Domestics cited as stumbling block to minimum wage

| 26/05/2011

(CNS): The minister for labour has pointed to the country’s 600 or more domestic workers as the main stumbling block to Cayman having a minimum wage. Rolstin Anglin said Wednesday that he still has no plans to introduce a set basic pay but a group would be examining the possibility. There were a number of considerations with the issue, he said, that were not easy to address. The minister indicated that he didn’t want to goto the county’s parliament and have to exempt one of the biggest categories of workers from the get-go. The largest group of employers wasn’t business, he added, but regular people who employ domestics, most of whom earn less than $5 per hour, which has been suggested as a possible starting point.

At a Chamber of Commerce “Be Informed” presentation by Anglin’s ministry staff about planned changes in the areas of labour, training and pensions, the issue of the minimum wage was raised by Jim O’Neill, the president of the Chamber.

Anglin said that a motion for minimum wage was before the Legislative Assembly suggesting $5 (brought by Ezzard Miller, MLA North Side) but he said his ministry was not ready to mandate a basic rate of pay. Describing himself as a fiscal conservative on a number of occasions, Anglin has said he is not opposed to the principle but has proved reluctant to move forward on the issue which many people believe would help to address work-place exploitation.

Although no official commission or committee has been established, he said the ministry would be forming a group to explore the question and look at what is happening in the local economy and the labour market. The results of that, he said, would influence any further moves towards establishing the minimum wage.

“It’s quite easy to aspire to a minimum wage,” Anglin told the audience, adding that he didn’t think that many people disagreed with the idea that there should be a minimum amount of money that every person should make. “But it has to take into consideration the economy, the workforce and your current economic climate,” he said.

With more than 600 people employed by individual employers as nannies, gardeners, domestic helpers and caregivers, he said most of them do not earn $5 and that government would have to figure out what to do with this category of workers before it could consider the move. He also said there were problems for waiting staff in restaurants and bars and the questioned whether employee tips should be part of a basic wage rate.

Anglin said he believed it was a complex issue and not one that could be so easily sorted with the introduction of a low flat arbitrary rate that has been suggested.

Ezzard Miller, the LA’s only independent member, has tried to introduce a basic wage on several occasions via amendments to various legislation being steered through the House but has failed to gain any traction with government. During the next parliamentary meeting Miller has again filed a private members motion with the hope of at least opening the debate properly on the floor of the LA and encouraging support from the community, despite government reluctance.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    1. We can't even ensure that someone who takes out a work permit for an employee has actually full time work for that employee.

    2. We don't seem to be in control to ensure that people actually leave the Island after their work permit has expired – hell, some people actually manage to set up a business and run it successfully for years, without having the permits for the employees.

    3. We look at the ads placed in the paper by some hotels that offer a wage of USD 4/hour plus gratuity (which we all know isn't going to always flow down to the lowest positions).

    4. There are plenty of big companies on Island who do not compensate their employees per law when it comes to work on Public Holiday, maternity leave, sick leave, overtime etc etc. – never mind what is going on with some of those small mom and pap shows.

    5. We can't even ensure that employers contribut to pension and health insurance per current legislation.

    How on earth are we going to enforce a minium wage?????

  2. Anonymous says:

    And the poor continues to be exploited!   Sad!

    • Libertarian says:

      Exploited?  Yes

      Not because there is no laws to protect them.

      But because there is the lack of opportunies in the field towards getting other employment and doing their own thing to make the dollar.

      Still don't need a Minimum Wage Law.

    • common sense says:

      You must not have a helper!!!!  my Family helper makes $700/month but gets plenty benefits. You need to educate yoursef before talking

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lack of a minimum wage law is one of the many things that are typical in a third world country.  Uneducated leadership,  unacountable government spending, high crime, ridiculously incompetent but high salaried government workers, projects that never seem to get finished but suck up large amounts of money, and kids with very little hope of getting anything close to a decent education are a few of the rest.


    And of course the main ingrediant: Citizenship who are not self empowered enough to do a damn thing about it.

    • Libertarian says:

      Third world countries that are poor, are made that way for a number of reasons. A minimum wage would make little difference and perhaps make matters worse. You will notice in third world countries, the poor have too much financial restrictions, preventing them from making a decent livelihood. Most of these restrictions are not coming from employers, but government regulations. 

  4. Shock and Awe says:

    The minimum wage is a no-brainer. Of course there should be a wage which allows people -Citizens here- to live beyond bare sustenance!  It's a human right!  We hear the same "agonizing" over this issue from government officials time after time not because they are looking into all "aspects", or have to first  "form committees" to "look into it" and then "make recommendations".  But because their arms are being twisted. It is a cowardly approach and shameful for a so-called civilized society. I'd like to see any one of them or the people they represent try living on less than $5 an hour.  They'd starve. So for once cut the rhetoric and let's be real about this issue. They are all aware ex-pats – many of whom are taken advantage of with poverty level wages don't vote. Business owners do.

  5. Libertarian says:

    The Minimum Wage Law, is a law that enforces the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour to employers. Note that Libertarians are against the Minimum Wage Law for the number one reason:- 

    This law will cause our government, the Cayman Islands / UK governement to have more financial control over people's private and business affairs. Try to understand the role of government.

    The government is not suppose to be telling you how you should spend your money! 

    The government is not your individual conscience!

    The government is to be only engaged in the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud! 

    AND the market or the private sector should be left free without any interference or regulation made by government against its production! 

    Just like the separation of church and state, the government should always be separated from the economy, because productivity is that which flowers from the free exercise of one's rational thinking and the desire to live and aspire! No politician can think and create for you, therefore what you produce must be yours and never taken away without your consent!

    A MINIMUM WAGE WILL PAVE THE WAY FOR A COMPLETE GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER and DIRECT TAXATION!

    Recommendation:  We don't need a minimum wage!  What we need is more jobs created, so that unskilled workers will have the opportunity to move from one low-paying job to a next one that pays better. If these people don't like what they get from a job, they should always have alot of opportunities to simply work elsewhere.  But an arbitrary minimum wage law for all, will end up forcing employers to downsize, and many unskilled people will be left out in the cold.

    PLEASE, LET US FOCUS ON CREATING JOBS! 

    SAY "NO" TO THE MINIMUM WAGE LAW!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just another example of Caymanians taking advantage of expats. When will this injustice stop?

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment! You think expats don't employ helpers or nannys or gardeners etc? Do you really think all expats treat their employees fair? If so, than you obviously don't have enough sense to add some valuable comments to this blog. Please exit!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The only way to view this is that we (Caymanians) want to receive a minimum wage but not to pay it.  This self interest is the same reason we cling to employer based premits instead of leveling the playing field with industry restricted permits.  The latter would remove the greatly valued benefit of indentured servitude with expatriate workers.   

  8. JJTA says:

    The use and abuse of cheap labour from expatriates coming from a situation of somewhat dire circumstances has and will continue to cause a slew of problems which have not even been addressed. Although the other side of the fence here constantly speaks about xenophobia and the like it is from the truth of the matter that a majority of the vitriol in our collective society stems, with ignorance abundant on both sides of the fence. When folks live here packed into rooms like sardines because their economic situation requires it who suffers? When folks deplete the natural/wild foods here to subside on because of their situation who suffers? When either a Caymanian or an expatriate turns to a criminal lifestyle for whatever reason who suffers? When a business owner takes advantage of this cheap and constantly intimidated labour in an abusive manner only to unjustly and unsustainably increase their own bottom line (whether Caymanian or not) who suffers? When someone is rolled over who gains?  The overuse of and abuse of people from places other than Cayman created and creates a situation which is bound from the beginning to create strife within the community at large. In this scenario the Caymanian will say that these people are reducing the quality of life because what the foreignor earns and the conditions forced upon them means that not only does the foreignor suffer those incongruous conditions of employment, but as a result so will the Caymanian because the standard of what will be accepted has been lowered and even or though a Caymanian will not (in many situations which is the common conception) accept a similar situation and cannot be booted off of the island in the dead of night, it thus severly affects the hope for and quality of livelihood which a Caymanian by birthright deserves (if and only if they are worth their salt as an employee). Everyone know the perpetual disingenuity of jobs advertized in the paper when it is only a fake formality for the renewal of a work permit. On the converse side the low earning expatriate worker will become more insular within his own transplanted community. They will take on a mentality of not giving a rat's hairy little bottom about this country and will do whatever they can to take advantage of it with the perceived justification that Cayman deserves it. I personally was approached by a Phillipino couple who were experiencing what amounts to extortion by both the Phillipino gangsters who facilitated their move to Cayman along with the Caymanians said gangster were in cahoots with both taking a cut of said extortion for being here. I spoke with a few people on their behalf and the consensus was that they had the choice of either exposing this systematic abuse at the expense of their jobs here and with the threat of repurcussions back at home (quite obviously very weighty) with the hopes of making it better for the ones who would follow or to simply lay down andtake it. That couple of very nice people disappeared of the face of the Caymanian map within a few days, their phone was shut off and to this day I do not know what happened to them. For every Caymanian who speaks of the foreignors screwing everything up I say this; it is our own people and their cohorts who are to blame for this injust system and unless that fact is identified there is no hope. To the expatriate I say this; you cannot expect to gain any form of real justice for your people unless you are willing to sacrifice the stability of your own employment for the greater good and it should come as no surprise that there are feelings of contempt which are evoked from all of this. This entire situation has been set up to be this way. The sociological disturbances which result are a natural consequence of the evils which abound due to unmitigated greed and a debilatory mentality. This has not and will not change with a switching over from a majority of Jamaican expatriates to a majority of Phillipino (or whoever else) because the Jamaican became viewed as "uppity" or has criminal tendencies. In the bible it says that when you take into slavery the very same shall befall you and that is what Cayman in it's entirety is experiencing on many different levels, not just this topic. That Cayman needs a minimum wage is obvious to everyone unless they are a perpetraitor, but that in itself will not fix this problem. The levels of corruption and sociological cannibalism within our government and general public will not change much with the introduction of a minimum wage, although it is a step in the right direction. The root of the problem is the overwhelming greed and the underhanded actions of those who are guided by it. It is unfortunate that a man who has championed the rights of expatriate workers (and it should be all workers in Cayman) such as Mr. Barlow (this is said with all due respect sir) alienates all Caymanians by trying to disavow Caymanians as a people and their subsequent birthright by the literature written by his hand. It is unfortunate when a Caymanian out of ignorance blames the foreignor for all of our woes when the one to blame is more often than not a fellow countryman/woman. That people here have taken the historical treatment of Caymanians in days gone by when they had to go to Jamaica to work and the injustices and prejudices suffered therein those times was not taken, when the tables turned, as an oppurtunity to do a better job of it because what goes around comes around and that will certainly continue to be so. That being said there a lot of Jamaicans (and all other categories of expatriates) who treat Cayman and Caymanians with so much derision that they are to blame completely and use this place despicabely and make it bad for those who are not so. There are many with good relationships here who have overcome this destructive cycle but by no means does it seem to be in the majority of situations. Their is no shortage of prejudice in Cayman against Caymanians and to make everyone suffer is wrong and destructive. It is unfortunate when an expatriate takes on a predatory role within this society because of a complete lack of moral compass strengthened by a feeling of justification due to inequality and abuse. It is unfortunate that the largest hotel here is staffed for the most part with non Caymanians when all the hollow lies purported it to be otherwise in the beginning days of said fiasco and that the very same ruse is the general modus operendi still in use today. It is unfortunate that the tourism industry here has such an overwhelming lack of Caymanian representation and it has and will do nothing to strengthen the "tourism product". Cayman is a land of a finite pie of natural resources and pillars of industry and that the pie is being divided so unequally and greedily to the point that each slice for the most part is coming to the point where it barely stemsstarvation is a consequence which could and should have been avoided. Fronters, corrupt politicians and people, Caymanians in a state of ignorance and expatriates with no good intentions for this country have and are destroying this place when it need not be so. It is all coming to a head despite the efforts of those guilty of this malarky (and who are padding their nests to deal with the unavoidable fallout) and everyone needs to understand that if you do not treat people the way you wish to be treated yourself then the situation at hand is inevitable and the consequences which follow the various and profligate abuses of power and greed induced larceny, theft, outright yet legally protected treason, despicable socialogical cannibalism, loss of community peace and on and on will continue into perpetuity and will become more and more excacerbated as the days go on. It is obvious that Cayman has not been developed for Cayman as a whole and that those who are predators of their own in conjunction with unscrupulous expatriates (some but most certainly not all) have and will continue to destroy this country unless they are dealt with a blow on the same level of force with which their evil has been perpetraited. The old Roman rule of war which says to divide and conquer is and has been very successfully utilized here and it is to the eternal detriment of the country not to identify the perpetraitors as what they are and remove them from places of influence or the ability to create further destruction and unless this is looked at with an open eye and the ugly truth of the matter is acknowledged these consequences will be a foregone conclusion.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must have plenty spare time on your hands…you just about wrote a novel.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS – can't you but a size limit to comments? The length of this comment is quite excessive, if someone has that much to say, they should post under the Viewpoint section!

      CNS: We have talked about that, however we do get some longish comments that are interesting but don't work well as stand-alone commentaries and/or should be read in context, or are interesting but not good enough to be a viewpoint. If they are long and rambling, as this one is, it depends, to be honest, on how much time or patience I have to read it. For the readers, though, you can always just scroll past.

      (I might revisit this if we start to get too many very long comments.)

    • Libertarian says:

      In the business world, I find 2 groups of people:

      #1 – Those who have what Dr. Stephen Covey would refer to as an "Abundance Mentality" the view that there is plenty out there for everybody. These people THINK BIG; and,

      #2 –  Those people who have a "Scarcity Mentality," who find it hard to accept reality, share recognition, power, profit, and to be happy for another person's success. These people can't see a Win/Win solution. It is either a They Win / You lose, or no deal. These people think within a SMALL BOX.

      Caymanians like other islanders and small communities around the world, have the danger of becoming limited in their thinking. The more I read blogs from those who claim that they are locals, is the more I am seeing in their blogs, the fear of expats taking over Cayman Islands. And some people express that the reason for their concerns and fears, is a valid one, because of the limited amount of space and opportunities one would have living on a small island rock. Even more so, the treatment Caymanians by non-Caymanian employers, and the fact that over 2000+ Caymanians are without jobs to make ends meet.

      These are factors that could easily turn a person from thinking big to thinking small on an island bombarded by immigration policies and conservationist teachings. But to those Caymanians, to those locals, my own people, you would do well to look beyond prison cell. The situation here is not as scarce as it seems. Take off your distorted shades and look on with me for a moment:

      #1 – See yourself – not your situation!  To aspire and climb the ladder of success in life, depends on no one else, but you!  The "God" that is in you, is greater than any force in the world!  Your attitude determines your altitude – how highyou jump by believing in your self. 

      #2 – Get rid of the attachment or identification with "Home Life." What you call home and being comfortable in your crab shell is subject to change, and the person who becomes attached to family and what they have here, are usually the ones who experience the pain and suffering of dissatisfaction when change comes to them – negative or positive. I find that people who don't like change, harbor protectionist views, and can never be happy because they are always protecting something and trying to keep something in place. But this is not being realistic!  No power or government on earth can stop change from happening! "Home Life" on planet earth does not last forever. To those locals, I say, you need to wake up and accept reality.  It is a turning point in Cayman history that everything here is beginning to vanish or dramatically change. We may be able to make a slight difference, but alot of things we have no control of.  Accept this as reality, and learn to move on and move about in order to survive. Stop looking at people, stop comparing, and stop bashing expats who get ahead because of their self-potential. Instead learn from them!  Alot of people in the world, have to live, make changes, migrate, and think big to survive. Population will increase  just like crime. There is no way you can control that and try to be happy at the same time. So remove this socalled "Home Life" attachment and focus on developing "You." At the end of the day, how can you help your own if you have not in the meantime, helped yourself.

      #3 – Associate with people who see Win/Win in the Cayman Islands. I am sorry, but alot of socalled conservative people (not all), are narrow minded people. Avoid people who have a Scarcity Mentality and think that there is not enough room and space on this island. Remove yourself from people who are bias against nationalities. If you follow them, you will get no where in life. When you are around people who think big, 9 out of 10 times, you achieve the self-fulfilled prophecy of success. Read books like "In Search of Identity," like "Chariots of Fire," or like "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

      #4 –  Educate yourself and always be informed as to what is going on OUTSIDE of Cayman. If you don't have money for societal's University or College, always remember that people who are humble and willing to experience life to the fullest, who ASK QUESTIONS and do their own investigations, end up graduating from the University of Life!  Yes, always educate yourself – never stop learning and say you have it all. And always THINK BIG with a positive attitude – it works wonders!

      #5 –  Be productive, stop fooling yourself that you need to do this or that before starting a business or company. You hear people complain so much about expats not hiring Caymanians. Then make a difference and start your own company and hire Caymanians! Have a business plan and take a risk. It is better to take a risk than remain stagnant all the days of your life as a protectionist and working for someone else! Yes, government has to do their part on making it easier for Caymanians to start and maintain their own businesses. And we should press them more about lowering fees and trade & business licenses. But many people I know play it smart and think out of the box. They have a business here and have parts of their business operating some place else other than Cayman their home. You may say they are responsible for outsourcing and the unemployment of low skilled Caymanians. But Cayman has to move from this mentality of being a chicken! We need to travel, to fly, to spread our wings like an eagle and experience the world. Like they say, "put your eggs in morethan one basket."  

      Yes, Cayman is small and has expats like a bus full of tourist, and it looks like there is no room on the bus for locals to get from point A to point B, but LOOKS are deceiving. Cayman is also LARGE and OPEN place. We have alot of things here to be thankful about. THERE ARE ALOT OF OPPOTUNITIES IN CAYMAN AND ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE. Usually, those who are stuck on what Expats are doing to Caymanians, or what Caymanians are doing to them, are small, narrow minded people!  Don't listen to them when they start talking themselves into victim or else you may become one too. You will get no where in life and you will expect the government to do everything for you. Know that God has given you a mind of reason, commonsense, and creativity to make a world of a difference. Believe in Your Self and use your god-given endowments of self-awareness, creativity, vision, proactivity, will-power, and conscience.

  9. Anonymous says:

    ya, I heard that 'group examining the possibilities' is a real bunch of go getters. Probably working late into the night and even weekends examining the possibilities right now. God bless em!

  10. The Lone Haranguer says:

    One more thing I hate to go on but if  I am straving in Jamaica or in the Philipines and I am trying to better myself in a foreign country where I will be living in a better place than the hellhole I used to live in and I can send a few pesos home to my straving children, who the hell are you to decide to price me out of the market by insisting my employer pay me more money than he wants to.

    Your minimum standard of living may not be mine, but let me make that decision.

    You know the goverment needs to stay out of peoples business and the vast majority of the people will be better of.

     

  11. The Lone Haranguer says:

    Cayman became great because it was a low regulation small goverment country, this allowed business and investment to florish, we have lost the plot and unnescary rules and regulation and huge goverment if not reversed will be the downfall of us.

    What gives anyone the right to tell me the employer how much to pay my workers, who has the right to force me to pay money into an investment scheme, who the hell has the riight to forcr me to buy health insurance, I do not like been treated like I am an idiot, I will make those decisions for myself,

    The civil has achieved critical mass, it is such a powerful voting block now no polition will dare to defy it infact McKeeva is probally going to lose his job over the 3.2% cut, the only thing to save us now from every Caymanian from jumping onto the civil service gravy train is the Governor has to sieze control of the situation, and cut it down.

    But then the gravy train riders will scream for independence and within 5 years we will be living in the new Turks and Cacious islands. Graft and corruption will reign. To rough ?

    • Anonymous says:

      All because they want to make us pay our helpers more than $2.00 an hour!  I am very upset.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hello!!!

    Its not really about the domestic workers despite what these smooth talkers try to tell you.

    Its all about the Chinese and Indian workers that they want to bring here with Imparato, Shetty and the like. That is why they do not want a minimum wage, because it will affect their own bottom line!!!

    • anon says:

      yup… and that is why ppm as well is silent …. because it would cause problems with the wages for their projects. Miller is the only one who is for minimum wage.

  13. Anonymous says:

    My Filipino maid get $100 a week. This is 4 times what she would get back home !!!. She also gets Sunday's off. She is a lucky lady . She could go back home a buy a nice house after working her for 7 years

    • The Lone Haranguer says:

      You are joking right ?

    • Mindy says:

      I hope that she lives in your house while getting this $100 a week because I am not sure how she would survive in  this society on $400 – $500 a month paying rent, water, electricity, food etc. 

      You need to stop comparing whatshe would make back in her home country because just as she would probably make 4 times less in her home country as you suggested, the cost of living there is probably 10 times less than here. 

      So if you have covered all her other bills and the $100 per week is her net pay that she can freely send back home or save then perhaps she has a great job with you. Not all others are so "lucky". 

      • Anonymous says:

        If I was paying $100 a wk you wouldn't see it on this post.  Some are lucky: they make twice that amount, live-in, health ins. (and not the basic), 5-day week. Some are paid $350 pw (not live-in), prime ins., 5-day wk and have Caymanian employers so not all domestics are slaves.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree.  One hundred dollars per week is dismal, regardless of whether a helper lives in or out.  I don't know anyone who pays less than $8.00 per hour for a 40-hour work week, with evening baby-sitting extra.  Some of my friends pay $10.00 per hour.  One hundred dollars per week works out to $2.50 per hour based on a 40 hour work week!  That is deplorable regardless of other benefits.  Live-in helpers are available and on-call 24 hours a day — I would think $8 per hour for the standard 40-hour work week would be fair, with additional benefits (food, shelter, transportation) balancing out against the additional hours spent in the evenings and on weekends.  Honestly, if you can't afford that much, you shouldn't have a live-in "helper" to begin with.  It is a luxury, not a right.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see some things that should have been stopped in 1834 still flourish freely in the Caribbean.

       

    • Judean People's Front says:

      You were meant to haggle and bring the price down… Did you not haggle?

    • Anonymous says:

      20:18: You must be being ironic. If not, God help us all.

    • Anonymous says:

      You're pure evil!!!

    • Hmmm... says:

      This is exactly what I spoke of earlier, and joking aside, is very true.  There are many filipinos working here for this kind of money, and quite a few of them are my friends.  It is true to say that they are wealthy here in comparison to their homeland.  That is why they travel so far to earn enough money to send home to their families to put their children through school and give them a better chance in life.  

      But at the same time, the ability to ship in hard workers for such low salaries is exactly what's causing my unskilled Caymanian friends to be out of work.  I personally know of a case where Caymanians have applied, yet (because he doesn't want to pay them $5 an hour), the prospective employer has indicated that he cannot find any Caymanians to do the work and is in the process of obtaining permits specifically to bring Filipino staff over to do the job for much less.  Some system to validate claims that no Caymanian can be found should be set in place to give the opportunity to those who did apply to speak up and prove the person applying for the permit is lying.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmn…well I work with a bunch of Filipinos and though some of them have terrible english; they are hardworking. Just over a month ago they hired a young Caymanian girl to work in the office and in no time she quit claiming to have some family emergency when she was telling everybody she didn't like the job etc…. This is a major reason why us Caymanians have great difficulty getting jobs. Who wants to go through the hassle of hiring us when chances are we will be job hunting in no time or quit without explanation?? Many of us are way too "iffy".

        • Hmmm... says:

          I hear you, and have witnessed bad work ethic myself.  But not all Caymanians are "iffy",  There are plenty conscientious and hard working Caymanians in the office where I work, and when hardworking, honest Cayman individuals are turned down in favor of a cheap import, it is a blatant abuse of the immigration system.

          • Anonymous says:

            I agree with you 100% but I did note "many" and not all Caymannians are iffy.

      • Anonymous says:

        As long as the same system is set in place to make sure the person actually shows up for work on time every day and gets work done.

        This is why Caymanian (yes I said it) employers pay for over priced work permits to bring in someone who they know will work.  Its not about expat versus Caymanian its about workers who work versus those who will not. Otherwise why would anyone on Cayman pay so much to bring in a worker at all?  Get an education/skill/experiance/work ethic and everyone would fight to hire you over a permited worker.  Or just stay home and shut up.  Tired of the same old poor me line.

        • Hmmm... says:

          I never said the employer was Caymanian.  In fact he is not.  He is from South East Asia.

          Nor am I giving the 'poor me' drama as you suggest.  In fact I have a very good job, skills and qualifications and I am an expat who was brought in to work here because of my particular skills and qualifications, which sadly aren't available here in Cayman.  I am just saying it as I see it and trying to put forward an independent, objective view based on the experiences of my Caymanian and Filipino friends, and my own observations over time.

          The Caymanians I know who applied for this job are very hardworking and not lazy in any way as you infer.  The fact is, the employer wants to bring his own people in and has no interest in hiring Caymanians, skilled and hardworking or not.

          • Anonymous says:

            I never said I was talking about you or him but the system.  the reason employers will pay much more and go through more hoops to get an off island worker is the past history of Cayman workers.  Good Caymanian workers (and I have worked with some of them so I do know they are out there) have problems because of all the ones that came before them.  Caymans past reputation as poor workers are hurting all the ones coming up now.  Changing that reputation will take time and hard work.  The endless crying about it and continued poor performance (especially in the CS is not going to help it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Quote from the Compass dated 24 February this year;

    "Premier McKeeva Bush also said Monday that his government would bring proposals for a minimum wage sometime in June."

    Yet another broken promise, only 3 months ago

    • Realist says:

      His lips were moving man, so it didn't count.

    • Anonymous says:

      great post…… pity you don't work for the compass…..

      i will never understand why the press in this country are so soft on the government and fail to do basic research and follow ups

      CNS: Perhaps because the press of this country has researched the calendar and discovered that it's not June yet.

      • JJTA says:

        I have a suggestion for you, go and find the old spoof movie "Cayman Triangle". Not only will you see a lot of familiar faces and maybe have a chuckle but you will also probably realize that reality is stranger than fiction. Pay particular attention to the pirate scene out at Pedro's Castle. It is unfortunate but obvious that the level of journalistic integrity in Cayman has been wanting for a long time. Say what you will but within the realm of satire and ironic farce there is a clue to the situation at hand and the undercurrents which flow beneath our feet are of a toxic nature which are slowly but most assuredly surely creeping closer to the surface as each day passes. There are those among us to whom the truth of the matter is their worst enemy and will stoop to any level imaginable to keep said truth from the public conciousness for they are all too cognizant that it may well be their undoing, especially if it is not corrected. The impact of the internet, coupled with forums of true public input such as CNS, while not perfect, have changed the slant of the proverbial playing field to a gradient closer to what one could call level. The challenges and oppurtunities to a workable and worthy system of democracy and thus valid governance, journalism, public discourse, a sustainable economy and the pursuit of justice in the realm of that which is humanly possible are real and forebaring and due to the international implications of which these three rocks in the Caribbean Sea are so inextricably tied along with the implications to our own small islands in the sun, willed to me by my Father's and my father's hand are on a level of consequence which is not to be taken lightly. The ghosts of the Arawak people, I would suspect, are looking at these goings on intently and it is not without reason that there were no aboriginal peoples who actually lived here and thus suffered genocide here. If you do not know of that which I speak then I would suggest that the history and pre-history of these islands become a course of study in the quest for enlightenment and knowledge in the struggle for wisdom as for how to proceed henceforth. 

  15. Gordon Barlow says:

    The trouble with a minimum wage for foreign domestics is that it would never be enforced. Their exploitation would continue unabated. The Immigration Law and the Labour Law are applied only selectively to their employers, and so would a formal Minimum Wage be. Why add to the list of Laws ignored by our authorities? Without enforcement, a Minimum Wage would make no sense at all for migrant domestics.

    In any case, it is the indentured-labour system that makes migrant domestics little more than slaves, not the low wages as such.  Those who read my columns in the Net News will know that I have never been in favour of a minimum wage – for good economic reasons.  Only a free labour market for low-skilled migrants will help improve their position.

    I wish the Human Rights Commission would recognise that, and would chastise our authorities (Immigration and Labour, mainly) for turning a blind eye to all the exploitation.

    • The Lone Haranguer says:

      laissez faire that's where we need to be, the welfare state is going to be the derth of us. nice to see you baack in action Gordon. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians are also being exploited and this is also a case for human rights OR is it not?

  16. Anonymous says:

    The real evil here is not the lack of a minimum wage, it is the indentured slavery system where the employer holds the work permit, not the employee.

    Put the work permit in the hands of the employee and then let the employers compete to get good workers. Wages would naturally rise for the good workers and many abuses would stop.

    A free labour market would help all unskilled workers, both expat and Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Domestic workers do not contribute to a pension scheme also.  So, you can make exceptions, however, they should be paid a minimum wage also. 

  17. Florence Goring-Nozza says:

    Rolston,

    Besides making damaging public statements that Caymanians are not employable you now alude to a further  damaging statement that "you are not interesed in supporting the minimum wage for the poor underpaid at this time".  Why try to fool us again, you have no time limit set to support the minimum wage law, not now, not ever! whether this time or the next time!.  This important issue is not just about inported labor its about everyone, x-pats and Caymanians; the problem is you and your crooney buddies are out to help no one, but Yourselves!

    An elected official  worth his salt holding the port folio of Labor and Education would work hard and smart to create jobs and put people back to work, and support a minimum wage. That is the least that any decent politician would do for the people.To date the crime amongst our youth has increased while they are hindered by you and your government from the opportunity to live and work with dignity in their homeland, and it is an act committed against them, deliberately. Why don't all of you just go jack the nearest canoe and just padle paddle, paddle, away from us 'cause we are tired of being sick and tired of you lousy subjects.

    You're a disgrace!

  18. nauticalone says:

    What the "Minister for Labour" revealed here is a very sad reflection of Cayman!

    Certainly not all, but too many in Cayman are all about short term gain for self with no real moral compass.

    All the while preaching Christianity to others.

    And this Govt. in this instance is only leading by example; remember how they raised the fees for money transfer companies (which mainly poorer people use) while the multi-million dollar bank transfer fees were left untouched (again with similar reasoning as espoused here).

    It's no wonder crime has risen so much here….Too many greedy examples.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Since we are no longer able to have slaves you should not take away our right to hire and pay next to nothing.  By paying this class anything it is a way to quiet our conscience.  Please do not expect us to give them a wage they can live on also.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mimimum wage will not affect some people.  I hope that when the minimum wage is introduced, especially for care givers that these polititions start contributing to the elderly of this country who has laboured with out salaries to hold the country together for them to mess it up. Right now a live-in  caregivers make decent wages, not to mention the benefits they enjoys. There are as one of the family, their wages are theres alone.  A live in helper have the benefit of every thing that is in the houshold. 3 square meals per day and any other snacks available, fully sheltered. The hardship that most of these people experience is cause by themselves.  they will allow people to take out permits for them  while not needing them, and they will work then for Tom, Dick and harry, and sometimes with very little pay.  

    Mimimum wage will not affect asome people, nor is it going to do anything to solve the problemas we now have.  If the people can't afford to pay now – What will be the end when minimum wage is introduce?.- the skilled people will not get a job.

    When minimum wage is considered make sure all the pros and con are checked.

    • Hmmm... says:

      Not so in all cases I'm afraid.  I have reported this before but I am aware of a live-in caregiver for a very elderly disabled and incontinent Caymanian lady.  The helper is paid $150 per week by a member of the old lady's family and out of that she buys all the groceries for her and the lady she cares for, not the family.  She also has no pension and no healthcare insurance and if she puts in for even one day off a year, she goes unpaid…

      I know this is not an isolated case.

      Go figure!

      • Anonymous says:

        Then report the abuse of the family.  It seems it is pure neglect on the families part.  Maybe they are waiting for her to die and inherit the money.  Maybe they didn't think the caregiver would be as caring as she is, that way pay her low enough that there is not enough money to share groceries.  The lady passes on and the children and grandchildrens life goes on.  If I were the caregiver I would be careful as they could file neglect on her when the lady does pass on and deport her. 

        Please go to Social Services or whomever on these family members.  The elderly are the forgotten gems of society. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller,

    whilst I understand what you are trying to achieve, could you please outlined how you propose that this law will actually be enforced?

    Not trying to be rude, just really want to understand how this is to work all around.

    We have a law that prohbits littering – I think the last time anyone actually enforced it was 20 odd years ago….

    You see where I am going with this?

  22. Anonymous says:

    who ever came up with having a HELPER in the first place needs a brain scan and surgery !!!!!!!!!!    We have to learn how to pick after ourselves and how to  bloody use a toilet scrabber. These are basic manners and any forward loooking society needs to think before they act.

    What lessons do we pass onto our childern by having some poor person clean after and babysit instead of teaching them to be self dependent and grow a brain by doing basic tasks like cleaning and folding their own clothes. Lets get real for once my fellow Caymanians and get off our fat farty lazy asses!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      You said it! Hence the 'mighter than thou' attitude, yet won't clean their own houses never mind working in the jobs that the 'foreigners' are doing. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Which rock have you been living under???? Do you really assume that it is only Caymanians who have helpers? Why don't you come to Prep School and have a look at all those helpers who come every day to pick up the kids and I can guarantee you, they are not all employed by Caymanians – in fact, they are often employed by foreigners where one parent doesnt' even work! And if you could be bothered to sit down and talk to them, you would quickly realize how badly a lot of them a treated and paid – never mind that their employer is some big shot in some financial institution or law firm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you work long and hard days?  8 – 12 hr days? That is why some women need helpers.  The woman, wife & mother are not slaves who also work out to pay the mortgage and other bills.  Some men think they are though.

  23. Anonymous says:

    typical rolston …has not got the guts to be honest…..just come out and say it…you don't believe in a minimum wage!

    don't be afraid to be honest you will find a surprising number of people will support you and even more will respect you……

  24. Hmmm... says:

    As long as there is no minimum wage, Caymanian unskilled labourers will be overlooked in favor of imported unskilled labor prepared to work for peanuts.  

    Create as many jobs as you want – without a minimum wage you are just creating more opportunities for unscrupulous employers to exploit the Immigration laws and those from poor countries to come and work for a ridicuously low wage and live in squashed and squalid conditions in apartments and houses split into tiny tiny rooms, and thus further increase  unemployment statistics on-island.

  25. tim ridley says:

    The moral issue of paying someone a living wage is indeed worthy of much debate. But a Minimum Wage Law, however well intended, is unlikely to deal with this issue. The experience elsewhere is that such laws frequently reduce employment and employment opportunities.

    I suspect that, were a Minimum Wage Law to be introduced in Cayman, the principal results would be:

    1. A further decline in the resident population;

    2. A further decline in economic activity;

    3. A further decline in the state of public finances;

    4. A further increase in the cost of living and doing business;

    5. A lot more people cleaning their own homes, doing their own laundry, cutting their own lawns, washing their own cars and taking their children to and from school.

    The better way to raise wages and living standards is to have a vibrant and growing economy, not more regulation. That in turn requires a Government that reduces the amount of unnecessary and cumbersome regulation, reduces its own size and activities and says "no" loudly to those sections of the electorate who shout that "Government should do " this, that and the other (usually with someone else's money).

    • Boston Tea Party says:

      I don’t see what is objectionable about proposition 5. Doing your own chores keeps you honest and is more in keeping with standards in Europe and the rest of the first world where it would be considered extraordinary for anyone but the really wealthy to have “staff”. The only places where lowaid domestic workers are commonplace are either nondemocratic autocracies (such as most of the middle east) BRIC type countries and (probably) here and possibly Jamaica, Sri Lanka and Indonesia/Malaysia “here” clearly out to aspire to be in the Europe/US sector…

  26. mmcLaughlin says:

    UDP government has lied once again. Didn't the Premier say a few month back that this would be dealt with in JUNE 2011.

    Keep on digging your political graves!

  27. Libertarian says:

    Mr. Miller,

    We don't need a minimum wage!  What we need is more jobs created, so that people will have the opportunity to move from one low-paying job to a next one that pays better. If they don't like what they get from a job, simply work elsewhere. But an arbitrary minimum wage for all, will end up forcing employers to downsize, and many unskilled people will be out of work.

    INSTEAD, PLEASE FOCUS ON CREATING JOBS!

    • Anonymous says:

      I couldnt agree more – all these dam polititions do is to make poor people poorer.

    • Caymanian Concern says:

      Yes, but PLEASE wake up and focus on long-term jobs.  The short shighted construction contracts to build monuments as an effigy to our overspending politicians is sooo wrong!  

      When we will realize that the construction boom for buddies is not a sustainable or wanted way of economics?  Rather vocational training for HIGH paying jobs: Electricians, Pool Designers, Interior Design, Surveying, Hairdressers, Spa specialisits, carpenters, A/C….those folks if ever were "Caymanian" could actually start a workers union if needed.

      The answer is training and immigration finally doing their job to insure that the mid-management IT jobs, Customer Service Mngrs, Hotel Manager, all these jobs go to qualified Caymanians.  

      Immigration needs to STOP rubber stamping all ex-pat renewals! Yes, big law firms and banks, this means YOU! Until all degreed Caymanians are employeed, the renewals should STOP.

      Lastly, the Civil Service should have rollover like the rest of the workforce instead of a fast-track to status.

      Regards,

      Unemployed Experienced Degreed Caymanian (married to an ex-pat so NOT an ex-pat basher, we just want to pay off our overseas student loans thank you!)

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Tons of jobs out there for Caymanians if they are motivated and willing to do a position on par with their qualifications.

        A degree from the Cayman University does not qualify you to be managing director. That take a lot of hard work and years of effort. The same levels of effort the ex pats have to put in.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they down size non Caymanians, that will increase Caymanian job opportunities , not decrease them.

      • Libertarian says:

        Answer:  Education…. making it easy and affordable for Caymanians to start and maintain their own businesses / companies. Then Caymanian business owners would be able to Caymanians. Make sense?

      • frank rizzo says:

        Downsizing expat staff will reduce the population serviced by companies, reducing the staff needed in the first place. If a company is struggling now at the current population do you think it will be economically viable to hire replacement staff to service 40-50% fewer customers? If a company is struggling to employ 10 staff at $4/hr, even if it was possible to maintain the same revenue it would only be possible to employ 8 at 5$/hr. With 40% fewer customers, the company could conceivably pay 6 staff $6/hr and increase it's bottom line. So much for increased employment possibilities. There is much more than the minimum wage to be considered when implementing a minimum wage regime. You've got to do all the math and look past the first first impression.

  28. Florence Goring-Nozza says:

    I can't believe Mr. Rolston Anglin's snobbish statement  with nose upturned to the working class, that "he is not interested in introducing the minimum wage at this time." I beg to differ Rolston is not at all interested in a mimimum wage EVER! Rolston has lost touch with the working class since he too became a millionaire coming from a poor and humble birth.The time to vote these guys out of office is immediately after they have accumulated wealth, as their bait turns to switch and they begin to work for themselves and their rich friends.

    We elected these people to work for us, and they keep passing the buck on to these weird committees with strange titles and subtile  make- believe discoveries and so called findings  that are handcrafted only to 'HOOD WINK" the people of the Cayman Islands.
    We appreciate the efforts of the MLA, Mr. Ezzard Miller, member for North Side a man that has insight, inegrity, brains and initiative. He proposed the minimum wage to help the people of the Cayman Islands and also protect  x-pats or guest workers who too are being abused, and underpaid in the work place  year after year.

    Rolston Anglin and the UDP work for themselves, the rich and elite and of course the Chamber of Commerce  who represents big business and big corporations.  
    This UDP government do not represent the working class.

    I hope that at least I have convinced you now that this group of political party pigs are NEVER  to be elected again ever, they are destroying the very fabric of the foundation  of life liberty and freedom that our forefathers built, and that everyone should enjoy.  

  29. Michel Lemay says:

    No one can survive here at $5 an hour unless they are paid overtime. Those people that we trust with our house,children , cooking cannot survice IF they have to pay rent, buy food,ticket for vacation to visit their children. Let's pay for their insurance, pension, live in is best. We have had nannys for all our children (5) at different times and most became part of our families and a special clause re rollover. Clean our own house first mr. Minister then we all have to downsize without killing the poor Caymanian either. Speaking to real Caymanian in the real Cayman world would not hurt you and your leader(yes there are still left) not only election time and could come up with lots of real good ideas. People + communication= more understanding and happier population. REAL ideas free of charge.

    • Anonymous says:

      Usually that is not the full picture.  Nannies at $600 a month.  That's pretty good!  Let's use my nanny as an example.

      She gets:
      Monthly salary $600
      Pays no rent, electricity, and water.  So she saves $400-$500 for a room plus the cost of electricity
      Has free internet.  A monthly cost of $50-$100 depending on the service provider
      Allowed annual travel to her home country.  She is Filipina therefore saves $1200-$2000 dependent on the time of year she travels
      Travels frequently with the family as part of her duties and is given additional per diem $40
      Does not buy food.  She is allowed to consume anything in the home and generally fixes her own separate meals. Conservatively that would cost her $300 per month
      Use of a vehicle.  Thereby not paying gas, insurance or maintenance.


      Now if the minimum wage was implemented this nanny would not get the same privileges.  In fact she would be making less.  At the calculations above she is making more than a teller in a bank.  I understand not everyone is getting the same privileges but don't let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. A minimum wage is not the answer.  

      • Freddy says:

        KUDOS you have sense!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm a little bit surprised that you can afford a nanny, and seriously concerned that you have procreated.

        A minimum wage is the minimum amount someone should be making for certain jobs. It is not a injunction that forces everyone to reduce salaries to that amount if the person is already making more than the "minimum" wage.

        If you are providing housing and meals for someone then there is nothing wrong with deducting something from the minimum wage for those goods and services, provided that both you and your employee agree to an amount that is reasonble.

        It seems to me that the wonderful "nanny" that you are providing with a good life of internet and meals is not being paid any pension, and more than likely no health insurance, so what happens to her when your kids have left the nest and you no longer need her?

      • Anonymous says:

        And why would implementing a minimum wage mean that your helper would get paid less than what you are paying her now??? Hello a minimum wage does not mean that those who are getting paid more would then be reduced to getting paid the minimum wage. From what you are paying your helper it would appear that you are an educated professional so please stop writing junk to incite people to be against a minimum wage. A minimum wage is for those same persons that you are complaining about who use their helpers as slave labour. It is to ensure that no one get paid "less than" it does not mean that everyone starts at the minimum wage – you can pay anything above the minimum wage that you want to pay.

        • Anonymous says:

          He quite clearly points out that he pays the 600 a month which is below a minimum wage of 5 dollars if there was one. The other benefits are mostly non-monetary so would not count. So if he paid her more, then the benefits would be less.

          Whilst he can afford to give up his spare room to the helper and save her paying rent, he is losing nothing by doing so, but by paying her more he is losing money.

          I can see the commenters point

          • Anonymous says:

            No you cant see his point because after paying her the mininum wage of say $5 per hour he can then collect rent for the "free" room. It will all work out in the long run. Furthermore, dont think for one minute that he is really doing her any favour taking her on trips with the family – oldest trick in the book when you are too lazy to take care of the kids yourself while you vacation – it beats paying for babysitting and maid service when you travel and you know that your child(ren) are safe with a trusted employee.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 11:35 I think you just set yourself up for a lot of phone calls. Most helpers dont get those kind of benifits. Most dont ever travel with fimilies. A lot of them are asked to work extra hours with no added pay.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yet Mr Lemay there are applications going into the newspaper for that wage for a worker to have a bachelors in accounting.

  30. Blukoto says:

    Rolston,

    Is that honestly what you pay your helper?  You should be ashamed of yourself.  Disgraceful!

    I don't have a lot of time for most UDP members, but Rolston you have always been in  my good books.  But if you actually believe that less than $5/hour is okay for a domestic you have lost your moral compass and my vote!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Did Rolston really not see any problem with paying "helpers" less than $5 per hour?

    I certainly pay my helper much more than that, but then again I don't have her as a slave 24 hours each day. She comes, does the agreed upon washing, ironing, cleaning etc. and then leaves.

    Anyone who cannot afford to pay a helper $5 per hour should be doing their own work.

    A minimum wage of $5 per hour would clean up a lot of the problems we have with people struggling to get by on less than that amount. Those are the people who, if not committing the crimes themselves, are part of the sub-culture that exists and provides a breeding ground for criminals.

    Anyone who feels like they have to go out to work but cannot afford to pay more than $150 per week for a helper to look after their children should have their children taken away by the Social Services Department.

    It would cost the Government, and by that I mean all of us, far less to take a child and bear the cost of raising it for the first 18 years of its life than it does to keep the same child incarcerated for the last 40 years of its life.

    If anyone finds that too cruel then I am not averse to having Social Services (and by that I mean us) paying the $5 per hour (directly) to someone's helper, but we cannot continue to have a large amout of people living below the poverty line and then keep wondering why we have so much crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi, Shame your Math isn't as good as your ability to take rubbish. You say that 5 dollars an hour would make a wage of 150 a week for a full time helper to look after the children. 40 hours a week at 5 dollars is 200 a week. No helper is interested in working less hours for less money as it wouldn't be worth their while.

      And we can argue out the crime issues all day, but we all know it's not the hard working lower paid people committing these crimes but the large group of (mainly) caymanians that feel that manual work is beneath them and feel entitled to steal from and murder people merely because it is their birthright. And the same hard working poor people do not encourage these crimes or provide a breeding ground, instead it is the 'god loving, righteous, up their own behind, head in the sand' caymanians who turn a blind eye to their loved ones being unemplooyed but still out all hours and splashing the cash.

  32. Anonymous says:

    as you can see, we have a lot of faith in our leaders.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Stop cutting our pay and we can start paying our domestic helpers more!

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop buying brand new cars on a loan and buy a used one you can afford.

      Stop running the big SUVs and trucks up and down for CI$ 100 per tank and drive a fuel effecient car.

      Stop running your boat out to Rumpoint or a fishing trip

      Stop getting your nails done every other week

      Stop taking your family every weekend to the movies and feeding them dinner whilst there.

      Maybe with these cost cutting messures would you be able to pay your helper a proper salary!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Minister A – "If we implement a minimum wage, it will become cheaper for businesses to hire Caymanians over foreign workers. Business can't afford to pay fair wages, plus flights, plus work permit fees, deal with the red tape and still survive."

    Minister B – "What you say is true. But, if we implement a minimum wage, our voters will have to pay  market rate for domestic helpers. This only benefits the domestic helper and puts our voters out of pocket. This is a clear disadvantage to our people."

    Minister A – "I suppose you are right. Given that business are Caymanian owned, its better to have them operate and also take advantage of being able to pay low wages to foreign workers. This way we get the votes from business owners and the employers (families) of domestics. This number must far exceed those unemployed Caymanians.

    Minister B – "Exactly. All we need to do now is make a lot of noise about the need for businesses to hire Caymanians. We can even get Immigration involved. This way we even get the votes of the unemployed Caymanians and we have covered everyone.

    Minister A – "You are a genius."

    Minister B – "Don't get ahead of yourself. That's just about getting votes. XXXX

     

     

  35. Anonymous says:

    People who are paying their helpers this kind of money should be ashamed of themselves. How can anyone survive in Cayman on $150 a week. Disgraceful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it would be $200 a week, $5 X 40 hours.  

      However, I do know that domestic helpers typically work longer than 40 hours a week.

      Just saying.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, if a minimum wage of $5/hour was implemented then helpers working 40 hours/week would make $200. However, I believe the poster you replied to is making the point that currently helpers often make $150/week and this is often regardless of the number of hours worked.

        I've seen the advertisements for a (non live-in) helper required to work approximately 7am – 6pm on weekdays (and some evenings and weekends, usually with extra pay but often not) for $600/month. This necessitates the other advertisements of someone looking for three more roommates to share a studio apartment with three beds for $200/each per month. What we as a society find acceptable is blatantly obvious if you simply scroll through the classifieds.

        And not only is it disgraceful that the employers think this is appropriate… the Minister has essentially implied that this is acceptable to the Government when discussing "exemptions" for domestic workers. Shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      the people that don't drive blinged up suv's, have blackberrys….etc……

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious. "We can't introduce a minimum wage because it would actually have an effect on earnings". Perish the thought that there should be any interference with the entitlement to employ a helper at Third World wage rates.

  37. firefly says:

    Who will the minimum wage benefit? Think about it?

    Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand. 
    Let the market self regulate.
     
    If a minimum wage is implemented inflation will go up artificially as the businesses/individuals are not going to absorb the decreased earnings.  The cost will be passed onto the consumer.  How is this a better idea.  Unfortunately there are some jobs that will not pay as much as other.  That is just the way things are, unless we are expecting to move towards communism, which is probably not what people intend. 

    Having a low wage for waiters/waitresses should encourage the employees to provide a better service and work for their money.  This is commission work just as other businesses, real estate, jewelry stores etc.  If you don't like the basis of it then don't go in the industry. 

    Similarly with nannies/helpers unfortunately that is the nature of work that is lucky to be paid because many years ago it was purely unpaid as it was 'women's' work.  Also with supply/demand, there is a huge international supply of individuals willing to do the work, therefore the individuals are willing to work for the wage as offered. 

    Why are these people complaining about the wage?  If you don't like your salary, do like the rest and find another job, or move to another country.  If you are unable to do such due to low education or no skills, then why is it that the able have to take care of the unable….that is sounding like a form of taxation and communism to me.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, this is so offensive and based on serious delusions. Back when domestic work was "women's work" the people were looking after their OWN children and cleaning their OWN house. Or they were slaves and servants who were the "property" of their master – and if you think that is okay you are definitely deranged.

      You really think the people who are brought in to mind someone else's baby, clean the toilets you use, cook your food and ensure you have freshly washed and ironed clothes towear to work should feel that they are LUCKY to be paid to make your life easier?

      • Anonymous says:

        YES!

        The individuals who take these jobs know what they are getting into when they applied for the position whether nannies, sales people, waiters/waitresses.  If you don't like your job or the money you are getting paid find another one that you like or that pays more.  That is just the way it goes. 

         

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct!
        You got it!

        What people go through to get these individuals to the country to work for them should also be considered.  Yes they should be grateful!  Compared to the standard of living where they came from and the opportunities available to them in their homeland, in the Cayman Islands they have hit GOLD!

        The Cayman Islands for many is just a stepping stone.  The Cayman Islands is not the end game.  It is in order for their families to prosper.  Or as many have used the Cayman Islands as a means to get to the US/Canada/England.

        If there is a difficult working relationship they have with their employers, then there is an ombudsman, the government.  There is the labour board which can address the issues and I realise there are problems or issues with that system and that is unfortunate.  It is not perfect.  However a minimum wage will not repair that issue. 

        So YES I think they are lucky, they have the privilege of having a job.  The opportunity to work is lucky in itself.  The duties are outlined at the onset and is agreed in the contract between the parties involved.    If they didn't like the job then don't take it.  Simple. 

        Now let's move on with this minimum wage topic and get to the real issue of how to increase job opportunities for all -expats and locals alike- training for all and having the economy flourish.  The minimum wage issue is a waste of valuable time and brain matter. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Anyone should feel lucky that they have a job, no matter the job.  It seems poster that you feel that the job is demeaning.  These individuals are paid for the services they provide. 

        At least they are earning an honest living.  Unlike others who choose not to take that path.  Earning something is better than earning nothing.  Earning something honestly is better than stealing or relying on the state to provide. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no you didn't…just invoke the teachings of Adam Smith into this debate. Talk about taking things out of context. Enough with the demand and supply nonsense which is pointless when you destroy a Cayman market model by importing a foreign supply of labour.

      A minimum of $5 is quite reasonable and all this chatter regarding live-in helpers is really smoke and mirrors. Consider the value of the overall package and how that can be worded, perhaps with overall compensation being your measure. Take the live-in helper example and maybe the overall  hourly minimum compensation should be $7.50 per hour after assessing a fair value or assisting with health insurance.

      The answer is not easy, but that is why legislators are paid the big bucks to set policy and find solutions. To our elected members, earn your salary by finding solutions rather than folding at the first sign of resistence by an interest groups. We don't have the answer's but we expect you to seek them rather than deciding it is too difficult to devote time towards.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ever heard of Globalization?  Adam Smith’s theory still applies; the platform is now on a larger scale.

        Yousuggest paying a helper 7.50 an hour taking into consideration all factors or even $5 an hour at basic wage.  It sounds like you’ve just marginalized them out of work.  It also seems that you have not experienced this situation.  Childless perhaps or have a vast family network to assist or never been a business owner?  For the greater good a minimum wage is not the way to go.  It will drive up prices.  The employer of the helper will have to seek a better paying job as many are struggling to make ends meet as it stands.  The owner of the business will pass on the increased cost of having the same employees do the same work for more pay.  These business owners will do one of three things: downsize, shut down or increase prices to survive.  Ultimately, the cost of living will increase significantly. 

        The outlook you have is a bit narrow as many single mothers have helpers and make just ends meet.  Increasing the pay to $5 an hour would force the single mothers to seek aid from the government, increasing the welfare state.

        If you really believe that legislators are paid the big bucks to do something productive you are really in denial.  Have you seen the state of affairs the Cayman Islands is in now?  This is not to say that it is only the Cayman Islands.  This is everywhere!  However, how many legislators/politicians that are currently in office have run a successful business?  That is a factor to consider when voting.  Alas I now digress.

        In a democratic society a politician is only as good as the opinion of the majority of population.  The government is supposed to work for the people.  If the people do not want a minimum wage then it should not be imposed. 

        It sounds like you have some good thoughts but maybe you missed business 101 and Economics 101. 

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thinking error:

    The introduction of a minimum wage is to protect the employees, NOT wether the employer can afford it.

    In the case of domestic helpers: Even if a minimum wage of 10$ would be introduced, the employers of helpers will still pay less than 5$ an hour and not contribute to pension and insurance.

    It is clear that the lobby of local business owners is powerfull, because THAT is the real reason why the Cayman Islands is one of the few countries without a decent minimum wage.

    Additionally you can NOT expect the introduction of a minimum wage from politicians who are also business owners.

    For restaurant employees: A tip is something you earn by doing more than what is expected of you. So tips should not be included in the minimum wage. And customers should learn that tipping is not an automatic thing to do.

    It shows again that this so called "caymanian christianity" is simply a cover for one of the most disgusting, selfish and hypocritical places in the world.

     

  39. Anonymous says:

    Who cares about a law that doesn't get enforced anyway. There is something called moral standards and ethical values and you just don't exploid people! It boils my blood every time when I hear that people still only pay their helpers $150/week – and those are the people who they want to look after their children!

    • Anonymous says:

      5 days times 6 hours times $5 equals $150.

      6 days times 8 hours times $3.10 equals $150.

  40. Anonymous says:

    It's a waste of time because it is just going to be another law that nobody controls and enforces!

    Immigration can't manage to deal with their workload now and continue to lack proper checks and balances in place. Otherwise, please explain to me how certain subcontractors who are working on the current school projects are still able to obtain work permits for oversea workers, when local contractors had to lay off local workers?