Government pay cut reversal

| 21/09/2009

(CNS):  Civil Servants across the Cayman Islands were breathing a sigh of relief this weekend following the announcement that public sector pay will not be cut. Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks told CNS that the 2% pay reduction proposed earlier this month (11 September) will not be part of the current budget exercise.  The proposal which would have reduced expenditure by only $2.5 million had been rejected by the Civil Service Association, who said they had put forward a considerable number of other options that would generate revenue and reduce government expenditure without burdening civil servants alone.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush, who spoke to News 27 by telephone from London Friday evening, confirmed that government had decided not to pursue the 2% cut given the financial challenges that civil servants were facing and that it would worsen conditions. He said that the government would have to look at increasing fees instead and was still negotiating with the UK over its approval for further borrowing.

On Sunday a UDP spokesperson told CNS that, although the LoGB had returned to Cayman, the negotiations with the UK were not yet complete and borrowing approval had still not been granted with regard to the $372 million that government will need to balance this year’s budget.

Government has confirmed that the Legislative Assembly will be meeting on Friday 25 September to begin presenting the 2009/10 budget along with the UDP’s strategic policy statement. Bushhas also announced that there will be a press conference on Thursday morning (24 September) and a public meeting in the evening to discuss the budget proposals, though a venue has not yet been confirmed.

Last month Overseas Territories Minister Chris Bryant wrote to Bush and explained that, before the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was prepared to permit the Cayman government to incur further debt, it wanted to see the introduction of more sustainable methods of raising revenue such as direct taxation which is not solely dependent on the offshore sector

Bush, however, has said he will not introduce new direct taxes but has conceded the need to find revenue measures outside of the traditional industries of tourism and financial services. He has so far proposed diversifying the economy, generating more overseas inward investment and increasing some existing fees, as well as introducing other new consumption related fees or taxes. The UDP leader has so far remained firm on his refusal to introduce direct taxes such as incomes, sales or property tax.

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  1. Pro Caymanian says:

    They cancelled the pay cut to increase customs duty, which means Foster Kirks and Hurley will increase their prices!!!!!!

    They knew that we would need that 2% after all!!!!

    We must be really blind to have not seen this coming!!

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Talking alone never solved anything yet and never will.  To all the smart people out there in Cayman….Get ready.  The system of Cayman was built only to serve a certain sector of Caymanians. Tthey are the only ones with the power and they now cannot survive without it. This means that they will ride this gravy train into the ground before they allow it to stop or slow down.  To do what is needed to fix the problem means that they will no longer be able to SURVIVE because no one else will hire them so they will not and cannot fix the system. So the only thing everyone else in Cayman can do is wait until the system finally collapses, do what you need to survive, and hopefully whoever is left to pick up the pieces will be people who actually understand the meaning of of the words  "RESPONSIBILITY" and RESPECT"  Good luck to all the hard working people of Cayman. You are the lifesblood of the Cayman islands.

  3. Naranja says:

    This shows how spineless the Government is, not standing up to ensure the best decisions are made forCayman at this time.  Not the a 1.5% one off annual pay cut was enough, but it was a start.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My thanks to Mr. James Watler, President of the Civil Service Association for his call to Rooster this morning. It was very educational and perhaps if many of the idiotic posters on here had taken the time to listen to the show, they would have learnt many things and not continue to post foolishness here.

    • Anonymous says:

      I listened to him, but I didn’t hear him say anything meaningful.  In particular, he absolutely failed to answer the charge that the Civil Service Association’s statement that it "was prepared to make substantial concessions to help out as long as it included no job cuts, no salary cuts and no benefit cuts" was internally incoherent in that preserving those things meant there was nothing left to make concessions about.

      Now, CSA supporter and probably public servant, exactly what concession is it that YOU are prepared to make?  NONE, right? 

  5. Joe Average says:

    " I took a pay cut in order to join the civil service."

    I guess that says it all.

    Why???

    Was it because of an overwhelming need to serve the public?

    Maybe.

    Or was it because of free pension and health insurance and use of a vehicle?  No oversight or accountability?  Or because it’s a job you can never be fired from no matter how slack you become?  Even if you fall asleep, read the newspaper or play with your Blackberry all day?

    • Anonymous says:

      AAAAAAYYYYYYYYYEEEEEE JOE.  Are you upset about something?  Seriously, you applied for a Govt. job and couldn’t get it?  Please stop with the generalizations.  The person stated a fact, almost anyone who leaves the private sector to go to Govt is going to take a pay cut, that’s why people don’t generally leave the private sector to go to Government – I’ll wait for a minute to let that one sink in….  And pardon me, but if you add the free pension and free medical you will probably get to a private sector salary.  That’s the entire point.  These things are provided in order to make up for the gap.  As for the the rest of the stuff you said, well I don’t know where that happens, but it is certainly not in any of the departments that I have worked at.  I could however tell you some things that would shock you about people employed, managing and owning companies in the private sector.  If the previous poster is anything like me then yes he/she joined the civil service because we wanted to serve the public, even the often unapreciative ones.  Good luck onyour next application.  Maybe if you come out from under your cloak of invisibility I could provide a personal reference for you 🙂 Seriously, I would be glad to help.  You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

      • Thankful says:

        love your reply…what a sweet laugh

      • Joe Average says:

        anonymous 23:46  You’re right.  I apologize.  My post did sound "rednecky".  And it was a generalization.  I have worked in the civil service in another country and I quit not because of wages or benefits (they were comparable to similar work in the private sector) but because I was bored.  And also because of the general air of apathy.  I personally witnessed people of outstanding ability passed over because of senority.  And people without a work ethic retain their jobs and be promoted because of it.  And I saw a huge amount of redundancy because of senority and due to compartmentalization of "levels" and wage scales.   So there was definitely an air of apathy.  And I agree sometimes it does appear that civil servants are being used as scapegoats.  But there is a reason.  Having recently been told…by the government….it is running out of money….we look at ourselves.  And ask how we could have caused this.  The answer is difficult to find because we all did the same things we always did.  We went to work, paid bills, etc.  Because of that… when government tells you it is very nearly broke themost immediate place to look is.. how is the government spending it’s money?  Financially unsustainable projects come first.  Followed by the civil service expenditure.  Therefore people get upset when they find both pension and health insurance are free and co-workers of theirs are getting laid off or taking paycuts as companies downsize.  There is an obvious place to save a great deal of money.  So why isn’t it done and where did that perc start?   Also most of the services people require of government agencies are available no where else and they witness first hand some of the redundancy as they are passed from one department to the other for fairly simple matters.  Civil servants tend to be on the front line of this unwieldy octopus.  So don’t blame people when they see one person swivel around in their chair to pass a document to someone else who then swivels around in their chair….to find that person… gone for lunch.  And wonder if perhaps there are too many people employed to handle that one document. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Joe,  I like your reply and I understand where you are coming from.  The problem with attacking Civil Service benefits is always that people don’t know the origins of them and if pension and insurance bring you back to par then its not a perk.  But as I said, I understand based on your perspective what you are saying.  For the record, we too feel the same, we came to work, put in the effort, went above and beyond the call of duty, paid our bills, etc. so we are as taken aback as everyone else at the current state of things.   Remember that the civil service is thousands of people that do it right, but only have sight of the part of the organization that they exist in.  We also just can’t ignore the fact that there is a world-wide recession ongoing, so yes look at Government expenditure, but it must be done in the context of the revenue base ofCayman as it relates to the wider world problem.

          I concede that  there is room for improvement in the Civil Service, and yes there is some frustration to be felt by all, (including us because we are customers too) and we need to work on that, but the level of ineffiency is no worse than I have experienced in the private sector, being passed around from person to person trying to get answers to simple questions.

          I really want to thank you for your response Joe, you could have chosen to respond very differently. There is always a high level of frustration when facing what we are facing now but we all need to fight against the urge to deal with eachother in a less than fair and respectable manner.  So I too offer you my apology for ragging on you earlier.  Peace. Catch your next post.  Anon.

          • Joe Average says:

            Well taken Anonymous 16:08.  I really don’t believe in badgering each other to death.  When we’re all faced with the same situation and the same consequences.  Bye the way I’m an ex-pat if you hadn’t guessed.  And ex-pats have suffered the same types of reactions: "IT’S ALL THEIR FAULT!"  I think what surprises me is that the situation is being played out in almost every other country at the moment…."where’s the money??!!!"  And… almost everywhere….governments are crying out in panic they have no idea.  The major and the most alarming difference here in Cayman is that we have some of the brightest minds in the financial world living in our midst.  Theoretically this should give us a leg up on everyone else.  I haven’t heard much of advice from that sector unless… they are too busy packing their bags.  Thanks for the memories.  Simply put…when any of us are faced with budget shortfalls (too much week between paydays!)  what we are forced to do is reduce our expenses where ever possible.  No more dinners at the Ritz.  Damn.  Civil servants being at the bottom of the food chain in government can be expected to take the biggest brunt.  This may not be entirely fair.  But there are many instances in the private sector where people at the bottom of the chain are also taking a hit.  Unfortunately they are a mixed bunch and therefore less obvious.  That is there is no Secretaries Association, Truck Drivers Association, or Laborers Association.  But there is a Civil Service Association.  And you are all lumped together.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the lacksidaisical. 

            To get through this we have to get lean and mean.  Starting at the top.

            I have to turn off the computer now.  I can only afford 1/2 hr. of hydro everyday. 🙂

            • Anonymous says:

              Joe, points well taken.  I did realize that you are an exapt 🙂  I must say that I too think that we have an abundance of brilliant people.  But the Financial Services industry has made a lot of money from Cayman and in my opinion has never done anything much to give back to the country, whether in think-tanks providing advice, advertizing, social responsibiility or any other area.  Smart people in the Civil Service end up not being listened to for so long (partly because of politics and partly because of the hierarchy in the organization) that many of them become frustrated and give up.  Being constantly told that we are inept etc doesn’t help, but we are seeing renewal of morale lately as people are taking all of these things as a challenge.  Your point of the lower paid employees in the priave sector being a mixed bunch is also well taken.  It appear to me that the naswer is for them to start associations of their own, join the Civil Service Association and approach the problem from the point of view of labour representation, that way we can bridge the gap between public and private sector labour and between Caymanian and expat.

            • Anonymous says:

              Sorry Joe, just to confirm although I think you guessed it, I am a Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen Joe!

  6. Mellie Kirkwood says:

    Wonder if we,re gonna get paid this month?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is rumormongering like this which harms Cayman in a very critical period in its history.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You people do not work for the civil service hence the reason some of you do not know what you are saying.  The civil service do not get an annual increase in salary every year.  Some of us go for 8 years without a single pay increase.  Our increases go towards our pension.  Do you people understand?  Our salaries are not as those in the private sector.  I know because I have worked in theprivate sector for 15 years and I took a pay cut in order to join the civil service. Our increase go to our pension.  There is a reason why we do not contribute pension and medical.  You all should have listened to Mr. Watler this morning on Rooster, he explained the situation fully.  People should not write on things they know nothing about!

    Here is a thought – you all bash us as civil servants but pray tell me what the country would do if we decide to stop working for a day. What if immigration officers decide not to show up for work one day, after all you are entitled to stay off work for 3 days without a medical certificate.  What if the fire officers and police decide to do a no show and judiciary administration also and the list goes on – tell me what would all of you?.  The civil service could close down this Island remember that the next time you choose to bash us about not contributing to pension and not wanting a 2% pay cut. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Some questions…you say that your salary doesn’t increase, and instead that increases go toward your pension.  Does that mean that government is instead contributing more than 10% to 12% of your salary each year to your pension?

      One further question: you say that salaries are not as those in the private sector.  Averages can be deceptive but the 2008 Annual Economic Report from the ESO shows Personnel Costs of CI$245 million.  If one divides that figure by approximately 3,800 civil servants that gives an average annual salary of CI$64,400 (or $5,372 per month).  What do you estimate to be the average annual salary in the private sector?

      • Anonymous says:

         

        There was a moratorium on civil servant salaries. Until the cost of living increase last year – there had been no increase in salaries for at least 8 years.  I know teacher who came in 8 years ago – had not increase in salary and then teachers from abroad came in on a higher pay scale because their years of experience put them higher on the pay scale.
         
        Additionally, the pay scales are all smoke & mirrors. For instance, in teaching degrees have nothing to do with the level of pay, just years of experience. I have heard rumors that persons hired from other jurisdiction are placed on the higher pay scale automatically.
         
        Some civil servants have the government pay for relocation (for their whole family) & to go home every two years. Imagine what the government pays for a family of 5 to go back to GB. These are expenditures that lead the amount the gov’t spends on the civil service, but are not part of salaries.
        BTW, Caymanian civil servants don’t get anything in lieu of the plane tickets home that the expat civil servants get…
        • Anonymous says:

          So, if I understand you correctly, there were no pay increases for 8 years, then a cost-of-living adjustment last year (2008).  That would go some way to explaining the jump in 2008.  What’s strange though is that Personnel Costs rose significantly not just in 2008, but also in the two preceding years:

          Personnel Costs (source CI Annual Economic Rpt, ESO):

          2005  $163.8 mln

          2006  $182.6 mln (+11%)

          2007  $213.5 mln (+17%)

          2008  $245.2 mln (+15%)

          Unfortunately, I haven’t found any data that shows the number of Civil Servants in each of the given years, which would be a useful reference point.

          During the same time frame, Total Revenues rose about 17% in 2006, but then only around 2% a year thereafter:

          Total Revenues:

          2005  $426.9 mln

          2006  $500.4 mln (+17%)

          2007  $513.0 mln (+2.5%

          2008  $522.2 mln (+1.8%)

          • Anonymous says:

            More cops + increased (pensionable) housing allowances for them, more immigration officers (to implement the law), more teachers to cope with the school enrollment increase and new schools, huge fire service (but not many fires) etc etc. In short, more ("free") services produced by Government, cost of living increases (several in the last 5 years despite what some civil service posters claim), increasing health care costs with no contribution from civil servants plus ongoing pension costs, unfunded by civil servants. The civil service is unsustainable as presently constituted but there’s no use expecting Mr Watler and his Union to accept that. Free health care and pensions were instituted 4 or 5 decades ago when the Service was tiny and the pay terrible-they were the only incentives available. The situation should have been changed many years ago as civil service salaries increased dramatically. But we don’t like biting bullets in Cayman-another reason for our present difficulties. 

          • Anonymous says:

            The number of Civil Servants are also listed on the ESO site http://www.eso.ky/docum1/docum93.pdf

            Number of Employees(Central Government)

            2005  3,332

            2006  3,520

            2007  3,843

            2008  3,801

  8. O'Really says:

    Ok, what am I missing? Is there anyone out there in the private sector who has not been hit in the pocket by the downturn in the Cayman economy? Some lucky few, maybe, but not many. Unemployment is up, hours worked are down, pay cuts are common. Looks to me as if anyone employed outside of government has been forced, like it or not, to accept less.

    So why is the Civil Service different?

    If you work for a private company and its revenue goes down, it cannot simply turn around and dip into someone else’s pocket to maintain your salary. It will have to make cuts to reflect lower revenue streams and the natural place to start is with numbers employed and payroll.

    Yet instead of Government cutting its expenses to reflect lower revenue, it intends to dip into someone else’s pocket. Yours. You cannot manufacture revenue, someone has to pay and that someone will be everyone else in Cayman but civil servants.

    As I said, what am I missing?

    • Thankful says:

      would not want to work for you…if your first recourse as a business owner is to run to your staff livelyhood.   That is inconsiderate thinking, to say the least.

      What you are missing is that the seems bills etc you pay, the civil servants pay as well.  You are also missing that there are other revenue streams to be tapped or increased.  Guess what, save free medical – at the hospital mind you, that seem civil servant would have to pay their share of any increases proposed.  Ours is a consumption based tax system so there is no free rides for anyone.  It makes more sense, for many I believe, to not further contract the economy by reducing Caymanian wages while hitting those seem persons with the seem increases you would get.

       

      • Makam says:

        The problem with reducing Civil Servants salaries is that it is a none selective process….I leave you to work out what I am implying.

        However, if in a private sector business costs are not reduced, and yes this means in some cases pay cuts, then the company becomes unsustainable and everyone who is employed is then out a job. Unfortunately private sector has to make a profit and cannot "print" its own money!

      • O'Really says:

        If Cayman were an industrial based economy, then there would be a variety of mechanisms available to reduce costs and/or cash outflow. But it’s not, it’s a service based economy and one of the main components of the variable expenses for most companies here and Government, is employee costs. This is a real world solution,  not to be taken lightly, but it should be faced by Government just as it must be faced by the private sector.

        Of course there are other revenue streams, but where do you think the revenue comes from? It comes from people/companies outside of Government. Governments do not produce, they consume.

        If Government were for example, to increase import duties on consumable items, then of course civil servants would bear some of the additional costs. But as I see it, whereas many of those employed in the private sector have to pay these costs out of income already reduced by the recession, civil servants do not.  If civil servants had accepted the 2% cut, saving government $2.5m, then this is $2.5m less that needs to be raised by new revenue streams ( read taxes ). This would benefit everyone, not just civil servants and more importantly, it would benefit the lowest paid workers most and there are an awful lot of workers out there paid much less than the average civil servant.

         

    • Anonymous says:

       "Ok, what am I missing? Is there anyone out there in the private sector who has not been hit in the pocket by the downturn in the Cayman economy?"

      If I had to guess, I’d say that drug dealers are not being hit by the downturn.  They seem to be busy (from the news of course).

      Every private sector business that I know of is cutting staff, holding salaries down, and running really, really lean (lights off in the bathrooms when you leave folks, the cost of those lights adds up!).  Meanwhile, over in the public sector, it’s business as usual.

      In a way, I hope Cayman can’t make payroll this month.  Go ahead CSA, kill your goose.  Kill it real good.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The saddest thing about the Prison story is the lack of interest in it by CNS readers!  Meanwhile everybody is on about cutting Civil Servants (did you see what was said about Prison Officer needs?!) and the whole expat vs. Caymanian argument in relation to Mr. McField’s article.  Too many of us justwant to be nasty to eachother.  Why don’t you all migrate your behinds over to the Prison story page and make a meaningful contribution that will benefit the youth of this country…. oh I guess I just answered my own question!

  10. Anonymous says:

     

    First of all the government should have never put the decision of the pension holiday into the hands of the civil service…….
    The 100% contribution for health and pension should be discontinued immediately
    Let people who want to pay into pension plan do so at their desire.
    The pension holiday should have gone into effect immediately or we should scrap the entire pension idea, legislate and re-band the 5% pension as a social security tax that would immediately become government revenue, this tax will benefit persons in retirement or those in need.  This tax will become a constant revenue stream without placing any additional hardship on society, compare the number of persons entering the work pool vs those exiting, the number will always be higher. Therefore, the amount of monies being paid out vs the monies being collected should always be considerably less.  
    Push forward the idea of Private Public Participation to complete our capital projects, including new roads, airport, and a berthing facility.
    Privatize the garbage dump, prison, and turn over the ambulance service to the fire department.
    Cut the civil service.
    Consider selling about 3000 more statuses at a rate of 257K each. This will generate 825 million. Those persons will have to purchase real estate, cars, food, schooling, the list goes on. They will also set up businesses to create jobs for Caymanians.
    Create an advisory committee, include our wealthy retirees and our young entrepreneurs, realtors, lawyers’ and business people, we have lots knowledge in Cayman that is not being properly utilized.
     
     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I applaud your efforts to address the issues.  Please allow me to rebut.

      Firstly, the pension holiday was put into the hands of capable civil servants of integrity.  Franz Manderson was in charge of the project! It really doesn’t get better than this future Chief Secretary!  he’s done an excellent job and doesn’t deserve the insinuation that your opening sentence carries (whether you meant it as such or not).

      Second of all, the main concern, and I believe that the Government recognized this, was that the pension fund would be so severely affected by the holiday that it was too dangerous a move to do.

      Thirdly,  I hear people talking about cutting the 100% coverage for health and pension. The fact is that Civil Service salaries are not on par with those of the private sector, even at the top!  Added to that is the fact that every job has trade offs, lower salaries is one for civil servants, another is the stigma that you are somehow inferior to private sector employees, third is that we cannot go to whichever doctor we want to.  Another trade off is the gag-order, which is so powerful that it is even respected when we write on CNS under the cloak of anonymity!!

      Lastly, be careful what you ask for.  If you add more people to the population you are only going to compound ALL of the social and economic issues that we are facing.  The largest singlecontributor to all of this is a runaway rate of development in the country, one that has not been managed at all.  If you are an expat let me ask you something, regardless of where you come from… do you really want to see more and more of your own people here?  If so, then why are you here and not there?  Expats and Caymanians alike, we must all see that there is going to be a trade-off for having a larger population, regardless of where those new people come from.  It may seem that just granting statuses would not affect the population, but when you couple it with the fact that the population is still growing uncontrolled you will see many of the issues created by the last mass status grant magnified to and beyond the breaking point.

      I also don’t like the idea of selling status for 2 other reasons.  That is my birth-right.  I don’t mind people having it but they must earn and deserve it, not just be able to afford it, otherwise it is not really worth anything.  This is not a statement of entitlement, but rather value, just as I would expect that everyone else would want citizenship in their countries to be earned.  Secondly, if status can be bought, then what about all of the expats that deserve it but can’t afford it.  Either you will have to provide a system that allows them to have status as well, thereby doubling the numbers, or you will have to deny their attempts. I am not talking about people who will then become a burden on the Government, but rather people that just can’t afford $257K.

  11. Anonymous says:

    One way to reduce the expense on govt is for them to start considering what the Prison is costing them (us)…..

    Cable

    Food ( steaks and seafood)

    Air conditioning

    gym equipment

     

    The Prisoners are able to have use of more than most working citizens at the expense of the working citizen.

    Yet we are loath to save on community expenses because we dear not suggest that those serving time should be forced to contribute to the same community that they have robbed; of resources, respect, personal afffects, lives.

    Enforce harsher punishments, stricter laws – laws that will discourage crime.

    As it is if you dont have a place to sleep the night orif you need a hot meal…commit a crime and you will be provided will a clean bed, a hot meal, cable and a gym so that you can maintain your weight…life of the prisoner.

    For the working citizens…. you go to work, deal with unfair employments issues for a month and at the end of the month you then are faced with more issues….cuc, water, phone, prisoner upkeeps, child support, a bill from the hospital from 5 years ago for a surgery you never had…more bills, increase cost of living and costs cuts in salaries.

    Doesn’t life sound easier from within the prison walls? 

    The prisons should be cleaning the roads, feed corn beef and bread, let them payback the law abiding citizen and the country from what they have stolen.

    I would like to know what the costs of running the prison are…I recently watched a report on the Educational system at the prison..asking for volunteers and material (books etc) yet most of the prisoners filmed were wearing Dior/ Chanel sunglasses?????

    Cornbeef – KYD3.00 a tin

    Bread – KYD5.00 a loaf

    Cornbeef sandwiches–priceless to those that only have that option. 

    .

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    How many more trial ballons will Mac float before saying what it is that he really wants to do?

  13. Anonymous says:

    As a civil servant, I keep hearing that there may or may not be enough money in the bank to pay us later this week.  Does anyone know for sure?  I know our ministry is not able to pay some of our normal bills because they say we do not have enough cash in the bank.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes, another huge flip flop. Sounds like the hidden fees tucked away in the fine print of living in Cayman will rise. There were some good points made earlier about how they can’t freeze the pension without putting the whole program into jeopardy. That’s probably trueto some extent but it seems that there is a growing consensus towards taxation in Cayman now. The school construction could halt by Friday according to the compass and if anyone needs a reminder that this thing is real and a true crisis is impending that should clue you in. CIG needs money bad. Wonder if anyone still thinks those cushy GIS salaries should have been kept a secret. Guess the old saying is true, you get the government you deserve, or pay for.

  15.  

    LOL…

    EVER THOUGHT THAT IF THE GOVERNMENT FAILS, YOU FAIL TOO!

    It is so funny how many people want to punish us for this economic mess when the finger should be pointed at the PPM, UDP, and our Financial officials – but not the average civil servant!  We should never be the scapegoat!

    Its funny how many of those who were saying we deserved the 2% cut, were expatriates and ignorant Caymanians from the private sector

    LOL… WE GUESS WE KNOW WHO WAS REALLY DISSED!

  16. Caymanians for long range Planning says:

    WHAT ABOUT COST CUTTING???

    Everyone can think up ways of new revenue streams…what about real cost cutting?

    We need to : absolutely reduce the Civil Service- have an anonymous recommendation process by public and other civil service of who to cut, get rid of Cayman Airways, Social Services Giveaways, Boatswains Beach, Hospital, CINICO & NRA roads group. Cut all CPAs and associated staff from departments and centralize them back to Treasury. Centralize most secretaries into a Government typing pool. Cut Fire department waste of fuel and manual transport of memos to each district each day. Change Governor’s salary-make that an incentive payment based on public opinion of how good a job he is doing! right now we would save all of his $500,000 salary.

    Freeze all new Capital works for two years, stop Frank Sound school for one year, collect all outstanding fees owed to Government even if it means taking away assets from people, put GPS on all government vehicles to track them day and night-have sponsored by manufacturer so their name is on all vehicles,

    Cayman, lets wake up and smell the cost cuts!

  17. Anonymous says:

     

    Let’s cut to the chase shall we?
    1. Why did the LOGB/Premier Designate spend a week in London with his entourage of advisors? Is it possible that not a single one of them is familiar with the telephone or email?
    2. What did he achieve? A successful hookup with Mark after he had sent him off to India for no good reason?
    3. Did he not have anyone read and explain the letter he received from Chris Bryant to him? He wants to see the "introduction" of new revenue measures. Can we recap on that one?
    A) Let’s have a pension holiday for all Civil Servants. A few weeks later that’s not going to fly.
    B) Let’s cut Civil Servant salaries by 10% if they earn more than $3000 per month. A little while later that is not going to fly.
    C) We are not going to implement Property Taxes, but a Community Fee is being considered for those who can afford it. Can you tell us exactly what a Community Fee is and how dowe determine if we can afford it?
    Now why in God’s name would you go off to England again to "negotiate" if you have not enacted one single revenue measure?
    Putting aside the Jamaica Radio fiasco for the moment, the LOGB/Premier Designate returned from London this weekend and has called a press conference for THURSDAY morning. Excuse me, but why are we waiting until Thursday if we can’t pay contractor Brian Jones the money we owed them FRIDAY, September 11?
     
  18. Mike G. says:

    Yet another sign there is severe lack of communication across government.  The morale in the Civil Service is very low, as you hear one thing (in the newspapers), prepare for it, and then it is "taken back".  Isn’t this like the story of the boy who cried wolf?

    It would be nice if government didn’t say anything until something had been absolutely decided. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    another flip-flop decision from the gov. everyone will now be forced to pay 2% increase in duty because no one has got the guts to stand up the civil service.

    it’s now or never to get tough with them…… but it appears it will  be never

    • Anonymous says:

      WTF? When will the government stop bowing to the political pressure of the civil service?

      What needs to be done is to cut the size of the public sector. It is bloated, inefficient and far too costly.

      People in the private sector are losing their jobs! And govt employees can’t take a measly 2 per cent pay cut?

      I am disgusted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you don’t understand what has happened here. The civil service offered to take a 2% pay cut, and McKeeva has said "thanks, but no thanks." The civil service was willing, but the government apparently has other plans (at least we hope the government has any plan at all…)

  20. Joe Average says:

    Now that that’s settled which seemed unfair to government workers.  What about the pension and health insurance non-contributions which is actually unfair to other workers?

    • Anonymous says:

      Go and talk to James Watler and he will educate on how the civil service makes its contributions to pension and health. Many civil servants maintain a good insurance policies for them and their families because they know that the Cinico service etc is of little use overseas.

  21. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    Thank God that sound reason prevailed.  As mentioned before the Civil Servants of this country deserved better and did not need to be treated as a football or scapegoat.

    Giving credit where it is due.

    ahh a good pot of folgers with cream and a little splenda would be good now.  Wish I did have some johnny-cake with it though.  I miss the johnny-cakes from my grandmother.

    • Anonymous says:

      Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey – i really like your lil remarks….makes me long for coffey and johnny cake myself, especially like how it so rainy rainy out there now…..but i must warn…beware of what’s to come as our final ‘revenue earning measures’….dont think Mac not working his way up to da final of his ‘bright ideas’…..then we will have to take wha we get cuz we didnt want anything else! Probably going need lotsa good coffey ta swallow dat ‘johnny cake’ he going give us!

  22. noname says:

    My guess on this is that the Government finally realized that despite a few people shouting to the top of their voices about the high salaries in the Civil Service, the facts revealed an organization that is very largely not making much more than the $3,000 threshold chosen.  I know the UDP is going to probably take a hit on this, and of course the Civil Service Association will be attacked again too.  But I have to commend the Government for taking a second look at this and letting facts guide them.  I would however also take it as an opportunity to challenge the civil service to come up with at least $2.5mil more in savings as a way of thanking the Government for their support.

  23. Anonymous says:




    I hope that government would now settle down and stop publicising these high-handed, ill-conceived notions that amount to attempts at penalising the civil service for the deeds of the elected government that has placed us in this untenable situation. The civil service has made many good suggestions for cost reduction and new streams of revenue. There is another way than continuing to appear to be deliberately attacking the civil service in these times when we are all struggling.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was this same dedicated civil service who did not commit to belt tightening measures under the previous government.

      They are partly to blame as govt departments are notoriously inefficient.

      I am a former civil servant – so I have seen the waste, and the laziness and the egos at play.

  24. Holiday says:

    The pension holiday across the public and private sectors was the best idea – limited short term cost to individuals and a boost to struggling private businesses.  Everyone was treated the same with that idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny thing, based on my observations at least, most of those persons calling for a pension holiday will not be here in 20 years when the local people retiring would be so badly effected by insufficient pension investments during their working lives.  Short term gain for long term pain – that is all a pension holiday is.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Pension Holiday might be beneficial to the private sector but it makes no sense and could cause serious damage to the public service pension fund which is already operating in deficit, and has active pensioners depending on income from it every month. If payments into the fund cease, for no matter how short a time, the fund would be placed in further jeapordy and could go bankrupt. Also, the government’s debt in that regard would grow even larger. So, no, a pension idea for the public service is NOT a good idea.  What is generally agreed by civil servants and most everyone is that government should consider downsizing and identifying positions that might not be necessary at this difficult time. The private sector may also want to look at ways in which it can help the government pay this debt directly and not just their own businesses. This is not just a problem for civil servants to solve but it seems that it is only them who are looking at ways to directly pay the price.