Civil Service fears more cuts

| 10/09/2010

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Civil Service Association remains unconvinced that salaries and jobs within the public sector are not at risk. Although both the deputy governor and the premier have said there are no plans for more cuts at present, the CICSA Management Council says it is concerned that the agreement made between the government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office over borrowing will means further cuts in the near future. Over the last few weeks, CICSA said, numerous inquiries about the possibility of staff, pay and other cuts have been made to the council. In the Legislative Assembly yesterday, however, McKeeva Bush stated that government was not considering reducing salaries of public servants.

Answering a question posed by the opposition, the premier’s answer reflected comments made by Donovan Ebanks over the last few weeks that there were no plans that he was aware of to further reduce salaries and/or allowances.

Nevertheless, the CICSA Management Council said that further reviews of the public service along the lines of those carried out earlier this year were expected as per the agreement between the FCO and CIG for further borrowings.

“We have communicated that there are a number of issues regarding the staffing and management of the civil service which we hope will be addressed, regardless of the outcomes of these reviews, but especially before the possibility of any further civil service cuts are entertained,” CICSA said on Friday in a statement. “We look forward to the deputy governor providing a more substantial response in the immediate future to the concerns of the civil service regarding their employment status."

On 1 July a 3.2% cut in salaries, which was a rollback of a previous cost of living allowance, was implemented across the public service board, a cut that has caused hardship to many of those at the bottom of the government pay scale. With government’s revenue collection still down, speculation that the service could be subject to further cuts has been circulating for several weeks.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    How about they cut the pension AND the pay of the fine folks at the NPO.

    seems like a great place to start.  Another Win/Win…… they learn how to do their job, and the re claimed pensions can be used to compensate the workers who had their pension money STOLEN while the NPO watched (or didn’t watch…. whatever) 

    • Anonymous says:

      The Government says no civil service pay cuts "for now"! Get it? "For now"!!! But soon come!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I heard that the Premier and the Deputy Premier get a "clothing" allowance of quite a substanial amount to purchase outfits to wear to high profile functions local and overseas!!!! Anyone know if there is any truth to this????

    • Anonymous says:

      So what.  Don’t you expect them to dress "properly" for such important positions, or do you think they should be in tshirts and jeans and sundresses.

      Let us raise the level of debate nuh.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        I could easily get by without a clothing allowance if I received $12,000 per month in salary, plus $10,000 per month in pension, plus $3,000 per month for my MLA office, and didn’t have to pay any utilities.

        I believe the point is that some politicians are like leeches, willing to suck the life blood from the people without any regard for how they might be suffering. So despite all of the benefits they already receive, they are still looking for more.

        Greed and avarice. Those good Christian folks no longer read the Old Testament (except for the narrow anti-gay verses) so they will ignore the Book of Proverbs and "the six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth".

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      I certainly hope so. You expect them to show up inna dem tree piece suit and ting?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good opening point 8:08. On the one hand we have teachers struggling away with unruly kids in the classroom and on the other firemen sitting around all day waiting for very rare fires and polishing their fire engines just to have something to do or "protocol officers" arranging what?. All are "civil servants" Think also of all (and there are a lot) the civil servants on the Brac with absolutely nothing to do.

    In other words some civil servants have demanding jobs and others are virtually unemployed but getting the same pay.

    • John Henry says:

      Clearly there has to be a feeling of apprehension on the part of all public Servants, as the economic situation continues and ways and means of stabilizing and improving the economy are considered.  Nowithstanding, the making of derogatory statements on such areas of fire service and others who are "Emergency." and "Essential designated services which serve this caymannian public well is a slap in the face.  I dont think Emergency and essential services need to be fully described or is it neccesary?

      There is a need for understanding of how to manage in good times and bad times, how to think outside the box and come up with creative/workable situations.  We are seeing that in many areas, but perhaps we are not thinking of our local human capital on a wider ambit and how the call for cutting of public servants can affect the economy even further, because for example if you reduce and/or cut and/or fire a number of people, you still have to recognize that these people are going to be a bigger charge on teh Government, if they are unemployed and the number (individuals and their families) could conceivably short term and long term; create further strain the resources of the country, with possble illness , calls on Social Service etc .

      Quite frankly there is a need for a close look at the level of skills within the Service "young and old" versus the services the departments that they are employed in , to ensure that there is a marriage of skills and effciencies, to be able to meet a measurable quality standard .

      If an exercise were to be conducted department by department the possible outcome will probably be that  a number of people will be found at a level which requires re-training and/or redeployment to other areas where a particualr skill set is not totally vailable and by having more of the skilled labor can assist in producing a desired/quantifiable level of service and effciency to the public within the same department or in other areas where resources are needed ( recent indications are that the immigration department has key and essential areas of service which cannot be fully met because of scarce resources).  This type of process will flesh out where there is deadweight, where skill sets are minimal, where the level of competence needs to be strengthened and where there is an opportunity for develpment of individuals and a greater efficiency of service.

      As part of  the same process we also have to take a look at the type of permits by industry that we grant and determine whether there are jobs, for example in the Tourism Industry that could be filled by Public Servants who can be retooled to meet the labor demands in that sector and possibly effect a reduction of costs to the Private sector with trained Caymanians( a Partnership between Government and the Private Sector for the training effort)  who will then not be unemployed and will not be a charge on tthe Society as  alluded to when mention wa made of the effects of sacking/reducing civile servants.


      The above is a bit long but hopefully will encourage others to together look at positive ways of dealing wiyh our problems, teh silutions have to be ours and they have to be and come from informed discussions nd not irresponsible chat.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure where u get your information from but civil servents on cayman brac do work yes there are down times but you have that with every job.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a dumb person… What else are the firemen gonna do, go home without pay and wait for calls? At least they polish their engines unlike Police who take their cars to Garstons building to get cleaned on your money u fool you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    One problem in Cayman is that we refer to all public service workers as civil servants.  This colours the debate.  The real fat in Cayman is the bloated and inefficient civil servant in the narrower sense.  This part of the labour force is the real disgrace.  They should have numbers cut by 20% – sackings are better than salary cuts because salary cuts would just lead to the better quality workers moving to the private sector while the dross would remain.

    The perks need to go too.  We can’t afford to promise the pensions and health care offered now because we can’t afford it in the future.  Politicians don’t usually mind what happens in 10-15 years because they need to get to the next election.  But these increasing future liability will cripple Cayman’s economy.

    • I think the real civil servants everybody is upset with, are the TOP CIVIL SERVANTS who are making more than 10 grand a month or is an MLA. The low wage civil servants usually take their orders from the Top and they do the most work

      • Anonymous says:

        How about the ones who have been at the top for 30 years and are triple dipping?  Dont think so guess again. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tell McKeeva and Julianna to give back their perks. They should have to live like ordinary Caymanians who have to suffer financially.  Their drivers/personal security officers make a good salary.  The personal chef, government-paid maid and other perks that they are taking from the coffers are being paid for by the people of the Cayman Islands.  They are supposedly taking a salary cut.  They only have to pay for their food (if that).

    When I read that McCastro is blaming the press for saying that the country is "broke", I had to shake my head in sorrow for my beloved Cayman Islands.  McCastro has been shouting that out ever since he took office.  He must have alzheimers, since he does not remember him talling the world that the Cayman Islands are "broke".  There are a lot of our people who are wishing and hoping that Great Britain could do with the Cayman Islands the same thing they did with Turks & Caicos.  I noticed Michael Misick present at the Cayman Islands Premier inauguration.  If that is a political ally or friend, a takeover by the UK could be more real than we all think.


    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t stop their perks quite yet. McKeeva and Julianna spend so much time traveling that they may no be eligible to run in the next election. Could be the best thing for Cayman in many years.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Civil Servants should be more worried about the country’s current fall into the financial abyss.

    This is not about next month’s pay check.  It is about next year’s pay and the year after that and the year after that and so on and so on.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Virtually every government office job needs a person who can accurately and efficiently operate a computer keyboard.

    A tour through the government offices will show you that there are a significant number of women (most of whom are very nice and sweet people, don’t think that they are awful people) who have 2 to 3 inch fingernails.

    2 to 3 inch fingernails make it impossible to enter data into the computer on an accurate and efficient basis.

    Food preparation persons must wear hairnets. Why cannot we legislate that information workers must have short fingernails so they can type accurately and efficiently? This simple step would greatly improve government’s efficiency.

  8. Anonymous says:

    this is a clever move by the civil service…basically they are forcing the government to make populist statements when they don’t have to…..

    how can gov say they will not cut salaries??? 6 months down the line this country could be broke with no money to pay salaries….what then?….double work permit fee’s again?????

    read the miller shaw report again!

  9. Anonymous says:

    pay cut and staff cut means better living cost!

  10. Anonymous says:

    the Civil Service has nothing to worry about.  Elio said there are no more cuts planned.

    And we can trust Elio…..


  11. Anonymous says:

    The civil service can reduce substantially and painlesslessly if people who leave it -new job, end of contract, retirement etc – are not replaced. It will not reduce as long as 60 year old Permanent Secretaries are allowed to work on collecting pension, pay and allowances and thereby denying the younger generation its rightful chance to step up and fill the post.

    • Anonymous says:

      The president himself is very close to  retirement age so you wont get any support from CICSA for leaving the civil service at official retirement age. In fact he commented recently on the benefits of rehiring civil servants who reach retirement age.

      "Well, he would wouldn’t he?" (Mandy Rice-Davies)

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Time to move these dinosaurs out. They’re still, what, dancing to "Saturday Night Fevour"? It’s over, baby.

      • Anonymous says:

        The song that should be playing is a new version of the seventies hit Please don’t go and be rewritten as Please go

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeh dey come from the wild west shootin wid both guns alligator skin cowboy boots and all

  12. whistling duck says:

    Increase in CUTS = a decrease in MORALE!

    Certain folk in the private sector are always complaining about the Public sector’s performance… at the same time many of them want them to CUT, CUT, CUT.  I just don’t see their logic!  These are the same ones that run to the hospital and complain that the doctors are too few and can’t perform their jobs well.

    Folk, if you want government shrink in size, be prepared for ill-performance!  You can’t have it both ways!

    • Anon says:

      The Civil Service is already an ill-performing organisation. Cuts couldn’t make it worse.

      • whistling duck says:

        It definitely would, sir…

        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out


        • Anonymous says:

          Apparently it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that if people don’t take less pay, they will soon have no pay.  

        • Anonymous says:

          And a few qualified persons = 100 UNQUALIFIED persons.  But you are right in one thing.  If the Current leadership gets to choose who stays and who leaves nothing will get done and it will still cost more.  It dosen’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Cayman way is the fool fool way.

        • Anonymous says:

          Whistling Horse – Instead of lesser pay then how about no pay?  That’s what going to happen if cuts are not made.  You should probably find a rocket scientist and ask as I’m sure they would not agree to your little equation given the specifics of this case.

        • Anonymous says:

          LESSER PERFORMANCE (should)= LESS PAY!!!!!  end of argument!

      • Anonymous says:

        you want to bet on that?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the difference between the public and private sector.

      In the private sector they find ways to be more efficient  and do more with less when necessary.

    • fed up duck says:

      Anyone living and working in Cayman has already been prepared for and used to ill performance.  I would rather pay nothing for nothing then to pay a lot for a little.  The whistling is not coming from your mouth!

    • True… you can’t expect anything good from the Public Service if you are going to penalize them and cut their pay. Maybe the fat cats on top won’t feel anything, but the hardworking mother who makes 2 grand a month, working for government would certainly feel it, having to pay bills, etc… But despite LESS PAY = LESS PERFORMANCE, I still think a smaller government would be beneficial so long there are enough jobs in the private sector that are available. I repeat… SO LONG THERE ARE ENOUGH JOBS AVAILABLE!  It wouldn’t make sense to "shrink" the size of government if there are no jobs for those who are laid-off. The result, would just be an increase in crime, because people like us won’t hire them. We want foreignors that can work for little – not our own who expect much for little!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats pure BS. We are talking about efficiency here. The first step to determining where the fat is would be to actually produce current financial statements. No Gov’t department or Authority should get funding unless and untill they show the ability to keep track of what the money is being used for. No one is accountable, top to bottom. What a mess.

  13. Anonymous says:

    With the rate that  staff are leaving due to conditions and morale in government they will probably actually reduce the size of the civil service this year anyway. Problem is is that those leaving are those that are employable elsewhere, the very people they need to keep.

    • Anonymous says:

      How very true. Many civil servants have retired early though disgust at the political interference.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fri 18:14.Substantiate that claim. How many? Who? It doesn’t fit with what we in the civil service know so I suspect it’s just an anti-UDP comment.

        • Anonymous says:

          What is needed is two fold

          First don’t cut the civil servants salaries and then waste the money. Times are hard we cannot afford some of the things the government is doing. We must have significantly lower budget that we have.

          Second don’t cut salaries, cut the size of the Civil Service. We need to work on privitizing portions of Government.

          By the way there are portions of the Civil Service that operate in different manners. Some pay for parts of their health insurrance. Also the health insurrance that the Civil Servants are taking can only be used at the Government Hospital unless recommended elsewhere. Some I believe would prefer to pay for insurrance if they would be allowed to get a private doctor.



        • Anonymous says:

          Anonnymous 19:30 we do know that we have three former high ranking government officers who were released in an inproper manner and hence the Cayman Islands has to continue to pay their salaries. I guess you could attempt to figure out how to turn this against the PPM as well?

          we also have some that have retired but are still employed because there is no one ready to take their place. Seems like Cayman is also suffering from the lack of forward thinking in this regard. Government is handled diffrently in this manner. The private sector go out and hire who they want Government looks toward upward mobility.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fair enough up to a point, Sun 8:54. The "release" of the three civil servants is indeed disgraceful and is UDP instigated and you are entitled to mention it. But the PPM got rid of Tim Hubbell (from Permanent Secretary to obscurity), Mike Adam, Nyda Flatley, Colford Scott, so both sides are guilty. I’m not for either political party. My original post was taking issue with the idea that lots of "rank and file" civil servants were leaving because of political interference. They’re not – and who could blame them in these difficult times?

            • Anonymous says:

              Anonymus 15:31 not thinking about the quality of any of these former staff members but thinking only that those three are making a lot of money for sitting on their behinds compliments of the UDP not doing things right.

              That brings back memories of the status grant situation.


            • Anonymous says:

              I thought no one remembered all those people that lost their jobs when that crowd of Poor People Misery (PPM)people did when they were in power.

              All you ppm people that writes on this blog you all need to get a life and try to work with the government, and stop tearing CAYMAN DOWN.

              I wonder if the shoe was on the other foot, as far as the so called perks go, for the PRIEMIER AND DEPUTY goes if there would be all of this crap said. i say all you ppm extension cordS get a life. 

              You all better mind GOD.

              We should be greatful and GET ON YOUR KNEES AND thank GOD for these beautiful Islands. I pray and thank him ever day, for no hurricanes, no earth quakes, no floods, no fires, and there you all are crying down the country and the government, because of the POOR PEOPLE MISERY GRP. PLEASE STOP ALL THE HATE..




              • Anonymous says:

                Anonymous 12:09 I am assuming your response is to my post.

                Lets get this straight. I am not PPM. I am not UDP. I am CAYMANIAN.

                Whichever political team goes into the house and does a good job I will support.

                Both parties have messed up. However in my post I simply pointed out that the last time the UDP party was in they did not think it through and gave out the status grants. They are back in now and still have not learned they kicked out three long serving ladies from Government without giving thought and now the country has to pay for it.

                Am I spreading hate by pointing this out. I thought that this was a country of free speech or just not against what your party does?

          • Anonymous says:

            I suggest we release the go gettin staff of the National Pensions Whatever.

            We can continue to pay them, but could generate revenue by leasing out their office space. 

    • Anonymouse says:

      It those leaving are employable elsewhere then that should not reduce the staffing by much. Cuts may still be needed.

    • I don’t agree with you!  The people who usually stick to the job and are not pressured to leave because of cuts, are the real workers with backbone!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right! Many good and hard working civil servants have left and others are either taking early retirement or seeking other jobs due to poor working conditions and low morale. I know of some very good people who were overworked and unappreciated and it had nothing to do with politics but in most instances was a direct result of the attitudes of their heads of departments and the bad treatment dished out to them. What government needs to do is look at the top and not the middle managers and those below them who are all swamped with work and doing their best in bad situations. They need to check and see how many of those at the very top top sit around doing little to nothing to pull in the big bucks. Some of them will not even answer emails or return calls!