CS to get 4% pay rise in 2015

| 26/11/2014

(CNS): Civil servants will be getting a 4% cost of living allowance (COLA) pay rise in the next budget year, the premier has promised. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday about government’s strategic policy statement, Alden McLaughlin said that civil servants had gone “far too long without a pay increase” and it was time for government workers “to get their due”. He pointed out that after losing their 3.2% COLA in 2010, public servants pay fell back to 2006 levels and since then inflation has grown some 11%. He said more than half of government workers earn less than $3,300 per month and many local families have struggled financially, which has a wider economic impact.

Announcing plans for the new pay increase to start on 1 July 2015 McLaughlin said that because of government's fiscal prudence there was enough room to give the civil service a four per cent cost of living adjustment.

“Government did not want to give less than the 3.2 per cent taken from them by the previous administration. In fact, this administration would have liked to have given more but this is all we can afford at present,” he said.

With inflation reducing the purchasing power of government workers by some 11 per cent, he said government workers were worse off today than they were six years ago. The removal of the COLA in 2010 came on top of a ban on grade salary increases and restrictions on allowances.

Over half the government’s workforce earns less than $40K per annum and 3 out of 4 civil servants are Caymanians, which has resulted in a fall in the living standards for many people because they have chosen to serve their country, McLaughlin added.

“Caymanians have a relatively higher propensity to spend. That means a huge percentage of the income earned is not stashed away in a savings account. Rather, it is re-circulated within the economy for the purchase of goods and services,” McLaughlin said as he noted the wider impact on the domestic economy of the cash-strapped public sector workers.  

“The fiscal and economic impact of this cost of living adjustment is therefore not isolated to the single line of 'personnel cost' on the government’s financials. Rather, economic analysis proves that an increase in worker take home pay will naturally lead to an increase in government revenue from increased consumption,” he said.

The premier said the boost to the government pay packets would lead to an increase in employment as a result of increased demand for services, a reduction in the demand for social benefits when families are able to afford more on their own, and an increase in construction, as the slight increase will improve their chances of qualifying for mortgages or loans for home improvements.

He said the 4% rise ($1600 per annum for those on $40k) would be an effective economic stimulus. 

“There is a clear economic and moral case for providing some relief to civil service workers and I am proud to lead a government that has managed the financial affairs of the country in such a manner as to be able to afford to do this in the 2015/16 financial year without significantly increasing the cost of running the government,” he added.

Category: Politics

Comments (96)

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  1. Knot S Smart says:

    Now the CS will have more money to buy more food…

    Will this not increase the obesity problem and thereby increase healthcare expenditures by government?…

     

  2. Kadafe says:

    Don't forget the government authorities on this one. They don't ever get the benefits on these things. Since we have to go to Cinico next year you can start to pay our full pension then? Since Mr.  Premier  wants to get rid of all this difference. Why not spread some of the benefits of working for government to the authorities. We only get cuts but no benefits when it comes to these things. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the private sector we haven't had any pay rise in years, and we certainly don't get a COLA, the fact you don't even see this as a raise really shows the disparity between the private and public sectors. Just look in the paper, in the private sector a job needing a masters only pays 24k a year, and CS see that and think that has to be made up, just another sign of the hugely disparate pay difference between CS and everyone else footing the bills ofr their entitlement!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean we will now be able to call Government departments and someone will actually answer the phone?

  5. Anonymous says:

    You scratch my back and I scratch yours.  Payed for by the rest of us.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    And who in tovernment is actually going to reduce the head count of their voters? 

  7. noname says:

    Just more proof that CIG couldn't save itself if the answers were all written down.

  8. Alice says:

    this is excellent news- and for the know it all CNS posters- please list the government departments that has those lazy not needed staff?  waiting………

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alden should also be holding civil servants AND heads of government owned entires accountable for unruly behavior in the public…not rewarding them. Been made aware that there was a disgraceful occurrence just this past weekend. CNS maybe you can do some digging on this one

  10. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Rather, economic analysis proves that an increase in worker take home pay will naturally lead to an increase in government revenue from increased consumption."    Isn't this exactly what people have been pointing out about a Minimum wage? Why is an increase in civil service wages a good thing for the economy, while raising average wages above a subsistence level a bad thing? This small increase may be deserved, but there are any people on Cayman working for 5 freaking dollars an hour! And they are part of the economy.

  11. haranguer rides again. says:

    It's the free pension and health care that is going to break this country, not the 4%

  12. charles says:

    I agree to a pay raise, but only to those earning under $4,000 per month,

    how does one justify a civil servant earning CI$14,000 per month a cost of living paise raise of

    4 percent, joke!

  13. Anon says:

    Let's be clear people, the civil service has lost 11% that should have been granted (2006 levels) just to keep up with cost of living inflation and are getting 4% back in July of next year. Add to this no performance-based raises in renumeration for those that have excelled in their position whether adding to skill sets or not (I can assure you that many have). Get off your high horse and stop painting all with the same brush. Trim the fat but the people that remain need to be valued just like everyone else wants to be. Give me a break!

  14. Anonymous says:

    So – after working/surviving for the past 8 years (and through to end July 2015) at 2006 wages, what do civil servants think of the 4% Cost of Living adjustment coming up next year?
    I'm still gathering feedback, but so far,  the word from many workers is: "No more than 10% is due…"

    Of course, the streamlining & costcutting must continue, but that is mostly at th etop ..not i the trenches!

    Effective workers should be compensated properly, and not on the currently Un-balanced scale.. where judges did not giev up a cent of CoL; and where any salary increase should be given on a graduated scale…

    Ie.  the bottom 30-percent of workers should receive no les than 10-percent raise, the middle 30-percent should receive about 5 percent, and the top third should receive no more than 2 percent raise.

    While those amounts are about what is due now, to be fair, anything above that should only be awarded for performance.

    That would be a more equitable solution for us all!

    What are the other choices.. go to the public sector where there are banks&businesses closing each day, and thousands of qualified Caymanians cant find suitable work now (due to permits and selective hiring practices)?

  15. Anonymous says:

    what part of the e&y report or miller shaw called for pay increases???????

    welcome to wonderland……………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think that any one from the dupty's AND UP SHOULD NOT GET ANYTHING and any ones under that should get a 10% raise if they had any prinicple about themselfs- due to all of us being in this postion because to the like to them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    What about us??!! This pay raise is good for the civil servants, I guess, because that should equate to more money to circulate into the economy – hopefully. But what about the rest of us? For example, we have not heard ONE word from any Minister or MLA questioning why local fuel suppliers are not reducing gas prices while global oil prices and US gas prices continue to fall !!

    Come on politicians, you depend on votes form everyone, not just the CS, so speak up for everyone's benefit!!

  18. Knot S Smart says:

    Hold it… Hold it… Hold it…

    The raise needs to be only for those whose service to the public has been evaluated by the public that they serve – and have more than an 80% approval rating…

    I was just in the license department in Red Bay for several hours last week and they had 35-50 people waiting and 6 intermittent people serving… Each one would work for 15 minutes then disappear for 30 minutes so that at all times only one or  two clerks were behind the six counters…

    In the private sector they would all be fired for this kind of service – so no raise for any of them please – it will only encourage laziness…

    The public funds should not be wasted on all civil servants – only those whose performance deserves it…

  19. Anonymous says:

    its should be a number straight across the board no matter how little cause its unfair when some get $75 and others get up to or close to a $1000.00  when their pay is already andthy notfeeing wht we feeling.

  20. RP says:

    Is this for real? Shouldn't we be cutting costs? I am lost again.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM BUYING civil service voting block. 2017 is right around the corner so campaigning starts early SMH

    • Anonymous says:

      You like most CNS readers are lost. This is a well deserved return of a cost of living increase that was taken from civil servants when Government could not pay it bills. This means that civil servants are paid at 2007 levels. The question that must be asked by everyone reading this – are you paid at 2007 levels. The answer of course is no. The civil service has delivered surplus budgets and deserves to be treated fairly. Thank you PPM.

    • Anonymous says:

      CI Government should change its name to LOL. What a damn joke!

  21. Anonymous says:

    In the private sector, you have to earn a pay rise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Best news i heard all year !! Well done PPM and government- you have turned our economy around and we can now see a boom coming back to these islands. Don't let the pessimists  pull you down Mr. Premier !!! Only thing i suggest right now ,please hire 5 more staff for our customs deprtment. We undersfaffed right now and our customers wait 2 hrs on average which is a waste of time for our economy and lost revenue collection opportunity for government. my reason is say…. 50 customers a day on $10/hr waiting av. time 2 hrs each day 254 work days a year, Loss to local business/economy = 50 x2x$10x$254= $254,000 CI Loss for economy, the loss to government revenue must be higher than this figure given 1. We are all imports /no manufacture economy, if you factor in" human consumer behaviour" which  simply means when there's a huddle to consumption (long waiting times), consumers& business sector (local population) will import less/spend less on luxury items thus slowing down the economy= recession due to huddles and inefficiency in our system. i say approx $1 million is lost every year….Minister Marco hope you listenin !!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a cost of living adjustment not just some random pay raise. Private sector employees get bonuses for performance, civil servants get nothing, no yearly increment, despite meeting their targets and taking on more work due to more expat workers contracts not being renewed so after not getting an increment, cost of living of adjustment since 2006, don't you think they deserve something?

      • Anonymous says:

        True I work in the private sector and recieve a bonus, but I donot recieve overtime and even though my bonus looked pretty good, when divided by the hours overtime I worked in the year (around 2,000 hours last year), it worked out at 10% of my normal hourly rate. That is life in the private sector, you have to sweat blood, not show up in the government car after filling it for free, at 10am taking a 3 hour lunch and leaving at 4. Why do you think CS don't want jobs in the private sector and are constantly complaining about the low wages advertised for jobs. (you are out of touch and bankrupting this country).

    • Anonymous says:

      THis is not a raise. It is a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for inflation. Can you understand this?

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        I understand that in the private sector if the amount of money you are paid on a recurring basis goes up, no matter what the reason, its a called a wage rise.  I also understand that every person and company who pays duty, government fees and other forms of tax will now have to pay for this.  So perhaps we in the private sector should get a COGA – cost of government adjustment?  The irony is of course that one of the reasons the cost of living has escalated so much is the massive increases in indirect taxation to pay for the government bandwagon, which civils servants somehow seem to think they should be insulated from. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m a CS I pay the same damn taxes indirect or direct taxed goods that the private / public sector has to pay Wtf do you’ll seem to think we are exempt! From the same shit as the rest of you

  22. Anonymous says:

    0.8 % pay raise , 3.2% reinstated….not a 4% pay raise, but everybit helps. 

    • Anonymous says:

      So you mean a 4% pay rise.  It is 4% more than was being paid before.  End of story.  Way too generous.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just another day in Abursdistan 

  24. Anonymous says:

    i dont think anyone has a real issue about the % increase for civil service. The main problem we (the people) have with you (the civil service) is that there's too many of you taking the easy, lazy route to a paycheck.  While there are a great many dedicated, hard-working, and probably underpaid workers in the CS,there is a significant minority of layabouts doing diddly squat, or managers/supervisors who are superfluous to CS operations.

    • Anonymous says:

      But not giving them a pay rise would help reduce numbers.  Not reducing numbers and raising wages is pathetic spineless vote buying.

  25. Anonymous says:

    1 Billion unaccounted for but civil servants get a pay increases. I though vote was buying illegal?

    • Anonymous says:

      Pay attention.  Unless there is a clear written policy saying so, and that policy has been presented to you, and you agree that you fully understand its implications, and then sign on the dotted line to that effect, then vote buying is probably not illegal.  Also proving vote buying is very difficult.  It is a complete coincidence those people getting new driveways, churches getting funding, constituents getting incidental expenses paid and so on.  

    • Anonymous says:

      19:01.It is illegal;be careful and don't get caught.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Its getting closer to reelection time —the over the top spending started with the PPM –it's has not stopped since they were relected — the UK put a clamp on spending — the mother country should get the credit for the turn around==

  27. Anonymous says:

    is this somebodies idea of a bad joke?????

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Premier. When I was in the private sector i got a good bonus ever year and a cost of living increase. This all stopped when i became. A government employee. I enjoy my job and i can’t say how much this increase means to me and my family. Thank you. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a sickening sentiment.  The Premier has not personally given you this money nor is the amount of tax you pay on goods bought on the island enough to run government let alone restore a cost of living allowance.    It is thanks to the hedge fund managers and bankers who operate out of this juristiction.  So stop being grateful for crumbs from the rich mans table..

    • Anonymous says:

      I've worked in the private sector most of my life and I have never been given a cost of living increase, it is a government and union invention.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to be cynical, but 7 months is a long time to wait for us, but an even better time for the Government to think up ways to get the money back by other means. Wait and see!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, CUC will kill us with more increases by July too. Can't win for losing….

  31. Anonymous says:

    A disgrace.  1% or 2% would have sent the correct message.  More sad vote buying.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Reckless spending and blatant vote buying! Business usual for the PPM then…

  33. Anonymous says:

    the problem with a flat rate payrise across the whole CS is that those on the highest salaries get the largest rises, and those that need it the most the smallest. So if you earn 200k a year, that is a 8k rise, if you are on 30k a year you only get $100 extra a month! A fairer way would be to take 4 % of the average of 40k a year, and then give everyone a1,600 pay rise.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Sorry A little to late….i lost my house, my car….3% what a joke

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Your repayments on your house and car were based on the assumption that you would get future pay raises?

    • Anonymous says:

      You always have the option of looking for a better job, are is the CIG the only place that will have you..?

  35. Anonymous says:

    How are they increasing the salaries?  Where just right above the article states the government is in trouble?  Where is the money coming from? Laying off people but yet giving increases???? Can someone explain the statistics?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Fosters, Kirk's, Hurleys and CUC will be extremely excited about this great news from the Hon – Premier.

    Bread $1.50 extra, Milk $1.25 more, Chicken $1.50 per pound extra, Pork Chops $1.75 per pound extra and CUC will add another $50 CI to your monthly bill. C.S and private sector employees, this is where the 4% pay rise will be spent and it's ALL GONE !!!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Marco / Alden I hope you’ll read this comments it’s the best way the people including us the dedicated hardworking cs can get ur attention and voice how we feel about the current living situation here on our islands the majority of us are bordering poverty this was unheard of in years hone by. Thank u for the lil raise but come on you all shop pay for gas pay cuc have kids in school mine are in public school can’t afford the private education

  37. Anonymous says:

    The ongoing and cripplingly high payroll of the current CIG heft is what will suffocate this country.  It's only going to get worse when all these coddled voters/emplyees retire and expect the perks and comforts that have been conferred over the decades by various pandering regimes.  Is Alden proud of the underfunded pension liability in the tens of millions?  How about the >20% MLA bonuses of 2009, or the double dipping pensioners?  Instead of earmarking surplus to fund the pension liability, he is pretending to be a benevolent and merciful leader and paying out our funds – what a predictable farce!  

  38. Anonymous says:

    In actual fact quite a significant number of Government and Statutory Authority employees have enjoyed substantial increases since 2010 through so called job reclassification, promotion to newly created positions etc. It would be interesting to compare the total salary bill in 2010 with what it is now, I wager it is considerably more than the increase in rate of inflation.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I agree in giving those on lower end of pay scale an increase but not those on higher end who are all living sumptously.

     

  40. Anonymous says:

    Are we going to get it? Or is it the local supermarkets and CUC etc?

    They always raise their prices as soon as government makes a pay raise — SAD!!!!

  41. Local Yokel says:

    Prediction. Mac will somehow take the credit and sweep to victory on the back of this……

  42. Anonymous says:

    We can only hope that the big mouth at the Chamber will keep quiet and not use this as fodder for his usual soap box.

     

  43. AnnaMouse says:

    CIG should consider raising pay by 10-25% for the productive members of the Civil Service, consildate management and reduce the overall work for by more than 10-25% and we are ahead of the game.  One gets the sense that a third of the CIG workforce could disappear without the general public suffering, it has become ridiculously bloated over the past 10 years.  If you are doing real work then please stay, if not the position should be elimianted and the employee counseled out. 

    Singapore recruits its best and brightest into the civil service and pays them well. We do not have that situation in these islands.  CIG is an employer of last resort for many rather than being a place where civic minded Caymanians go to serve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Face up to it, the CS is the equivalent of a welfare state for the middle classes.  Of course it is over staffed but each one of those local workers is a vote, a family member or friend that is a problem.

  44. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian, really proud of our Minister of Finance, listening to him today, I have every confidence that our fiscal affairs are in good hands.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Will this increase apply to the Port Authority staff?  Their salary was cut about 6.8% from five years ago and they have not received any COLA since.  When the Government employees received an increase (about 3.2%) this year, they still did not get any increase.  When the pay cuts were madethe Port Authority was considered to be a part of government; (and the cut was deeper) – but when pay was increased the Authority was not part of government. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Port Authority has the highest paying salary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Government employees did not get a 3.2% raise at any time this year.  Please get your facts straight.  The 3.2% cut we received was given back to us in a ONE TIME payment.   The cut we received put us back to the cost of living for 2006 so IMO IF we get the 4% increase( I have to see it to believe it) it still will not bring us up to the current cost of living.  A great amount of government workers will not even be getting $100 more per month on their salary. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at what you get paid compared to other jobs with same skill.

      maybe Paul could give you some call out allowance.

  46. Anonymous says:



    I trust this does not apply to politicians, the Speaker and Judges (the judges have been getting cost of living paid all along, unlike other civil servants).

  47. Anonymous says:

    In fairness, the Government made some good arguments justifying why the cost of living adjustment was necessary in 2015. I am hoping that my employer will look into the situation with my salary and make a similar adjustment. It seems that every week I go to the supermarket, my grocery budget allows me to take home less

    • Anonymou says:

      I just got the excellent news that health insurance costs went up 20% for 2015, hope my employer is reading as well!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Time will tell.  We will have to see what happens between now and then.  As for his statement about more than half earning less than$3300 per month LOL.  I have been a civil servant for over 15 years and I am making less than $2300 per month.  $3300 would be great if I were getting that.  I would surely be able to at least buy groceries every month.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should be expressing your gratitude instead of LOLing what the Premier had to say.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is your role? What do you expect to be paid for that role? In those 15 years have you improved your skills significantly? Was your message sent from your smart phone (wasting your money) or your desk computer (wasting your time)?

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      Well he did say "about" so that it wouldn't be an absolute untruth.  I wonder if he would be good enough to tell us what the top 10% make.  Anyway, you have to admit that it's good vote-getting stuff.

      • Anonymous says:

        15:12.   Stop the hating. If you were getting the raise, you would not be saying anything negative; but because you are not, you call it "vote getting".

    • Anonymous says:

      All of which means you're clearly in the wrong job. Why not try a move to the private sector?

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not in the wrong job.  I worked for 17 years in the private sector before joining the Civil Service.  I am less than 2 years short of reaching 60.  Would you like to give me a job where I can earn more than I am now when I am so close to "retirement age " ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Then she would actually have to earn that 2300 and pay for benefits, show up on time, take the risk of getting fired for not doing her job..Need I go on..The only reason someone would spend 15 years working for 2300 a month is becuase they can't do any better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shows you have little ambition or ability if after a decade and a half at at job, you are still earning less than $2,300 per month. Perhaps your time would be better spent trying to upskill yourself so you can earn a better salary instead of making these self defeating comments on news sites.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh my goodness.  I do not believe you judged  me like that without having any clue who I am or what I do.  We have been on a salary freeze for several years.   It is people like you who have no clue whatsoever of what government employees earnother than those heads of departments, elected members etc. that are under the assumption we are so highly paid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bingo!!!!!

    • noname says:

      You should be working at 2:16pm, rather than goofing off on your work computer.  I'm retired so I can sit on my duff all day and it is my own business, you not so much.  Of course your supervisor is likely moonlighting for his/her second job or personal company as I type, so no one cares what you and the rest of the CS do or don't do.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Public Servants thank the Premier, his Administration and government, for recognising and appreciating the efforts of Civil Servants.

    Specifically,their hard, loyal work and the sacrifices made over recent years.

    May we ever continue to strive, serve and take the Cayman Islands from strength to strength!

    • C'mon Now! says:

      We are no where near going from strength to strength! Gov't needs to stop wasting money.  CIG has too much revenue and has been spending like a drunken sailor as a result.  I don't begrudge the civil servants their raise but we should also be working towards a major reduction in headcount to pay forit.

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      If I had written a sweet comment like that, I would have used my real name,  No telling what the reward could be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bankruptcy to bankruptcy!

    • Anonymous says:

      This post is pretty sickening.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear god the saddest post ever.  Crumbs from the rich mans table and i am expected to appreciate it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not presume to thank on my behalf.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats a point.  This public servant does not thank the Premier for restoring the cost of living allowance and the .8 percent pay increase.  Why should I?  Perhaps the austerity measures would not have been necessary if we were not constantly expanding the Civil Service, paying high salaries for relatively low level jobs, commissioning report after report and allowing billions to go missing.  Or indeed commissioning a new school that ended up over budget by a factor of two that is not fit for purpose.  So no, its not thank you Mr Premier.