know are in the same boat, including our teachers.

    Oh yes, sorry, forgot to mention, I am one of bloodsucking "expats" who just takes, takes takes. My sincerest apologies for caring.

    If you want effective cost cutting measures then set about to change to entitlement mentality that so prevelantly still exists first.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good points regarding the use (or should I say abuse) of Government vehicles.

      Another way to save would be at the time of purchase of Government vehicles. Fancy wheels, leather interiors, sound systems, power packages, top of the line models etc etc. Why? Aren’t the majority of these vehicles for ‘work" purposes, not leisure activities?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Folks, let’s not get started with the UDP vs. PPM thing, let’s try and see the positives in this, as Mr. Dunn pointed out, the Civil Servants are rising to the challenge by putting foward their various suggestions, the Government is listening and is willing to take advice, all options are on the table, lets give them the benefit of the doubt and see if something good come out of this.

    for many years now, what seem to have been lacking was a will, with what the Chief Secretary has said, I believe people now have the will to be more efficient, we can only hope that under the current leadership, they will find the way.

    I say lets give them a chance and see what comes out of this. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    They say it should start at the top and move down the ladder.  It seems Mr. Premier designate has a suburban to chauffer him around with a driver and a license plate with POO 2 on it.  Perhaps that along with a piece of his salary should be the first to go to show the people of these islands he is seriously concerned and willing to make the first step to cutting costs. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    I recently found out that police officers get a ‘housing allowance’. Actually, some careless police officers just left his pay slip in a public bathroom. And this was a Caymanian. Other Government workers don’t get that. Why is that?

    I heard a customs officer brag that they get an automatic 2 hours of over time just for showing up for flights on Cayman Brac even if they only work 20 min. Wow! Must be nice. Since all International flights clear in Grand Cayman, I don’t see the need for 3 or 4 custom officers to be in the Cayman Brac airport in the arrival area just looking around.

    Food for thought , and two ways for Government to save money.

    • Anonymous says:

      To Anonymous 18;52.

      And guess what. The housing allowance is pensionable which mightily pissed off the firemen, customs, immigration and all the other branches which consider themselves equally important to the police. When the government (in Cabinet) awarded the increase in police housing allowance, they didn’t realise it was pensionable and never thought of the consequences to the other government units. Being Ministers, they didn’t ask the advice of civil servants-after all, what would they know?

      Same thing happened with the Status grants in 2003 when our legal people (magistrates, legal drafters, Law School lecturers) and, because of them, others were able to claim they didn’t ask for status, it was awarded to them, so they should not lose their ex pat benefits. So, they were "Caymanians" but still kept their expat benefits. A simple request to the civil service for a policy brief on the implications of the status grants would have prevented this…………….but when politicians get in Cabinet, they think they know it all.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree re: the status grant issue.  The fact of the matter is, the reason why the last administration had to spend so much money was because our infrastructures were not ready to handle the result of the mass granting of Caymanian Status.  Period. One must realize that when you give 3,000 citizenship, their dependents are eligible (and in some cases I KNOW of people who have a spouse and brought their 4,5, and in one case 8 children from their country of origin to these shores) for the same priveleges.  Additionally, the health care system, our education system and our social services systems were overburdened within the first few months of these grants – to hire the staff, allocate funds, and expand physical buildings etc to accommodate the increase in "Caymanians".  As someone who worked very closely with education, I saw the average class size in primary schools jump from 17 in the 2002-2003 school year to 30 in the 2003-2004.  Additionally, Social Services was noted to dole out an additional $30,000 dollars per month within the first 6 months of the status grants occurring.  Did we miraculously have these extra children of all ages and stages hiding in the mangroves? Were we struck with some type of plague that increased the amount of indigent people on island? I think not!  Let us all wake up and smell the coffee – all of the politicians of old (whether they are still serving or not) had a part to play in this situation – and they should not be allowed to point fingers now to deflect the fact that they allowed this situation to occur in the past!

        Let us put aside these adopted idealogies of entitlement and greed.  These are NOT Caymanian traits!  Let’s remember who we are, where we come from and show our government that we are not a people who can be bought and sold, and that we, the HARDWORKING people of the Cayman Islands will do what needs to be done to get our communities and our country back where it belongs.

        Never forget – a politician who buys your vote, will sell your country!  We don’t need any more politicians on this island – we need statesmen (like the first sets of MLAs, who did not even collect salaries!) to get our country back on track.

        May God bless these Cayman Islands!

  19. Fed-UP CAYMANIAN says:

    As a Civil Servant, it is my wish that the Honourable Cheif Secretary, IMMEDIATELY institute a policy that ALL Government vehicles MUST not be driven home at nights. I have seen Govt employees, such as persons from Labour, Immigration, Health Insurance, Elections. NRA, PWD, Education Dept, and the list could go on use government cars to do their own personal errands on the weekends and at night. I say this MUST stop!!! Give each Department a stipend based on the number of cars for fuel and when this stipend is done, then the driving is done unless staff pay for the fuel out their own pockets.

    Also, start trimming the fat with the expat workforce. I KNOW that the Govet can save alot of money if it got rid of 25%of the expats in each Ministry, then after that go to the Authorities and then the departments.


    • Anonymous says:

      So tell me, Fed-Up Caymanian, which country in the world does not have a certain amount of expatriates?  That is just the way the world operates, and I wish Caymanians (and I am a born and bred child of the soil) would stop with this "it’s the expatriates’ fault" stupidity. There are some Caymanians who are too lazy to find a job, and others who do not have what we need (experience, expertise, attitude) from some of the expatriates. 

      Also, how many Caymanians do you see in the blue-collar industry (except for maybe construction and fishing/North Sound charters)?  For example, the number of Caymanians who own beauty salons and/or actually work in the business can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Caymanians doing domestic or child-care work? Forget it.  How many do you see working in our hotels and pedalling the tourist jitneys around town on cruise ship days?  And no offence intended, but I often wonder just what those Philipino pedallers can know about our country to tell those visitors! But the fact remains that Caymanians just do not do these types of jobs. And yes, you may not be talking about that category of expatriate working in the Government, but I believe that there is also (and probably more so) Caymanian dead wood in the Civil Service.

      Caymanians, unfortunately, have a mentality of entitlement and feel that just because they’re Caymanian they should get the job. No!  Times have changed, and you need to get up off your backsides, go to school (and finish it), show some ambition, and work hard for your pay check at the end of the week/month.  Employers have long complained that, whilst they are willing to give them a chance, they are disappointed by the work ethics displayed byCaymanian employees as they either show up late for work or don’t show up at all, and do not exhibit any initiative, nor are they willing to go a little beyond the call of duty.  We have no one to blame but ourselves for this problem, and unless and until that changes, expatriates who are willing to work and don’t expect to get paid for doing nothing all day, show up for work when they’re supposed to and have a good attitude towards their job and in customer service will always be needed to fill this void in the local workplace.

      I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing all the expatriate bashing, so please, jump off that bandwagon (and no, I’m not married to one or have any expatriates in my family or circle of friends) and put that energy somewhere else, like perhaps starting a programme to teach our fellow Caymanians what it means to have a good work ethic and to actually do some work for that pay check, and how to provide top-notch customer service to other Caymanians as well as the expatriate community and tourists.

      Just let all the expatriates (both workers and investors) pack up and decide they’re leaving Cayman, and see where we’ll be then! We’ll get what the duck got, and when our standard of living falls from one of (if not the) highest in the Caribbean, we’ll all realise just how important they were to our economy and that they were a very necessary part of what it takes to make this country what itis. But let’s fervently hope that doesn’t happen, as it’ll be no use crying in your beer then (if you can afford one, that is).

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok, so when you take McKeeva’s suburban and driver away, please make sure you do the same for the Governor.  Hello!

      • Makam says:

        In reply to Anonymous 1:31

        I applaud you honest, candid and most certainly will written posting. It is so refreshing to read a posting which is lucid and free of any racialist or nationalist bigotry. Well done!!


    • Anonymous says:

      In response to Submitted by Fed-UP CAYMANIAN (not verified) on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 17:49.

      Your response is typical of what is known as the "Black Crab Mentality" – have you ever seen a barrel with a bunch of crabs trying to climb over each other to try and reach the top? The only way that they succeed is by pullingtheir own fellow men (Caymanians) down.

      As Caymanians the only way we can make progress as a country is to support each other? This is the true path to economic, political and cultural self-determination, which will never happen with such a mentality that is all too prevalent. If we don’t stop watching and being envious/jealous of each other, we will never see what is happening around us, the country is not being lost by vehicles, (and yes there may be some abuses) the country is being lost by the lack of preparation and the enforcement of policies to guarantee the upward mobility of Caymanians. And if the trend continues we will become more and more of a minority in our own country. This is what you should be addressing.

      Did it ever cross your mind that not all Government vehicles are abused, and there could be legitimate reasons for person’s driving vehicles after hours.

      Your recommendation reeks of being "penny wise and pound foolish". I suppose you would also be the first to complain when certain services are not delivered, due to essential personnel who should be driving vehicles home being prevented from doing so, by such a policy as you have recommended. I hope that the powers that be don’t pay attention and immediatley discard such a proposal as there are bigger issues for them to address such as government utility consumption . It seems every man in government has a government cel phone. This is where the real saving lie as I hear some schools use $450,000 plus a year!


  20. Anonymous says:


    Hear what Mr. Ebanks says:

    "Ebansk said that these were the most challenging times he had seen in his 34 years of public service. The issues which the Cayman Islands face will not be solved by `them’ — they can only be solved by `us’,” he told public sector workers."

    And its all your fault Kurt; too much sleeping and misled and not enough work.

    Now Mac & Ellio will have to sort out your mess for you.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mac & Ellio are definately getting them into cost cutting mode.

    Good job guys. If only PPM had done this they wouldn’t have left a $74M deficit.


    • Caymanian2dmarrow says:

      "Mac and Ellio are definately getting them into cost cutting mode"

      Dear all, please understand that this has absolutely nothing to do with politicians.  It is the same old Civil Servants, doing what they always do.. answering the call.  The difference is that this time, those on top are so desperate that they have had to abandon form and actually consult those on the lower rungs of the ladder.  This is a step that if memory serves me correctly, has not been attempted prior, at least not in recent times.  Hopefully those in charge will listen to those lower rung employees since they have the most to lose in a pay-loss scenario.

      In general though, Civil Servants have been getting a very bad rap in this country and it is time for it to stop.  Yes there are some bad apples, but the majority of the Civil Service is made up of hard working, extra-time working and not looking for overtime pay, do anything, serve the public with integrity and valour, people.

      The Civil Service has dealt with reform movement after reform movement, including but not limited to, the financial reform, personnel management reform, freedom of information, and lets not forget the constitution, which has to be put into use now that it has been passed.  The Civil Service has delivered excellently, but their morale has been declining.  However, can you really blame them.  They have gotten no credit forimplementing the reforms, they have had to fight for their increases in salary through cost of living adjustments (don’t fool yourselves into thinking that the few high salaries you have heard about is representative of the entire organization.)  The entire Service of approx. 3500 persons has been grouped together and blamed for the non-delivery of audited financial statements as if every single employee is an accountant or high level manager of some sort.  The so-called lack of customer service in the public sector is in no way representative of a higher degree of failure there than in the private sector, the difference is that we notice it more readily because we all use the same public services.  Howeve can anyone really say that they are happy with the level of customer service that they receive from the fast-food restaurants or other retail stores that they frequent? Finally, we the public have had a long run of poking fun at Civil Servants, insulting them and speaking as if monkeys can do their jobs.  But lets be honest, do you want to have to be the person behind the counter at the post office dealing with a customer like you?  Do you want to pick up your garbage for a year?

      This reaction by the Civil Service to the Chief Secretary’s call for action is just the latest in a long line of shining examples of the Civil Service stepping up to the crease and offering up good shots on the country’s behalf.  I am not suggesting that the rest of ua aren’t hard-working or making sacrifices, however we do not have to deal with the constancy of attack that the Cayman Islands Civil Service does.  Perhaps we should cut them some slack.