Seasonal road clean-up reduced to two weeks

| 13/12/2011

Nov 17 Island Cleanup Update -pic.jpg(CNS): Some 700 workers will get only two weeks work this year as part of government’s annual roadside Christmas clean up. The short term seasonal work project, which started Monday, aims to give the unemployed a chance to earn some cash at Christmas time while simultaneously sprucing up the island, but it has been cut short this year. The UDP government introduced the concept of a seasonal island-wide clean up during its first year in office as a result of the high levels of local unemployment amongst non-skilled workers and it has continued with the programme each year since.

In 2009, the UDP administraiton's first year in office, government spent almost $2 million on providing temporary work for up to 800 people as it extended the project into January. Last year around $1 million was spent on the clean up, which lasted four weeks. It is not clear what government has spent on the clean-up programme this year as cash continues to be tight for government and this year the programme is scheduled to last only two weeks.

While the clean-up has been welcomed by some it has also been criticised in various quarters for being nothing more than a PR exercise that demonstrates government is failing to take care of the long term local unemployed who have no work to go to during the other 50 weeks of the year.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think its a great project and that the workers do great work.  However, I do find it disturbing that already employed people and visitors from other countries on work permits working on these road crews, firstly because the latter is illegal, and secondly because I know of several unemployed Caymanians who were turned away and told there was no places left.  Anyone working with these crews who already has a job, or is here on a permit should be ashamed of themselves.  They are literally taking the food off the table and guaranteeing a pretty crappy Christmas for those that are genuinely unemployed, wanting to work and were turned away.  Something should be done about this.

  2. Brit says:

    They do a GREAT job just a shame that some idiot drives by after getting the kids from school, then food from Burger King & the kids throw the empties out the back widow. I see it everyday on my drive home!!!!  

    And even worse these idiots ( adults) who also throw out their empty beer bottles as they drive along. Wonder what their mentallity level is!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I attend a residence in Bodden Town yesterday where there were about 10 people from the road clean up crew smoking weed at the rear of a house where none lived.

    Where are the supervisors for these groups?

    There are some people working and some just pissing our money away.


    This sh!t need to stop now!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well if I aint seen it all now.  As I drove to work this morning I witnessed with my own eyes a girl who came over from the states on a work permit less than 6 months ago, driving truck for the BT clean up crew.  I know this for a fact because she used to serve up my food at XXXX who took out a permit for her, and we often used to chat while I was waiting there for my order.  She told me herself she was American and had just come to Cayman.  She seems a nice girl but still, I sincerely hope she is not being paid to be on the clean up crew, when its supposed to be for unemployed Caymanians.  Further along the road, I saw a public bus driver working on the clean up crews too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is one problem with this and that is they are being paid an inflated hourly rate – ie one that is not the norm for this type of unskilled labour. This causes problems are it now raises the expectations of these unemployed persons who now do not want to work for anything less that what they have been paid by the government to "pick up trash". The wages that they are being paid for this isan unrealistic rate for them to expect to get in the "real" world if and when they find/get a job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you failed to notice that all of the workers had been "selected" before the work was announced.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cousin Red Shank tells me 9 out of 10 of these workers are Jamaicans.

      • Anonymous says:

         you dont have to listen to the thrash cuz tells you. check for urself. why does it always have to come to this cayman vs ja

  6. Anonymous says:

    Im very pleased that some community work is being done and the people can make some money as well, even if its not that much, its still something. Good job! I hope there can be more events like this that benefit the community and its native people.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Gimme a break! These poor people need real jobs ALL YEAR ROUND. They are very important when elections comes around though but guess work permit fees are more important

    the rest of the years to fuel up for trips. I hope someone will tell them so they will know what to do in a few months time.


    What a shame!

    • NeoSurvivor says:

      I think you're partially right.   First thing is that this happens every year just before Christmas.   yes, most of the folks I know working the crews need a job all year, not just two weeks before Christmas.   I think many of the people I see working their butts off would have a difficult time getting a job any other time of the year, unless we, the people, push our government (yeah, right) to conduct these beautification processes all year. 

      I'd personally like that.  We could do much worse than to pay people to make our environment look better.   At least we're getting a benefit, unlike many of the gross expenditures that have come down the pike this year.   Yes, I'm referencing the parking lots on the Brac.   Again.  We should've pushed for a bike lane frome end-to-end on the south side of Cayman Brac, WAY before giving away paved parking to business owners..  

      We all paid for these expenditures.    If I had a say (and I don't, and neither do you), I'd vote for regular maintenance of the roadside bush, as is being done today.

      Aside:   What I've observed indicates to me that some of the crews would benefit by having a team leader, or superintendant, to enforce safety considerations. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I've always said that they should pick the best workers, who have proved themselves hard workers each year on the clean-up, to work the rest of the year in teams working within their own districts.  Hopefully that would get those who sit down and do nothing to work harder in the hope of a permanent job.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am visiting the Brac on vacation. First of all these individuals are working their tails off. It is good to see the your government putting people to work. The unemployment is going on everywhere and it is becomming hard for indivudals to get jobs. Next time you see these people cleaning up after you show a little more appreciation. I do think by reading the comments that the government needs to be trimming some of it's fat just like my wasteful government without hurting the one's they are working for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Every time there has been one of these seasonal work programs, I have been impressed with the quantity and quality of work done.  Some of those people should be put into government.  They could take the place of the Deputy Governor, Cabinet Secretary, Attorney General and all of the Ministers and probably do a better job!!


  9. Anonymus says:

    The Christmas employees working on Nor West Point Rd are mostly adults and it is obvious that they are not used to physical labour. Two weeks will be as much as they can manage. God bless them and CI$800 should see them through to the New Year.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to Third World politics and handouts, Native Caymanians don't want handouts we need and want hands up. 

    • Anonymous says:

      19: 47

      Do your part in helping your Caymanian brothers and's not always the Governmnet to do this. If you are in a position to do so, then put your money where your mouth is.

  11. NeoSurvivor says:

    I completely support this.   At least on the Brac, there are piles of bush everywhere awaiting collection, and the people themselves are WORKING, really doing the job.   Every'ting looks crisss, mon.   Truly.   I would rather see money spent on people who are willing to WORK and do a beautification job — ten times over, if necessary — than spend a single dollar on lighting the Agricultural Centre on the bluff, and the fuel necessary to run the generators to power said lighting display. 

    Look, these people need the work, and they are doing a job we all need.  They all need money for Christmas (although I hope they save it for leaner times).  I know these people — they are not people who are unemployABLE, they are simply unemployED.   

    This isn't a partisanship issue.    Frankly, I don't care which MLA or which party caused this to happen again this year.   UDP?   Fine.  Good for them.    I like seeing money going toward the people who need it and us, the public, getting a great benefit from their efforts.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You are very wrong most (now not all) of them are unemployable – yes they know how to work but when they have a "real" job they want to dictate the hours and days that they work and are forever calling in sick. They also lack in skillset.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you let me know where the piles of bush are so we can get to them in the next round of paving?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if it was part of the clean-up, but I noticed that Mary Molly Hydes Road up by the Heritage Kitchen had really been cleaned up this morning (trash removed and scrub cut).  

    Nice work!  Certainly a lot better than the way it was.  Hoepfully people can learn not to dump their garbage in the bushes up there.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The list of participants is a perfect place to start with a program of adult education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment makes me sick.  Its people like you that make it difficult for qualified people like myself to get a job and haveto take part in the road clean up, as a last resort to earn some cash for Christmas.  For your information, i am aqualified Paralegal.  Maybe you and i should change jobs now,

      • Anonymous says:

        Well JU JU going needa legal assistant if one of them Brac workers get knock down – you can fill that position. Someone needs to tell them that the bright yellow jackets are so that motorists can see them but that it does not protect them from getting lick down if they meander into the road while working.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know a lady with a big university degree who sits in the bar drinking Heinekens every day.  It was very hard to tell my father I needed a college degree when he had her as a role model of a wasted education.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Some of you are so ignorant. Yes, you do have lazy people in every profession. This road clean-up will be no different.

    I know that its bad when I see young people out there that have a good education and college degrees.. and just cannot seem to get a job. Maybe some of you should think about the amount of TIME that you sit in your offices and read CNS and write comments and then criticize yourselves for that.

    As if every minute on your clocks are being allocated to WORK. If you call minding people's business work, OK. Or gossiping, OK. Or talking on the phone, OK don't even let me mention BBM'ing… I rest my case. Some of these so-called professionals might not even know one thing of what is going on in their office but you just ask them if they read such and such comment on CNS and hear what they say LMAO

  15. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the government civil servants could turn down the 3.2% COLA so that money could be used to exend the cleanup by another 2 or 3 weeks.



  16. White Trash says:

    Two weeks is way too long. Last year they picked up 5 pieces of trash and threw down 10 more after their three hour lunch break. Keep them out of my neighbourhood please.

    • Anonymous says:

      How selfish can u be?  You rather these workers break in and steal everything you got besides working?   Most of these young men are hard working Caymanian men, who is killing themselves working hard sweating in the hot sun to clean up your darm dirty mess!!!   Would u rather these young men  idle around allday and do nothing?  I have witness these men SLAVING themselves to KEEP CAYMAN CLEAN AND TWO WEEKS IS NOT ENOUGH!!!  These MLAS better start adding more time on to get our young men stable job positions or you best believe all hell will break loose coming 2012!  

      • Too Teef says:

        Fairly confident that at least a few of them on last years “crews” used the opportunity to case out a few neighbourhoods (which was most ingenuitive of them I must say)

  17. Anonymous says:

    If this incentive is for the unemployed, and we have such a big unemployment problem, how come for the second year running I am seeing people who already have jobs doubling up their money by doing the clean-up in addition to their existing jobs?  I really hope no unemployed were turned away for them.  I am also hearing (butdon't know if its true) some unsavoury rumours about an certain MLA financially benefitting from the clean-up campaign through provision of truck(s).  Also, did anybody check to see if all the drivers actually have driving licenses and valid insurance as well as ID?  I think not.

  18. Anonymous says:

    i have never heard a rational explanation for this……. just wonderland stuff….

    • Anonymous says:

      you must be from la la land. Clean up campaign happens all over the World… dum! dum!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Judging from the quality of work I have seen and the sit-under-the-trees time I have obvserved, two weeks is too much.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everything takes time to happen and team work. If your in the hot sun all day I bet you'd be under a tree as well taking a break.  Dont judge unless your one of the people helping to contribute to your community.

  20. Kosher Nostra says:

    Give the Government credit will ya?  Come on, let's face it, at least people will get some money to spend for the family gatherings on Hannukkah and Christmas.  In all things give thanks, for it's the will of God towards you.

    • Anonymous says:

      07:40 what you fail to understand these negative ones, they  dont give a damn about anyone else, but themselves. they got good paying jobs, sending their kids to the best schools. The word for them…SNOBS

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy for some of these boys, at least they wont have to sell drugs in order to feed their familys for the christmas. While I dont indulge and agree with drugs some of these guys are frustrated and dont know nothing else to turn to. This is a good time now for the Minister in charge of the clean up to try and identify the Cayman Boys and you know what I mean when I say that COUNTRY OF ORIGN  and select those that have good qualifications and messed up when they were young and is just waiting for a chance to get a good job in order to do better. Please please help our boys,  they are frustrated.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What about people who have so much junk in their yards and cant afford to take it away, will they pick that up as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      Those people could/could have use the annual free bulk pick-up fby the Environment Dept for this.

  23. Concerned Caymanian says:


    George Town was supposed to be 5 – 10 December.  Our refuse is still out there and not picked up. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you speaking of the bulk pick-up to be collected by the Department of the Environment?  

      Only this is different, although I'm sure your local clean-up crew might very well rectify this for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      did you put it out on time?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Can someone translate that into how many hours Ellio will have to spend shaking hands and handing over cheques?