Search Results for 'lonny tibbetts'

DER investigating school site

| 10/04/2009 | 45 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of yesterday’s revelations that a significant number of qualified Caymanian construction workers had lost their jobs at the Clifton Hunter school site in Frank Sound, the Department of Employment Relations issued a statement on Friday evening saying that it had already asked the Immigration Department to stop issuing work permits to Tom Jones International (TJI). An investigation into the hiring of affected workers is underway, it stated, and the DER is asking anyone affected by this to come to the office. (Left: Nolan Hydes the former Foreman of Moises Ltd talks to TV about the layoffs)

On Friday morning (9 April) Ezzard Miller, independent candidate for North Side, called a press conference in which he assembled a number of the workers who had lost their jobs and demanded an investigation into what was actually going on at the school site and who was and was not being employed.  Following the subsequent media reports, the DER said that it was already aware of the job loses owing to the dispute between the General Contractor TJI and the local sub-contractor Moises Ltd whose contract was terminated on 26 March.  

“Just over one week later, on 3 April the DER was informed that TJI would begin hiring the affected employees directly,” the DER stated. “On 8 April the DER requested TJI to produce all records of new hires, as well as copies of contracts of employment. Simultaneously the DER, requested the Immigration Department halt the issuance of any new work permits to TJI until a complete investigation into the rehiring process of the affected workers was conducted.”

The DER said that it first became aware of the situation on 12 Marchwhen Moises Ltd, provided 141 employees to the site, of which 53 were Caymanian and the remaining 88 were expatriates. Of the expatriate contingent, 17 persons were directly employed by Moises Ltd. The rest were sub-contracted labour from other licensed construction companies.

Director, Lonny Tibbetts is now appealing to all employees affected by the dispute to contact the DER as soon as possible, so that their present employment status as well as their entitlements under the Labour Law can be ascertained. “It is the aim of the DER to ensure that the re-employment of Caymanians on the site takes priority and the best interest of the affected employees takes precedence,” he said. 

The details of the dispute between TJI and Moises are still unclear however, some of the workers told CNS yesterday they believe that TJI has accused Moises of overcharging the general contractor for the hours the men have worked and consequently stopped paying Moises, who was then unable to pay the sub-contracted labour. The potential problems regarding this development were predicted last year by others in the construction business as the bid on this and the John Gray High redevelopments were considered to be very low.

Steven Hawley, President of the Cayman Contractors Association told CNS in June that low bids should always raise eyebrows. “Profit margins in the construction industry are quite small,” he added. “If a contractor offers a bid that is as little as 10% below the other bidders, that suggests that he plans to complete the project at a loss to himself, which, of course, he would be very unlikely to want to do.”

TJI’s winning bid for the construction of the new John Grey High School was some 35% lower than the next bidder. Ian Pairaudeau, General Manager of McAlpine Limited, which has been operating in Cayman form more than 35 years, also said he believed it would be hard for TJI to complete the two schools for the price offered and it could be that subcontractors might suffer. “I am worried that local subs that work on that project could end up in trouble but the government is getting a very good deal,” he said, adding that should the project meet financial trouble it will be the government and public money in this case that will be used to bail anyone out.

The DER can be contacted on 945-3114 and is located on the 2nd Floor, Royal Plaza Building, Cardinal Ave, George Town.

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Drive to help unemployed

| 10/02/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): On the first day of its island-wide job drive, the Department of Employment Relations (DER) registered around fifty people who were not in work and seeking jobs. The drive started in East End and surprised staff with the number of people who came out to get help. “We even had people already waiting at the door when we arrived,” said Deputy Director Jennifer Smith. With the recession beginning to bite, unemployment is rising and the DER currently has 860 people registered as jobseekers.

The department is now reaching out in an attempt to help everyone who has not yet registered withthem to get help finding employment. Smith said that the first day revealed a true cross section of new people, from insurance sales to IT professionals, some of which had been laid off and others who had recently left their jobs.

“We have had a lot of different people, some skilled and some not,” she said. “We are trying very hard to help everyone. For some of the young people registering, however, we are trying to direct them towards study as it will be hard for them to find work without a full education.”

She explained that there was plenty of funding available for all young Caymanians wanting to go to college and they should try and take advantage of it. In the case of some of the more experienced workers, Smith said the DER was able to help them straight away and more than ten people were given immediate referrals from its job bank.

Today (Tuesday, 10 February) the job drive moves to West Bay, where DER staff will be at John Gray Church Hall between 2-7 pm. On Wednesday the team will be in North Side, Bodden Town on Thursday and at the Chamber Job Fair at the University College of the Cayman Islands on Friday and Saturday.  

Smith said it was important that anyone coming to register brought their resumes, educational certificates, passport or birth certificate, written references, proof of Caymanian status or right to work, police record and drivers licence. If they did they could register immediately. It would be possible to match candidates to the job bank as with the help of new technology they have all of the details of the vacancies at their fingertips.

The department workswith around 1500 local employers and has a considerable number of vacancies in the job bank, and the idea behind the drive is to offer people living outside of George Town access to those jobs.

“We invite jobseekers to come out, talk to us and begin the registration process so that we can begin the effort of helping them to become gainfully employed,” said DER Head Lonny Tibbetts, and he called for employers with vacancies not yet listed with the DER to make contact as well.

With around 27,000 work permits issued in the job market, the DER also works with the Work Permit Board. Tibbetts explained that the department prepares a report  for each WPB meeting listing unemployed persons registered with the DER who can perform the job for which the work permit is being sought.

“The goal of this exercise is to enable the WPB to make an informed decision. When there are persons available, the WPB may defer the grant of the WP and refer the employer to the DER for suitable Caymanian candidates. Presently the Immigration Law permits the Director, or his appointee, to sit on the WPB and present the summary of each report,” he said.

Since last year the department has assisted more than 450 Caymanians to get jobs, but Smith noted that a match does not mean automatic employment. “We give them the connection and the opportunity, and then it is up to them to take that a step further,” she added, but she said the staff at DER do all they can to advise and help job seekers how to present themselves at interviews. She said the two things that were hindering Caymanians in finding work was not presenting themselves properly to employers and being under-skilled.

“We train persons in preparing resumes and job interview skills, and we guide them on proper work ethics, in order that they can keep jobs they get in the future,” she said.  

DER also works closely with the Immigration Department to ensure that Caymanians are not discriminated against in the workforce and that work permits are only issued when there are no qualified Caymanians to fill specific positions. Smith noted, however, that being Caymanian is not an entitlement to work and that they need to have a professional approach to job hunting.

All job drive sessions run from 2-7p.m and the schedule is as follows.

East End: Monday, 9 February, at East End Civic Centre

West Bay: Tuesday, 10 February, at John Gray Church Hall

North Side: Wednesday, 11 February, at North Side Civic Centre

Bodden Town: Thursday, 12 February, at Bodden Town Civic Centre

George Town: Friday, 13 & Saturday, 14 February at UCCI.

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CINICO to seek wider views on how it’s doing

| 22/05/2012 | 6 Comments

onlinesurvey.jpg(CNS): CINICO will begin an online anonymous survey among its member ship this month which officials say will give the government owned health insurance provider an idea of satisfaction levels among the membership. This is the second phase of a planned programme following the first phase of research work which was conducted with focus groups. The online survey is expected to gauge the thoughts and opinions of the wider civil service, statutory body employees and pensioners among the CINICO membership when they answer a more detailed the research is being undertaken by Tower Marketing CINICO DEO Lonny  Tibbetts said the online survey will allow members the opportunity to have their voices heard.

“We at CINICO anticipate that the responses will provide us with a valuable insight into how we can improve and streamline our organisation to ensure that our members get the best possible service,” he said. He assured members that the survey is completely confidential and eligible CINICO members must use their member ID on their CarePay swipe cards to access the survey.

Neither CINICO, nor Tower Marketing will know who the survey belongs to, as all data collection and analysis is being conducted off-island by Tower Marketing’s independent market research partner.  This research is completely independent of CINICO or any part of the Cayman Islands Civil Service or the Cayman Islands Government.

“We urge every eligible CINICO member to complete the study,” Tibbetts said. “The higher the volume of responses, the more accurate the information. This will eventually lead to a better level of service for all members, which, of course, is our ultimate goal.”

The survey will be distributed via email to all civil servants who can complete it in the office or at home.  In order to give all members the opportunity to take this survey, Tower Marketing will also be setting up a computer kiosk at various government locations from 22 May – 6 June.

Staff members will be on hand to assist if there are any questions, as well as pass out paper copies, if needed.  There will also be opportunities at public libraries to complete the survey online using the computer stations available (visit the library information desk for details).

As an added incentive to complete the survey, two free iPads will be given away to the lucky winners drawn from all entrants. To view the schedule of various locations to complete the survey, visit for more details.

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