Civil servants face music

| 08/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman Islands civil service(CNS): Threatened with significant pay and benefit reductions, members of the civil service have planned a meeting on Monday evening to hear the details of the government’s proposals from officials from the ministry and to offer their thoughts on those cuts and other cost cutting measures the public sector has been asked to make. According to a memo sent senior civil servants following their meeting with the premier last week, it is unclear whether there is still a window of opportunity to offer alternative solutions or whether the cuts are happening from this month.

President of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association, James Watler, confirmed that the membership would be meeting on 8 March at 5:30 in the evening to hear the full details of government’s proposals and to survey the membership.  He confirmed that CICSA had a number of questions about how the benefit and salary cuts would be implemented and how they would work in relation to contracts, as well as whether or not the decision has been made or if there is room for the membership to negotiate other options.

Watler said these were difficult times for everyone, especially the CICSA membership, but the civil service goal would be to remain politically neutral and endeavour to carry out the wishes of government. He also stated that the CICSA would be conducting a survey this evening of the membership’s views, which would be handed to government before Wednesday of this week as requested.

Following his announcement last week in the Legislative Assembly that the proposed surplus for the government’s 2009/10 budget had in fact turned into a significant deficit, McKeeva Bush met with the civil service management to explain the need for drastic and immediate pay and benefit cuts, as well as departmental cuts. The meeting was followed by a memo from the financial secretary outlining the current budget deficit of over $62million and how much government could save with the proposed salary and benefit cuts. The memo also asks civil service managers to cut their department budget allocations for this year by 15% before 30 June. Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson has asked for plans on how they can make those cuts to be submitted to government before Wednesday.

The memo states that by reducing the salaries of all public sector workers, including those working for statutory authorities and government companies, the treasury can save around $17 million before the end of this fiscal year.  If the cuts are sustained throughout 2010/11, government anticipates reducing the operating expenditure by over $51 million

The CICSA meeting will be taking part at the same time that the premier will deliver an address to the country regarding the current financial difficulties of the Cayman Island Government ahead of his visit to the UK to discuss the issue with the FCO and the Overseas Minister Chris Bryant.

Download the full memo

CNS note: Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the meeting last night (no press was allowed), but we would really like to hear from anyone who was there – you can remain anonymous. Call 926-6816 or email wendyledger@caymannewsservice.com

Category: Headline News

Comments (92)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t really understand the Civil Servants one bit !!!!!!!!!

    In the private sector where majority works we have to pay 50% health insurance & 5% pension no matter how small our salary is, so why is that Civil Servants complain if they have to pay it right now we do it every month for as long as we work.  As far as i’m concern Goverment has too many workers doing nothing and should start a clean up campaign and get rid of the "seat warmers" .  For far too long they have been able to have the cake & eat the icing too.

    Mr. Bush needs to stand up to these people and let them know they will have to do something.  No one knows for sure if what they want to do will help the budget but if you don’t try it then you’ll never know. 

    In my opnion if they don’t want to contribute to pension & health insurance or accept a salary cut then cut them off completely.  I would prefer to have a small amount deducted from my salary than having my full salary taken.  Alot from the private sector has been laid off so why can’t government do the same.

    BY THE WAY is the Civil Service Association a government run department??? If so then they should be the first ones to loose their pay cus all they are doing is sitting on their butts all day doing nothing like alot of the other departments.  

    I say to Mr. Bush and other cabinet members if you don’t stand up to them then your ship will always be sinking……

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil Service Association is not a department !!!! It’s an association made up of civil servants (duh!!!!) 

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a well thought out 12:19

    "That’s because they DONT KNOW, havent taken the time to do a proper study of how much $$$$ this saves the Govt, or whether or not it may be too little or too much. "

    I agree 100%….. he/they do not have the answer.  Back in 2000/2001 when his government put a freeze on increments as a cut back …did it help?? NO NO NO cause then the fools just keep on spending spending.  Now civil servants must bare the brunt of their slackness and overspending….

    To all the posters who are criticizing civil servants (yes I do agree there are some seat warmers) Please pay a visit to the LA when it is in session and watch all those fools who were elected and are supposed to be working for the betterment of this country……. take a seat in the gallery and watch …….. now that’s where you see some wasted salaries…. cut them down to $3000/4000 and see if they run next election…… see how many of them have love for country then…….

     

     

     

  3. Voice of Reason says:

    Even ships like the Titanic don’t sink by themselves.  They need something to rip a hole in the side of the ship and flood it with water so fast that no one can bail it out and it goes down.

    The Civil Service is handling that part of the fate of the Cayman Islands.  They have the axes and are hacking away at the hole in the side of the ship.  Every round of payrolls is another chunk of the ship ripped away, another stream of water pushing the ship down and drowning the people who are pointlessly trying to bail the water out of the ship.

    Look around the Island tonight.  Lights do indeed burn underwater, at least for a little while.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Research on leadership indicates that 50-75% of organisations currently are managed by people sorely lacking in leadership competence.

    Such leaders often also lack an appreciation of how the various parts of the service work as a whole which is known as "Systems Thinking" causing them to manage or lead by crisis. They are often poor communicators who are insensitive to morale issues; they tend to be viewed as mistrustful, over-controlling, and micro-managing. This inability to recognise how the organization functions as a system leads to their failure to follow through on initiatives or committments resulting in effective teams, low morale, poor quality, alienated employees, and costly attrition.

    Is the Civil Service faced with such leadership issues? Why are innocent members of the Civil Service having to pay for the leadership mistakes of others when the warnings were given?

    • Anonymous says:

      Tues 17:37: You are describing most of the chief officers of the last 5 years (at least) who refused to get on board with doing things in a way that would be recognised in the 20th (note I didn’t even say 21st) century. Their motto was and is that old demon saying "if it’s not broke don’t fix it" – an excuse for them to do nothing different to match changing global conditions while collecting their huge salaries which were assessed on the basis that they would be forward looking dynamic managers. Two of the worst are still there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is it not ironic that one of the persons who has created this mess over decades, is now looking to stay on pass normal retirement age to help sort it out ๐Ÿ™‚ !!! 

        And yes he is an expert on everything under the sun, knows it all, and only takes advice from certain people especially those from G20 countries. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Titanic is Sinkins and the UDP and its Premier ic the Captain. SORRY FOR THE GOOD SHIP CAYMAN REALLY SORRY. 

  6. Uncivil Servant says:

    Wendy/Nicky, I wouldn’t worry about it, you didn’t miss much.As far as press not being allowed, I didn’t know Austin was on the payroll.

    Pretty sure he was there until bitter end, maybe he would fill you in on the details.

  7. 100% Caymanian says:

    GIVE THANKS!!

    Sit and think for a bit guys, it could be worst.

    Things could be the other way around, such as not having a job.

    Full born Caymanian, all I have to say is that some of you are too too ungrateful.  I don’t care who like or not that’s my two words, take that to the bank.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If McKeeva is too scared to introduce the lottery then he should waive the "No Duty" to churches.  Churches collect sufficient funds throughout the year to cover paying the minister, housing him, providing a car and ffeding him and then for him to have enough to buil.d his home overseas, support his family overseas etc etc etc – but they dont have enough to pay custom duties on the buidling materials that they have purchased, or the furniture?

    Every month a new church is being opened in a plaza that has a unit large enough to hold about 30 members and parking lot that can only hold 2 memebers.  We have more churches than banks now and while churches are a good thing – the falsehood behind which many of them are opened and run does not benefit the congregation nor the community.

     

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      OMG  you are so right about what is happening, concerning the churches.   The district of  Bodden Town has a church in every lane.   Una come check out the congregations.  You will be shocked   What are these people doing anyway.

      Who is responsible for all of this?  These same people are living a life of fornication and adultery, sleepng with church sisters and brothers, pastors and deacons, and crying Lord, Lord preaching on Sunday mornings and tent meetings every night.    How can sinners come to repentance after knowing this?

      Why is the Immigration and Government giving them a free ride.

      • Anonymous says:

        And another bloody church going up outside Bodden Town. Please stop the nonsense someone..please. It’s all such terrible nonsense and hypocrisy.

        • Twyla Vargas says:

          IMMIGRATION AND GOVENMENT, PLANNING DE[PARTMENT is to be blamed for  this.   We got churches with names like, Church of Fire, Church of Ra Ra and , Church of u Ru, Church of the mountain, and Church of the Gate.   

          Cayman better be careful that these same churches is not practicing woodoo.   Because when you see pastor tell the members to write down things on paper lke the names of Immigration oficers, their employers names, husband and wife names and then go outside to a burning drum of fire and CHANT and throw the paper in fire……….SOME THING IS Not RIGHT.!!!

          Do you think it is just So, So, why all these killings and robbery is taking place in Cayman, like every one gone mad.   Let me tell you something.   Just as well as there is good there is evil.   those in authority need to pay m,ooer attention.     District rep. need to[ check on what is going on in their disticts, something is wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        Brothers and Sisters, if you think Bodden Town in a mess with churches springing up like mad, check out Cayman Brac! I went to the Brac for the Agriculture Day and even on the bluff, two new churches.

  9. Anonymous says:

    First pay cuts, then direct taxation.

    Yes the civil service, like the private sector, needs to make cuts, but it would be an absolute folly to agree to it now for two reasons.

     
    1)     There is no way the UK foreign office will allow new borrowing, without the introduction of some form of taxation. Agreeing to a pay cut now will only have as a result that civil servants will be taxed later on a reduced salary.
     
    This means that the government will first have to sort out with the UK how they are going to finance next year’s budget. If the UK turns around and says, we allow you to borrow again, if you achieve these cuts in the civil service, so be it and the cuts will be made. However, this is very, very unlikely.
     
    2)     The government is saying that a 5 to 10% pay cut is better than a 100% pay cut, but there is no assurance that the acceptance of the pay cut would lead to any kind of increased job security. All departments have been asked to make additional 15% cuts to their budget, irrespective of the salary cuts. These will come from job cuts (or rather the non-renewal of contracts with expat civil servants).
     
    In addition the proposed cuts are also much higher than a 5 to 10% salary cut. We are talking about 17% to 30% cut in compensation (including no pension, less healthcare).
     
    Yes the private sector had to make cuts and the civil service will have to make cuts too, but anything near or above 20% is ridiculous with direct taxation only a few months away.
     
  10. Anonymous says:

    To author of :

    Mr. Premier Bush-

    I say CONGRATULATIONS- you have made some cognizant and respectable points and your observations should be taken onboard and considered.

     

  11. Candi Apple Taffy says:

    McBush, in lieu of salary, pension and health care payments for the next three months, we will take the new Admin building from you.

    You will not however be able to rent it back from us as you would likely default on payments anyway. Plans are afoot to to open the Caribbeans premier casino within this building. We will not stop there however, it has also been decided that half of the building will be utilized as the worlds largest strip club. All Government and Private sector workers made redundant as as a result of the gross incompetence of this and previous elected Governments will be offered positions within our new venture. We will be farming our own turtles on the roof for the consumption of our employees only.

    Should you and your colleagues wish to utilise our newfacilities, you may be permitted to do so. You will however have to pay double the price of our civilian clients and your clothing must remain on at all times.

    Yes, there will be a waterslide from the roof.

  12. Anonymous says:

    In any organization except government, the organization must cut expenses when the revenue stream decreases.

    Years ago, when I worked in a branch of a large corporation, I marvelled at how fast the line printer was spitting out the payroll checks. I wondered what kind of a bank account was behind it.

    I found out when suddenly the corporate revenue stream took a large dip. Headquarters immediately issued an order to each branch manager to cut back expenses by a large percentage.

    It was left up to each branch manager to figure out how to implement his portion of the cut, so each branch manager called in his directors and handed each one his share.

    That is how it is done in business, but unfortunately not in government, which instead always goes after more revenue.

    Government tends to forget that it owes its existence to the taxes and fees it collects from business, which is also being squeezed.

    It should remember that businesses will simply collapse if they become unable to cover their expenses.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Since civil servants are mandated to carry out the will of the government and remain politically neutral, can we march on Saturday if we do not agree with the the present Govt?  I have no faith in this Govt. Time and time again proposals are put forward only to be retracted.  Even fewer proposals are put in writing only to be denied.

      I want to see a duly signed document outlining the state of Governemt finances, not someone reading numbers at me.  This meeting was a very poor representation by the Premier and the "Accountant General" representing the ever elusive Financial Secretary.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is called Government and not Business, because it is different!

      Simply put, Business is all about profit.

      Government is not-for-profit as it has to consider the wider societal implications. If many things were left for Business todecide upon, society worldwide would be in shambles.

      Someone has to take responsibility and it therefore has to be Government for the wider good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Government is not-for-profit

        That is precisely why government has no "business" trying to run government owned businesses such as the Water Authority.

        Government for the wider good

        Idealism can be a good thing. Unfortunately I am not sure that exclusive real estate deals, luxury condos, personal servants at the expense of poor working people, and the use of public funds to add value to personal property adds up to "Government for the wider good."

        As you have probably noted in the international press, business executives who use shareholder’s money for their own enrichment tend to end up in jail. That is another good reason why government should be run like a business. 

         

        • Anonymous says:

          And yet the water authority is one of the few government entities in the black… Can we please let it stay government owned and operated to offset some of the politically motivated government entities wasting public funds (Boatswains, Cayman Airways, etc.)? If we get rid of/shut down/downsize/privatize the aforementioned losers, then the gains of the water authority might be of real benefit to government coffers, rather than nobly, but perhaps futilely, trying to save the city by holding its finger in the dyke. (Hope you know your European folklore for that one, those of you with your minds in the gutter!)

          And please, can we all agree that Mac’s current wasting of public funds to upgrade his PRIVATE residency isn’t truly reflective of government in general? He’s a meglomaniac that West Bayers unfortunately decide to keep electing so he can ruin the rest of the island. (Pity he has no musical talents – and anyone who has heard him sing can attest to that – because otherwise we’d have a great Nero analogy).

          • Watercloset says:

            Let Cayman Water Company take over Cayman Water Authority, that way they will both be more efficient by virtue of the economies of scale.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see the civil servants from Little Cayman and the Brac were offered the opportunity to comment on / contribute to the CICSA membership meeting yesterday. Or are they not members?  

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed that so many people think that cutting the salary and benefits of the civil service is the answer to all problems. Whilst I agree that the civil service is bloated and there are a lot of seat warmers, to make a general cut across the board is just wrong. You have to do it on a case by case basis to ensure that it is really felt by the ones who have abused the system for years!

    What are the MLAs going to do to reduce cost? There is a lot more that they can do besides cutting their own or the civil servants salaries.

    In the private sector is it the same thing! The little man is asked to cut back on cost whilst we have to sit back and watch management to continue with spending like there is no tomorrow. Business trips continue to be made, flying business class or even first class and staying at fancy hotels with nothing to show for at the end of the day…….

    • Alan Roffey says:

      Part of the problem occurs when those working hard around a "seat warmer" allow that person to get away with it.

      It should now be clear that it’s everybody’s business when a team colleague isn’t pulling his/her weight.

      Everybody suffers when a department’s productivity and reputation is damaged by an individual’s poor performance.

      If that employee’s manager now understands that his/her paycheque might be directly impacted by allowing such things to continue then perhaps he/she will do what is needed to shape up or ship out the offender.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly! Why should dept heads continue to receive their inflated salary and benefits if they are not capable for running the dept efficiently and effectively? Government has always promoted people as a favour or because of seniority and very rarely because of ability. Now it is finally catching up with everyone and as usual everyone else has to take the fall.

    • Anonymous says:

      I work in the private sector and the company I work for did salary cuts a year ago.  Our salary cuts ranged from 5% – 20% depending on your level and not how much your salary is!  Even if you were making less than $2,000 your pay was also cut and you still contributed to you half of the health insurance as you always had before.  I am also well aware of other private sector companies that did the same thing long before the Government decided to do this!!!  In a nut shell the Civil Servants are behind us!  We most certainly won’t be enjoying any discounts at any any supermarkets, utility companies or airline carriers if that is agreed upon by those establishments.  Instead we could more than likely end up with an increase in OUR expediture because we have to subsidize government workers discounts! 

       

  15. Anonymous says:

    The cuts aren’t the problem. The problem is the cuts AND the health care costs coming at the same time. Instead of losing 5% and 10% of their salaries, civil servants with fairly low salaries to moderate salaries (let’s say up to $5000 a month) are going to be losing anywhere from 18-29% of their net income, and that figure is calculated assuming it’s a single person under CINICO as the percentage is much higher for families. If you factor in a pension holiday, the immediate loss to the civil servant much higher (maxing out at 30-41% if the civil servant were to continue to save/invest the same $ amount as before the holiday, but out of their own pocket). Either the brackets for the percentage cuts needs to be changed and the percentage cut lowered to account for the high costs of health care, or the UDP might as well say the cuts were designed to screw over those in the low to middle class while only being an inconvienence for the rich.

    I propose 2% for $3000-3999 a month, 4% for 4000-5499 a month, 6% for 5500-6499 a month, 8% for 6500-7499 a month, 10% for 7500-9999 a month, and 15% for 10000+ a month. While the specific salary cuts wouldn’t save AS much money, but these cuts wouldn’t be so highly regressive when accounting for the additional impact of paying for CINICO with no choice as to the level of coverage. I think cuts need to happen, but let’s make sure they happen proportionately for the right people, no?

    • Civil Servant not being treated civil says:

      This is a well thought out response. Unfortunately, there hasnt been a well thought out proposal from Cabinet. During last nights meeting, someone asked a question (i think it was Austins brother) "what figure has cabinet designated that it desires to cut from theoperating deficit by the civil servants salary cut, and when this figure is achieved, will the salary cut be removed?" 

      Crickets……..The premier had finance comittee start the meeting by rattling off figures, but was unable to answer a simple question about the cuts. How much do you plan to save by the proposed measures? And for how long? is there a "magic number" that were trying to achieve?……..crickets…..no answer. 

       

      That’s because they DONT KNOW, havent taken the time to do a proper study of how much $$$$ this saves the Govt, or whether or not it may be too little or too much. 

       

      Very Sad to see.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately on this little island the major voting block is the civil servants so politicians handle them with kid gloves and some governments have sought to enhance their status by swelling the ranks hopeful that votes would be returned.

    What currently is happening is the country is on the brink of being forced to initiate direct taxation and some politicians continue to play politics for their own selfish aims.

    If direct taxation is forced on the Cayman Islands many expat bashers will get their long awaited wish, a Cayman for Caymanians only.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "The size of the civil service increased substantially in the latter part of this decade, and the cost of salaries went up accordingly. The cost of providing pension and health care for government employees also increased.

    Treasury Department figures show the increase in personnel costs going from about  $150 million in 2000 to $245 million in 2008.

    The personnel costs estimated per civil servant have increased sharply in the past three years. In 2006, Treasury Department figures show government spent approximately $51,875 per worker; in 2007 that figure was $55,555; and last year that cost ballooned to $64,509 per civil servant. In fact, during calendar year 2008 the total number of civil servants decreased slightly (1.1 per cent), but the government’s personnel budget still increased nearly 15 per cent." 

    Read the full article on the Chamber of Commerce’s website at:  http://www.compasscayman.com/chamber/2009/10/21/Chamber-analysis–How-we-got-here/

  18. Anonymous says:

    It doesnt matter if he didnt have constitutional authority, the fact remains civil servants should be cut.

    This is about the survival of Cayman.

    The worstis yet to come. 

    • Rorschach says:

      "It doesnt matter if he didnt have constitutional authority’

      Are you insane???  OF COURSE it matters that he doesn’t have constitutional authority…that makes it UNLAWFUL…or do you just not care about living in a DICTATORSHIP??? 

      I would advise anyone who thinks that this is not their problem to consider the following:

      First a quote from Pastor Martin Niemoeller on the actions of the Nazi’s leading up to WW II

      First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
      Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      and next another very telling poem about not speaking out against what is wrong…it is long, so I will only post the link, but it is worth reading..

      http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/articles6/hangman_by_maurice_o.htm

      • HRC says:

        They already came for the private sector and you were very quiet, that just leaves the public sector, hence now yuo are the only ones left.

        You should have spoken up earlier before your neck was on the line, now it is too late.

        You really should have paid more attention to the quote before you were the last ones left

        • Rorschach says:

          BTW FYI..MY neck is NOT on the line…and what is this "they came for the private sector" you speak of…elaborate?? 

          Right is right and wrong is wrong, but illegal is ALWAYS illegal…and someone, most ALWAYS the public, has to pay to right that wrong…We should ALL be raising our voices to this…as a nation..not as public or private sector…

          • Anonymous says:

            mm lets see the private sector:

            Have taken redundancies; have had pay freezes or cuts over a year ago; most I know are working 60+ hours or more a week and getting paid only for only 40 of them as overtime has been stopped being paid; many staff have had their hours reduced further, especially the hospitality industry.

            Now we have all lost 5% of our remuneration with the pension holiday.

            When the private sector get cuts due to the economy, the gv just increases fee so more employees suffer all to make sure the civil service can carry on like normal.

            When the private sector get cuts yo don’t hear the Prem talking about giving them decreses on groceries or flights, When these are implemented, it justs means prices are going to increase for everyone else, some one has to pay.

            That is when they came for the private sector, your ignorance of the matter really just proves my point.

            When you look into the Rorschah pattern it seems all you see is yourself

            • Rorschach says:

              I didn’t hear the Premiere offering price decreases and lowered flights to Civil Servants??  Maybe you can back this up with some proof instead of just pulling things like this out or your…thin air…

              You say the private sector have endure pay freezes???  How about having your pay frozen for the last 10 YEARS???  The Civil Service has!!!

              Hospitality is seasonal…everyone who works in it KNOWS that there are busy times and slow times…Smart employees bank there money when they are making it and use that savings when times get slow and hours get cut back…Dumb employees spend like sailors on leave and have nothing to show for it….Get the picture??

              Ask any civil servant when was the last time THEY got a pay increase other than a 1 or 2 % annual "Cost of Living increase"?? Overtime??  NOTin this CS….

              When prices are increased, do you think Civil Servants are given a special discount card to produce at Foster’s or Kirk’s or Hurley’s that entitles them to a reduced grocery bill???  Or at CUC??  OR the Water Authority??  Civil Servants Pay the SAME BILLS AS YOU…They are not treated to special discounts, so price increases affect EVERYONE…Not just the people in the Private Sector…

              I want to see how you people are going to act when you get your wish and the government guts the CS and you don’t get the same services you have come to take for granted??  Then you will have something else to pi$$ and Moan about the CS….

              • Bushy's beer says:

                pay frozen for the last 10 YEARS???  The Civil Service has!!!

                weird how the salary cost of the civil service has increased even in the last year, when the number of civil servants decreased, mmm fishy

                The grocery cuts were part of his speach Monday night, maybe you should have listened,, and yes they were only for the civil service

                As for the service, frankly it could not get anyworse, so not really worried about that

                Next

              • Anonymous says:

                "I didn’t hear the Premiere offering price decreases and lowered flights to Civil Servants??  Maybe you can back this up with some proof instead of just pulling things like this out or your…thin air…"

                Oh yes he did, I was sat in a government office at the time that morning waiting to be served by staff who were more interested in making me wait while they listening to the radio giving details of all the cuts the Premier had tried to obtain.  It was clearly announced that he was negotiating a 20% discount on Cayman Airways flights.  And boy were those staff getting excited all chatting amongst themselves about booking holidays abroad and how they could go to better destinations with a 20% discount.  I had nothing better to do than listen to them, as I was still waiting to be served.

                "Smart employees bank there money when they are making it and use that savings when times get slow and hours get cut back…"

                Yes they do, if they earn sufficient to save in the first place.  But after I have paid my health and pension insurance, (extortionate) rent,CUC, water and bus fares I have little to nothing left that I could save… unless I went without food that is, and believe me I am rationing that too.  You see, contrary to common opinion, we’re not all rich in the private sector.  Just as the CS have their bigwigs on big salaries, and their admin staff on low salaries, so do the private sector. 

                Ask any civil servant when was the last time THEY got a pay increase other than a 1 or 2 % annual "Cost of Living increase"?? Overtime??  NOT in this CS….

                This is not unusual in the private sector either.  Try not even 1 or 2%.  Try nothing. 

                When prices are increased, do you think Civil Servants are given a special discount card to produce at Foster’s or Kirk’s or Hurley’s that entitles them to a reduced grocery bill???  Or at CUC??  OR the Water Authority??  Civil Servants Pay the SAME BILLS AS YOU…They are not treated to special discounts, so price increases affect EVERYONE…Not just the people in thePrivate Sector…

                I think they would have been had Bush had more success in those negotiations.  I don’t agree that you should have though.  I would also add that Healcare and Pensions contributions affect EVERYONE… oh, except for the civil service that is – you don’t have that expense to worry about do you?

                Please stop the "oh woe is me" drama – we’re all in the same boat in case you hadn’t notice because you are so busy licking your own wounds.

                 

      • Anonymous says:

        Really?  Comparing relatively modest pay cuts to Nazi death camps. 

        "They came…" for everyone else in the private sector 18 months ago!

        Welcome to real life.

        • Rorschach says:

          The Government are not talking about "modes pay cuts"…

          They are violating the contracts of thousands of persons who have done nothing so criminal as to want to work in the public service.  Someone else posted that IF the government vacates thousands of CS contracts and decides to start pay cuts, then what does that say to the rest of the worlds financial institutions about our ability to make good on ouroverseas debts??  Is everyone quite happy to see Peter robbed to pay Paul???  If your employer walked in one day and said, "I expect you to work 40 hours this week, but I am only going to pay you for 32 hours, you people would be banging down the door to the Dept of Employee Relations( A Civil Service, BTW) about unfair workplace conditions…but everyone thinks nothing of DEMANDING that the CS take a paycut in VIOLATION of their written and legaly binding contracts…You chose to work under the conditions of your employement.  So did the CS, so why should public sector be punished??Go on..keep pushing…when the CS files a lawsuit against the CIG for contract violations and the CIG has to repay the CS and puts the country even furthur into finanacial ruin..where ya gonna be then???  Demand that your leaders spend public funds wiser.  Don’t demand that persons who have done nothing wrong, be punished for their financial ineptitude..

          • LOL says:

             If your employer walked in one day and said, "I expect you to work 40 hours this week, but I am only going to pay you for 32 hours

            This has aready happened to the private sector a year and a half ago, in fact it’s usually expecting 60 hours for 35hours pay.

            didn’t hear you speak out when that happened mate, only when your neck was on the line. Maybe try reading your little quote again and realise your the only one left to complain, the "Nazi’s" have already come for everyone else.

            Good job on your timing

          • Anonymous says:

            "If your employer walked in one day and said, "I expect you to work 40 hours this week, but I am only going to pay you for 32 hours, you people would be banging down the door…"

            The firm I work with saw this coming and took preparitory action.  I have been banned from claiming overtime since Aug 08 but working plenty plenty overtime.  Salaries were frozen (we didn’t even get cost of living raises in any event); bonuses were stopped, and we’ve been expected to cram a couple of days work into a regular day, rather than our employers having to recruit more staff.  I am in the private sector and I am in a similar band to the lowest paid workers in the CS but I do pay my own healthcare and pension contributions.  I banged on  nobody’s door.  I did not complain.  Yes, I am starting to feel a little taken for granted and I am completely frazzled when I finally get home from work and 7-8 pm every night, but I am grateful that my employers chose another way to address their (continuing) financial problems rather than make me redundant.  I am grateful to have a job.

            I don’t believe I am the only private sector worker in this position.  So you see you’re not alone.  We were there long before you, and you are only just starting to feel some of the pinch that private sector workers have now been suffering for the last couple of years.

            I did nothing wrong either, but the government seems to think that people like me and my private sector employers should pay heavily for their "financial ineptitude".  So if we have to do it, I think its only fair that everybody has to.  Don’t you? 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dan the man (AG) needs to investigate the costs incurred by Government departments for sending their staff overseas on so called training events when infact they are nothing but jollys with the staff returning with no more skills, knowledge or motivation as before. A waste of public money. Get to it Dan.

  20. Anonymous says:

    From the CIG WEBsite>>>>>Job Openings>>> states in part :

    " With effect from the 27th October 2008, the Head of the Civil Service, under instruction from Cabinet, has declared a moratorium on recruitment across the Civil Service……As a consequence, there are currently reduced opportunities to obtain employment within all public service entities, including statutory authorities and Government owned companies"

    DUUUUUhhhhhhh,

    so why do we still have over 20 HR Directors and support staff  in the portfolios and departmens??????  

    eliminae their jobs first as there is clearly no need for them………  .These functions are best centralised in CS as they used to be ……

    nuff said………………

  21. Anonymous says:

    So no updates from the CSA meeting?  I’m curious how they plan to breach the contracts of approximately 2000 expat government workers…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, they have done it before.  I worked for Government for a short time in theearly ’80s – they gave contracted officers a small raise on one hand and then reduced the vacation days benefit, for an overall significant loss.

  22. Cut hard cut early says:

    We don’t have time to pamper these civil servants anymore – they had their chance to be sensible and Mr. Watler refused to offer any help.  Cut hard, cut now, and hopefully enough will leave to save this country from going broke.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Civil Service Association did make many recommendations.  Government just didn’t take many of them that would give the government several million dollars easily. 

      Also, why punish the workers when it’s the heads that gave the contracts.  How would you like for your employer to all of a sudden tell you –we’re cutting your benefits and pay because we made a stupid decision and overpay you?

      Keep in mind most persons have a mortgage and other bills to pay that are already budgeted for.  
       

      • Nonnie Mouse says:

        In the real world (ie private sector) many people were told by their boss "you have no job tomorrow".  That is what should really be happening in Cayman ie civil service job cuts.  But it is better to have a lower salary than no salary at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      The civil servants should not have to bear the brunt of this economic mess! I am not a civil servant but i am sick of the civil servant bashing on this site. yes there are some corrupt and lazy civil servants but those types exist in the private sector as well, furthermore, this problem is not unique to Cayman.

      If our Premier wants to really fix this mess he will take on board the suggestions of many to place a property tax on certain areas on the island. There are many highly priced properties on seven mile beach that represent tax breaks for the rich and it would still be economically viable for them to pay a minimum tax here instead of the high taxes they pay in their home country.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier Bush-

    Here are just but a few proposals that you should pursue, prior to reducing Civil Servants salaries:

    – centralize the HR and Accounting functions back to the POCS and Treasury respectively; this would no doubt relieve the Governemnt of at least 15-20 personnel;

    – get rid of non Caymanian staff that are not essential (i.e. the HR Managers, PR Personnel, and CFO’s in each Ministry);

    – ensure that Government is ran like a BUSINESS- by getting rid of those employees who just warm the seats on a daily basis;

    – increase fees where it wont hurt the pocket (i.e. passport renewal fees- $40 for a ten year passport is a joke) therefore increase passport fees, waiver fees, driver license fees- but make them valid for multiple years (in excess of 5-10)except the waivers which I appreciate might have external issues beyond our control

    – without delay, impose a MANDATORY head tax for ALL person- including work permit holders resident on the island between the ages of 21 and 60 and make this fee at least CI$300 per person per year. I see potential income of a minimum of CI$10,000,000.00

    – STOP the pillaging of fuel at the government fuel depot. Just last week we were made aware of the possible misappropriation and abuse of this government facility;

    – install toll booths across from Grand Harbour and adjacent to the old Indies Suites hotel- simple ALL vehicles pay CI$0.75- this way only 2 booths are needed to get the cars headed into George Town.

    – legalize the lottery-  as there is no question that it is played DAILY by a great majority of the populace. Just ask the Sunshine State (Florida) what they have been able to do with education since they started the lottery;

    Mac- thse are a few ideas that you and the Government should pursue. I agree that there needs to be some trimming in the Civil Service- however lets not rush to do this across the board. Let PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS do that for you, as many are convinced that by doing so, a lot of fat will be trimmed for the meat.

    Oh, and let former wasters of Government funds, be made to pay back the exhorbitant spending. The one thing that comes to mind is the waste on the 2008 and 2009 Heroes Day celebration.

    I will say that the position of the Government- is one that is making the rest of the Caribbean laugh at us. We are threading down the same path as many of our neighbors- and guess what- like the residents from those countries- we have NO where to run to.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Mon 20:48:

      Some good points. But if HR and Accounting are to be recentralised, care has to be taken that the people and their salaries are not recentralised too as there will be no savings. That’s what happened in Treasury in the first place. When decentralisation took place, the persons in Treasury were supposed to move with the decentralised function (sensibly). This never happened because the then head of Treasury, now Ken’s chief officer, did not want to lose staff because she felt it meant loss of status plus it meant the work could be spread around more and people, including herself, had less to do. Same with Personnel. That dept did go down but it has crept up again apparently.

      Your comments about performance appraisals are good except that in Cayman they dont work. Everyone, including the seat warmers, end up with high marks – that is if appraisals are ever done. I now work in the private sector and have one every single year. In several years in the civil service I never had even one-my boss was terrified of sitting with her staff to do one. And I’ll bet she herself never had one done. So dont count on them for weeding out the "fat".

    • Dred says:

      This is constructive. There is a lot there I would not touch because I don’t think raising our cost of living helps us any. However the cuts are welcomed.

      I would add cuts to Northward Hotel. Cut the AC, TV and the food quality substantially. I would also put them to work to build things that can be sold. I think our Prison Management needs to get creative in finding ways to 1) Make life harder on the prisoners that they don’t like to be in prison 2) Generate money to help pay prison cost. This should generate substantial savings to Cayman.

      I agree with the lottery and Big Mac is too scared of his Church buddies to attack this but if he wants to even think about staying in another term he better rise up and do this. I would also do the casinos because it would create Casino tourism. Have Tourney’s here for Texas Holdem and we will have high rollers here and celebs. Bring more attention to Cayman for other reasons. Casinos can create up to 20 Million in annual revenues.

      I also see the casinos as bringing people here who might consider investing in Cayman.

      I think we should investigate foreign investment for the creation of a deep water electric generation system or possible solar farming.

      What ever happened to the Hospital thing. That actually could help us alot also. That is around 1 billion dollars that could be pumped into our economy.

  24. Richard Wadd says:

     ‘Every day carry bucket to well, one day the bottom will drop-out’.

     

  25. Anonymous says:

    How ironic that governemnt now proposes to give me a pension holiday. At least something will be getting a "holiday." They don’t give my department benefits under the Public Holidays Law.

    Has government considered the fallout on their bond ratings from failure to honor its contracts? Would a foreign company want to invest in Cayman knowing that the CI Government has no problem abrogating its contracts retroactively?

     

  26. whodatis says:

    The civil service is bloated – this is clear for all to see … especially the administrative arm of the civil service.

    Absorbing a pay cut is the least they can do. A lot of them have been enjoying way more than they could elsewhere for years! Sorry folks but this is what happens when one works for an over-staffed, over paid and mismanaged organization.

    Deep down we all knew this was the case in regards to the CI Govt  / Civil Service.

    Anyway – many people in Cayman are tonight wishing that their greatest threat at this moment was one of a pay cut!

    Look around civil service workers – companies are SHUTTING DOWN all around you, meaning tons of people are losing jobs and income entirely!

    Suck it up and be thankful – real talk.

    • Anonymous says:

      If your finger was slammed in a car door, would it make you feel any better at that moment because the guy on the next lot just had his leg run over? No, you feel the pain nonetheless. When you hear about 1,600 murders in other regional countries, does that make the mother whose son was just shot here feel any better? No, whether her son was the 1st murder or the 1,000th, it still hurts.

      The point is, when I will struggle to pay my utilities, buy groceries and pay my mortgage this month because my employer has chosen to violate my constitutional and contractual rights, it is no comfort that others have lost their job, or business has shrunk my situation still hurts.

      • whodatis says:

        I hear you.

        However, none of that negates the fact that your organization has been poorly managed for the past 3 decades.

        This was possible for such a long period because due to the vast sums of money available it basically didnt matter. That bubble was destined to eventually burst when reality came knocking – sort of like the U.S. housing market over the last 10 years.

        Everyone is hurting now.

        Are you suggesting that all other individuals be forced to endure pay cuts, lost jobs, lost benefits, closed businesses, re-financing of mortgages etc – but not civil servants?

        Matter of fact the operative term here is in fact "civil servant"!

        What you seem to be advocating is a status of a "preferred / protected servant".

        We should all be forced to feel a bit of the fire.

      • Anonymous says:

        and you might even have to start driving a slightly smaller blinged up suv…….. oh no ….the inhumanity

  27. Annoyed says:

    ummm hello, cut the premier and MLA’s salaries, why does it have to be government workers, some which are on a pittance anyway, compared to expats, why should they have to suffer? come on, take care of your own as well as expats, it is outrageous, how come McKeeva can go to Miss Universe in Bahamas and then to Canada for the Winter Olympics, the Winter Olympics and then come back and say "oh by the way I am cutting government salaries" it is illegal?????

     
    • Anonymous says:

      They are cutting the MLA salaries if you care to keep up with current events. Your post was just an excuse to bash expats, when truthfully you know the majority have life an awful lot tougher than caymanians already.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeva. The best reason for Cayman to remain a colony. He did’nt even know that he did not have the constitutional authority to cut wages. Too bad the UDP did not have any lawyers to advise them

    • Anonymous says:

      The UDP do not use Lawyers for advise. They use accountants such as the Financial Secretary.

      We all know that advise given to the previous government and the present government are either totally ignored or horrendously wrong.

      Both the PPM and the UDP have Lawyers within their Parties who can advise them. The question is, would such advise be good advise or something else.

      Just look at the UDPs choice for dealing with the legal aid matter and form your opinions from there.

  29. Anonymous says:

    the lazy civil service is over paid..which country can really afford to pay 5000+ civil servants high salaries, health beneifts and pensions forever…make them take a salary cut and pay their own health…what the heck is some one really doing to get paid 10,000 a month this is CRAZYYYY

    • Anonymous says:

      Correction:  There are less than 3,500 Civil Servants, and most are not paid $10,000, rather most make less than $4,000 CI per month. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you! If the Premier would have a sit down with His Excellency and talk about getting rid of those overinflated high earners who contribute very little he would be doing something good! We have all heard the stories and allegations of some of them walking around with their huge egos protecting their little empires and in some instances appearing to protecting their bed-mates who are suspected of corruption. Yes Mr. Premier,  we might all be better off if you manage to get rid of them! Check out how many of them have their mortgages paid off and can brag it! Not many of us out her can say that. Plus, you better realise that not all of them that smile up with you and go on like butter cant melt in their mouth is so nice as they try to pretend. But, alas, some of them are great actors! Trim the fat where it needs to be trimmed Mr. Premier not the little folks.

      • Anonymous says:

        Now add the 2,500 people who work on the government’s dime for statutory authorities and government-owned companies.  It’s close to 6,000.

      • Anonymous says:

        About 45% of civil servants earn $3000 per month or less.

        • Anonymous says:

          And.. $3000 a month is not very much when it comes to living in

          Cayman. By the time a person pays rent or mortgage, all utilities

          and food and heaven help them if they have children.  And if only

          one person of the couple works it is tough going….

           

           

    • Anonymous says:

      The big "Chief Officers" and associated staff are the ones who make the big $10,000 per month salaries! Not the majority of hard working civil servants. The finance law fiasco is what has caused this country to be in the mess it is in and the sooner that is recognised by the government and corrected the better. If the Premier wants to fix this economic mess he should have the Finance law repealed and centralize finance and HR, which will trim the cost of running government by millions of dollars. It would sure get rid of the lazy, overpaid Chief Officers. I cannot think of one who is worth the huge salary they are being paid! Until this is done we will continue down the path of economic ruin. Mr Premier should check to find out how much that failed initiative cost us and he would be shocked! Sorry Mr Premier, you need to understand the mess and fix it, not arbitrarily try to attack civil servants and their livelihood. If they were as bad as they are being painted i don’t think the government would be working right now. Tell you what, keep pressing them and let them strike and then the critics will see their worth.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tue 6:52, I certainly hope you are not a civil servant because your ignorance about trimming the costs of government "by millions of dollars" and getting rid of "lazy overpaid chief officers" is truly horrifying. Apart from anything else, did you not know there were chief officers/permanent secretaries in the civil service long before the"finance law" – like at least 40 years before? And yes, some of them -NOT ALL – were lazy etc etc.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Will someone PLEASE explain to me how "the proposed surplus for the government’s 2009/10 budget had in fact turned into a significant deficit"?!?

    Can anyone in the Glass House even count???

    • Anonymous says:

      It is really quite simple, the Government tried to implement a $94 million tax package, 75% of which either failed or backfired resulting in a $70 million shortfall in revenue. That $70 million included $15 million for Tax and Trust undertakings that was not implemented, $10 million for import duties which they raised without considering the economic impact and it backfired, Business Premises fees which was never implemented, millions less in work permit fees as the increases were implemented late and foreigners are leaving the Island by the hundreds, millions less from the Financial Services Sector as business either contracted, outsourced or left too.

      Those and others was coupled with expenditure saving of some $9 million resulted in the deficit that currently exists.

      The blame lay squarely at the feet of the elected Government for failed policies and lack of understanding of how an economy works. They tried to overtax the private sector and shocked the economy with disasterous effects. Now they turn their attention to the Public Sector with the same plan. Goodnight.

       

  31. Anonymous says:

    In typical Ken Jefferson fashion, he sends out a memo which he has no constitutional authority to issue, proposing to implement measures which are illegal and making calculations which are stupid at best. I’ll sit back and watch this prediction fall apart along with all the others he’s made over the past 5 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      UDP now getting what PPM received – "misfiguration" and "misinformation" on budget predictions and they still not facing the reality.  UDP still blaming PPM for the world recession, but PPM not in power anymore and UDP said they would fix it when they got elected.  I only seeing a bigger mess and a bigger two stepping dance with a "we ga sell this and no we na selling it again cause the PPM raised too much hell about it" than I ever heard imagined from a party that had all the answers before election.  Boy how hard it is when you playing politics!  It’s not hard to see where cuts need to be made. Boatswain Beach, Pedro Castle, and the list of losers could go on, but no, that’s votes lost. The old people used to say that there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. I guess I’ll just sit back and watch the blunders.  Pity Dave Martin isn’t around for Rundown anymore.  What a laugh we’d have this year!

    • Uncivil Servant says:

      ….and of which the Daddy of all Mac Daddys claims he knows nothing about none the less. So, like the person at GIS who was trying to sell the the Admin building without the knowledge of the Government, we anticipate one less Civil Servant being employed in the morning.

  32. Anonymous says:

    If the astronomically highly paid chief officers had ensured that their expenditure was in line with fiscal prudence and also ensured their accountants monitored that expenditure and reported on it, instead of spending on every nice-to-have service and gizmo and gadget possible, the government would not be in such a mess. But no one has ever reigned in their spending and they do not feel accountable to anyone for it. Politicians are also to blame for pandering to the voters and putting in more and more "free" services. They need to stop blaming this law and that law or this regulation or that Constitutional demand etc etc. Laws don’t hire people and spend money; people do. Laws don’t say you have to have  "cadre of policy analyists", "advisors", "strategic planners", "corporate administrators or managers", "senior policy advisors", "protocol officers", "ministry hr consultant" ($120,000+), "public relations manager" plus a whole heap of jobs with the word "senior" in front of them to givethem more money and held down by youngsters in their twenties not long out of college. No, folks, laws don’t call for these positions; people wishing to divest some of their workload while still earning their big salaries do.

  33. Twyla Vargas says:

    WE HAVE TOO MANY MLA,s  doing nothng, We only need On in each district.

    • Nonnie Mouse says:

      The people voted for a constitution increasing the number of MLA’s for no good reason whatsoever.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and did you vote for the revised Constitution?

      If yes then you volunteered to pay more taxes to support the additional politicians the Constitution will allow to be established in the Cayman Islands.

      I agree with you, we need less politicians, not more.

      Now that you have woken up to thefacts, please advise your UDP caucus to advise the Premier that is what you want, revise the Constitution to reduce the number of MLA’s.