CS fat cats thin on ground

| 10/12/2010

(CNS): Contrary to some perceptions in the private sector, this year’s human resources report on the civil service has revealed that very few public servants are getting fat on the public purse. Almost a quarter of the country’s civil servants earn less than $30,000 per annum and over 70% earn less than $50,000. Only 86 workers on the public payroll earn $100,000 and over, and only two earn over $200,000. The report reveals, however, that despite the continuing recruitment cuts and government efforts to reduce the headcount, the number of public servants did not fall significantly over the 2009/10 financial year. On 30 June 2010 there were 3,687 civil servants, only 69 less than the 3,756 in June 2009.

There are a further ,2194 people working in statutory authorities and government companies that are also paid from the public purse, leading to a total of 5,881 people dependent on government for a living.

The report was laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning by Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, who admitted that the decline in numbers was not happening as quickly as he had hoped.

“We have to drive down, more aggressively, the size of the overall organisation,” Ebanks told MLAs as he presented the report, adding that government was committed to cutting the cost of the public sector. He did, however, point out that calls to cut the top earnings as a way of reducing the cost of the civil service would achieve little impact, given how few were revealed to be in those top earning grades. Most civil servants, he noted, were in the lower earning brackets.

Ebanks also touched on the sensitive issue of those in the service that were over sixty years old and still in post. The deputy governor said that around 5% of public servants were at retirement age, and as difficult as it was for those who believed they were still healthy and experienced enough to carry on working to step down, it was the only way that young people would have the opportunity to start their careers.

“It’s a sensitive issue for those who want to carry on, but the flip side is the need to give young people a start,” he said, adding that some people had already had some 40 years “in the trough” and needed to give others a chance. The report also reveals that there is one employee over the age of 80 still working and 181 people are aged between 60 and 80 years old. The vast majority of civil service employees are aged between 30 and 55 years.

More than 72% of civil servants and some 74% of those working in other government entities are Caymanian, according to the report, with the continuing increase of Caymanians in the public sector over the last ten years. There are only five departments in core government where more than half of the work force is not Caymanian, whereas seven departments employ 100% Caymanian staff and more than half of the 57 departments have an 80% or more Caymanian workforce.

While men still dominate the senior positions in the public sector, 53% of the overall workforce is female but women account for the vast majority of low paying positions.

Although Caymanians account for the greater percentage of employees, the service employs workers from some 37 other nations. Jamaicans account for the largest percentage of non-Caymanian workers at 12.6%, and alongside the governor there are 168 British civil servants, accounting for 4.6% of the working population. Although workers from the wider Caribbean make up the greater percentage of foreign civil servants, the public sector employs people from as far afield as Denmark and Zambia. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    40 years in the trough 

  2. Anonymous says:

    It would be one less if they would finally retire Gomez instead of allowing him to draw two salaries when he should havegone from july

  3. A Concerned Young Caymanian Father says:

    If "only 86 workers make CI$100,000 or more" per year, you’re talking what…8.6 Mil PLUS per year for just those workers? (Head nah good, right ya now!) $100K per year is $8,333 per month. So many are being put out of work and so many are out of work and trying desperately to gain employment, yet these…….."fat cats" sit back and enjoy the big life!

    No wonder this island is in such a bad state financially. You have to have find about 25 Mil per year for wasted salaries! Why don’t the fat cats that are making these ridiculous sums of cash for doing little or nothing take at least a 25% pay cut and spread the money around by employing more Caymanians and trying to help out the needy?!

    But, bear in mind, you won’t be taking any of that with you when you depart this life!

    • TD says:

      We should appreciate the importance of retaining talent in the workforce and paying thier salsries their talents demand. One can not always assume one does not desreve 100K salary because others do not.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How about placing these Caymanians in the posts currently held by contratced workers? For eg the ever-so popular Jamaicans who make up over 12% (mind you that’s excluding those with status) on contracts and have benefited now it may be time to go…….spare me the coments about Caymanians might not want the jobs, as skills of bankers should be easy to transfer to administrative functions in many departments.

    Bet once again the CS will not set the example, when it comes to assisting native Caymanians!

    • Town Cryer says:

      Einstein said , "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former." SHEESH!!!

      Can you just take an untrained Caymanian and give him the job of a doctor,teacher, ccountant, lawyer etc…………NO, if you do that then where would this country be. What these untrained Caymanians need to do is to go back to school and try and make something of themselves so they can take those jobs when the contracts come back up for renewal. Instead of the entitlement behaviour that these kids exude with the wanton waste of of Education being given to them here uin thepublic schools. In this economy nobody owes anybody anything. Caymanians on a whole need to start taking advantage of the Educational systems given to them instead of being the abject failures that are coming out of the high school.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ’40 years at the trough and time to give others a chance’!!!!!!….hahaha.

    unbeleivable…well i’m glad the deputy governonr said it….

    • Anonymous says:

      Donnie’s "trough" remark was very unfortunate -as is his way, he was just trying to be "folksy" and relaxed but it misfired.

      • Anonymous says:

         like the king calling those young women darlin and sweetheart?

      • Anonymous says:

        it might have been unfortunate but the sad thing is, it is 100% accurate!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Almost a quarter of the country’s civil servants earn less than $30,000 per annum

    That’s still works out to about $1,000 an hour

    • Town Cryer says:

      Another one who cant count…….30,000per yr/52= $576.92 per week. That’s a $115.40 per day, which works out to $14.44/hr. Tell me you finished high school.??…..you probably went to JGHS didnt you. Another one who should have been held back because thaey cant do basic Math.

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe the "$1000 per hour" bit was a joke. Meaning those CS’s don’t actually work many hours. Even though they may be "at work". Get it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Town Cryer: I think he was being sarcastic. Think about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I rarely defend a poster who has severe issues with grammar, but I don’t think the person was referring to an individual’s hourly wage, but rather the aggregate hourly wage bill for those civil servants earning under $30,000 per annum. Using your math to arrive at roughly $14.50/hr per individual, and approximately 25% of the 3600 civil servants employed by gov’t (900), we’d arrive at about $13,000/hr spent by gov’t for those employees. That, of course, is a high estimate since not every employee in that category is making $30,000 a year, but perhaps the error by the original poster was in failing to define it as an aggregate hourly pay, rather than an individual one? But then, if that were the case, I suppose you could lambast them for falling short by a magnitude of 13. Even so, I’d say relax.

  7. John Evans says:

    Let’s put these figures in perspective.

    "Almost a quarter of the country’s civil servants earn less than $30,000 per annum and over 70% earn less than $50,000."

    First of all it isn’t exactly clear from this how many people earn between $30,000 and $50,000. Does the 70% figure include people earning under $30,000 or is it the total for the $30,000 – $50,000 band?

    Whatever, the figures show that more than half of public employees in the Cayman Islands earn between $30,000 – $50,000.

    In the UK an Executive Officer (EO), which is regarded as middle management level, starts off at around US$30,000 and only a limited number of senior appointees can expect to make the maximum salary of about $53,000. Salaries for similar grades in local government tend to be, depending on the area, slightly lower.

    Based on Mr Ebanks figure that means that over half the public employees in the Cayman Islands enjoy a tax-free (remember that over here we get hit hard by income tax) salary equivalent to middle-management in the UK civil service.

    In my civil service days (and it hasn’t changed much) EOs made up about 25% of the civil service and were far outnumbered by lower grades on proportionally lower pay scales. Where I last worked one EO still supervises five to six members of staff, in other departments the ratio is up to 1-10. Only in a few departments, where there are specific responsibilities attached to the work, will you find a situation where more than half the staff are middle management.

    Not getting fat on the public purse? Maybe not, but based on the salaries being paid that’s an awful lot of the proverbial chiefs and very few indians.

    • incognito says:

      I actually want to agree with you on this, but I have one question. What is the cost of living where you are from?(obviously England). I understand that a chunk of salary goes back to the government, but every day living in England I expect is cheaper?  Correct me if I’m wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      "Let’s put these figures in perspective.

      "Almost a quarter of the country’s civil servants earn less than $30,000 per annum and over 70% earn less than $50,000."

      First of all it isn’t exactly clear from this how many people earn between $30,000 and $50,000. Does the 70% figure include people earning under $30,000 or is it the total for the $30,000 – $50,000 band?

      Whatever, the figures show that more than half of public employees in the Cayman Islands earn between $30,000 – $50,000."

      John you appear to be mathematically-challenged.

      1. Obviously, the 70% must include those earning under $30,000 since they too earn less than $70,000.

      2.  If 25% earn under $30,000 and 70% earn less than 50,000 then doesn’t it follow that 45% (not more than 50%) earn between $30,000 and $50,000?  

      • John Evans says:

        Written by one of those in the $30-$50K salary band?

        Can anyone explain to me just what these comments mean?

        1. Obviously, the 70% must include those earning under $30,000 since they too earn less than $70,000.

        2.  If 25% earn under $30,000 and 70% earn less than 50,000 then doesn’t it follow that 45% (not more than 50%) earn between $30,000 and $50,000?  

        I apologise if my original comments were not clear but –

        1. No, that’s blatantly not obvious from Mr Ebanks figures and where did the $70,000 figure come from?

        2. In which case 30% of public servants earn more than $50,000 and that’s nothing to boast about.

        Right now I stand by the comment that more than 50% are earners in the $30-50K bracket until Mr Ebanks supplies information to the contrary, because the alternative makes no sense.

        In fact it looks to me from the data he supplied to the LA that fully 70% of public employees are in the $30-50K band with another 25% on lower pay scales leaving just 5% in the highest earning brackets. Again, I am happy to stand corrected on this if it isn’t right. 

        Whatever, the figures still shows that many public servants in Cayman are being paid a heck of lot more (without income tax, council tax or nasty little things like VAT to worry about) than their UK counterparts for comparatively far less responsibility.

        Don’t try to shoot the messenger just ’cause you don’t like the message.


        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, we don’t have direct taxes but we have indirect taxes.  $1000 a month doesn’t pay much.  It doesn’t even cover the basic neccessities.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, John, I don’t work in the public sector and definitely earn a lot more than $50,000. I am not shooting anyone. Just helping you reason it out.

          The $70,000 was a mistype for $50,000.

          70% of civil servants could not possibly be in the $30,000-$50,000 band and that does not follow from what was said. No need to wait on the Deputy Governor – see page 14 at this link:


          It transpires that the actual statistics are that 49% of civil servants earn between $30,000 and $50,000, while 23% earn less than $30,000. That leaves 28% earning more than $50,000.   


          • TD says:

            This report provides the real facts and thank you. Everyone should carefully review the real facts by reading the report. There is no need to spoon feed the non-believers, they have alreday made up their minds and those who want to know the facts can read for themselves. Thank you for the report. TD

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Evans well laid out response but there are a few matters

      First I am confused how you did not interpret the 70% and 25%.

      Second was your ending comment about chiefs and indians. 2% of the CS make over $100,000 and 70% makes below $50,000. Perhaps you needed a clearer definition of chiefs and indians????

      Third is what a significant amount of the posters are not realizing. These officers that work in the CS are working on careers. This is not a volunteer organization. People are supposed to be paid according to qualifications and the job they do. It is a well known fact and I am glad that the Deputy Governor brought this out that salaries in the CS are not that high. If you were to see numbers for the private sector they would be quite a bit higher and I would go as far as to say that Caymanians would not have that high a salary. I noticed that someone took a shot at the CS with the comment about how many hours they work. The majority of CS staff are hard working individuals but perhaps you cross a Public Works project and see a lot standing around then you make your opinion.

      With regards to the CS there are three jobs that need to be carried out.

      First it needs to be downsized not by cutting salaries but by privatising portions of the CS. Everone knows this and yet the Government has not make any public moves to this regard.

      Second the CS staff needs to be qualified. Added training so that each and everyone is deserving of their salaries is a must.

      Third is the great downfall in Cayman and especially the CS. Customer Service needs to show a significant improvement.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know I believe that you are trying to sell this idea through this tax free idea. However while we dont pay taxs directly we pay it back in cost of living either way. So comparing us to England does not work well.

  8. Thinking before speaking... says:

    Interesting read but … the ending of the article seems unfinished….

    CNS Note: Yes it was. Apologies for that it was a cutting and pasting issue.Thanks for spotting it.