Premier questions why top civil servants not working

| 03/02/2010

(CNS): Despite the fact that the removal of three senior civil servants from office is seen by many as an unofficial political move, Premier McKeeva Bush has said he is surprised that the former Education Ministry’s chief officer, Angela Martins (left), former Health Ministry chief officer Diane Montoya and ex-deputy financial secretary Deborah Drummond are not at work somewhere but are being paid. The three high grade public servants have been moved from their posts and are still receiving salaries although they have not been given new roles.

Speaking to News 27, Bush said while it wasn’t his decision it was his problem because of the salaries they were being paid and he was responsible for the budget. Owning to their pay grade, it is estimated that the three women would be earning between $127,000 and $147,000 per year. These three salaries also add to the salaries still being drawn by Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon, who despite being cleared of all charges againsthim brought by Operation Tempura has not been given his job back but is still being paid. Dixon was place on required leave on full pay in March 2008 and is still receiving a full salary, while another acting deputy commissioner has been place in Dixon’s job by Commissioner David Baines.

Justice Priya Levers, who is fighting a legal case following a tribunal heard against her earlier last year, also continues to receive her full judicial pay while she awaits the outcome of her case, which is due to be heard by the Privy Council in the UK sometime this year.   

While these two top public servants are involved in disputes, the three women were released from their jobs last year following the May general election without explanation. But Bush said he was surprised they’re still being paid.

“I am asking, why are they not working somewhere?” Bush told the news programme. “Well, it is really not my problem except the budget is my concern and when money should be and should not be paid.”

The pay comes out of government’s wallet, but it is Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks who is directly responsible for civil servants.

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  1. Caymanian says:

    there are enough bad things about the premier and the rest of idiots that we idiots keep electing; that we could touch on a different scandal every minute of every day and still not cover tem all.

    somehow we get so caught up in the hoopla of hypocracy that we never achieve anything constructive in regards to a solution to the problems or getting rid of the idiots altogether.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The reason these three women are not working is because Mac simply did not want them as a part of his Government! This was a political issue and now he is thrying to put the balme elsewhere!

    Wake up Cayman our priemier is a total A@#!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that the government should apply the conditions in order to retire these women on the grounds of improving the efficiency of the civil service.

      Sometimes people get so entrentched that their service becomes counterproductive.

      Sometimes we need fresh blood at the top so that things can run more smoothly and efficiently.

      Could that have happened in this case?

      One of the regulatory issues in settling this is that they must be found another post at the SAME level.  That is just not going to happen — it is not available — and, let’s face it, not going to be available any time soon.

      When such a post is not available, then it seems to me that they must accept what is offered or retire.  Perhaps that is what the Premier is saying.  Offer them what is available. 

      After all, we can’t keep this going until a new government comes in. 

      I am sure it can’t be comfortable for them, but why not retire and move on with your lives?  After all, they are all at retirement age.

      But something has to give — we are wasting money abominably again. 

      I personally would not want to be pulling down such garguantuan wages without licking a stick — even if I felt agrieved.  And I don’t think that is being unrealistic.

      Frankly, if any employer did not want my services, I would not hold on by the strings of regulations. 

      But maybe that is my pride speaking — but as a Caymanian I consider that my one inviolable heritage — the one thing that I will not sacrifice to any god or mammam.



      • Anonymous says:

        That is absurd. If there were any such case it would surely have been done. Of course this decision was implemented within hours of the new govt. taking office so we know it has nothing to do with the efficiency of these women, all of whom are outstanding. The Head of the Civil Service understands this perfectly well which is why they are on required leave. As for offering them lower positions, a demotion would be constructive dismissal. This is political victimization plain and simple.    

        No, that is not your Caymanian pride speaking – it is your blind allegiance to McKeeva Bush and unquestioning support of anything that comes out of his mouth.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    The reason these ladies have not had their contract terminated is that s. 29 of the Public Service Management Law provides that, for chief officers, the Head of the Civil Service may only dismiss them for "gross" or "serious" misconduct (or inadequate performance over a "reasonable" period of time, and then only provided that the officer in question has been given proper opportunity to improve).  A chief officer may also be "retired" to improve the efficiency of the service, provided a  series of pre-defined conditions are complied with; presumably these conditions would not  apply and have not been applied in these cases.  Required leave is only possible in "the public interest".

    There are two ways of looking at this provision; the cynical one (i.e. the legislation was drafted by senior officers with an eye to their own protection) or the wise one, which is that the provision was required to preserve the independence of the civil service and protect it against political interference.

    In the current case, it would appear that the "wise" interpretation has has in fact been trumped by political interference, albeit that that the tax (whoops sorry, duty and fee) paying public are footing the bill.   

    These three ladies therefore find themselves in a cleft stick.  They almost certainly have grounds to claim constructive dismissal, but they will be much worse off if they do so as the government will never settle with them, and their income would be cut off (and so their ability to fund legal proceedings) if they tried. 

    In those circumstances, I don’t blame them at all, but I would put money on them hating their position, which is none of their doing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank God for a post by someone who knows what he/she is talking about.

  4. slowpoke says:


    This is a prime example of how the current employment problems are not simply a Caymanian/Expat issue.

    Unfortunately, we Caymanians can be as cruel and vindictive against each other, as we are wont to be against expats.

  5. Don't 4get Me! says:

    Ridiculous. I say we privatize the gov’t.

    • Anonymous says:


      If we do that, then the foreignors will not hire the Caymanians?  And we will be left with no governance!

      I think you’re crazy 🙂

    • Ping-Pong says:

      Privatize the Gov’t? That’s like telling Caymanians to stop eating breadfruit!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am glad to see so many posts indicating that people understand that Beloved Leader is trying to blow smoke somewhere the sun does not shine. I am not sure what to make of the fact that he continues to make ridiculous statements. Does he actually think that the Caymanian people are that ill-informed and gullible, or has he reverted to Fire Ready Aim. 

    Then again there is a long history of would-be dictators and their cronies applying as a strategy the notion that, "If you tell a lie that is big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Hopefully that will no work in Cayman.   

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where the transparency in the civil service?

    Mac can only get away with this because the poor civil servants have been gagged and cannot let the public know the full extent of the shenanagans that Mac has been up to.  Isn’t it time we insisted that the gag on civil servants was lifted!!  After all, freedom of speech and expression is a human right.  

    Sarah Collins we need you, through the Human Rights Committee to help our civil servants to access their basis human rights to bring some real transparency to Cayman.



  8. Anonymous says:

    Is this the ‘dumbing down’ of the civil service to match Mac’s level??  This ‘brain drain’ of the more intelligent members of the civilservice can only hurt this Country.  Mac is completely threatened by their intelligence and their education.  Instead Mac is more comfortable when he surrounds himself with his political cronies who will agree with his every idiotic idea and not challenge him in any way.  It’s all rather sad and the fallout is having a devastating effect on our beloved Cayman. 


  9. Joe Bananas says:

    Premier questions why top civil servants not working.  Then he speaks.

    Funny how this problem is about Caymanians getting payed large amounts and doing nothing for it.

    But no surprise.

  10. Real Deal says:

    Mckeeva + UDP bandits+ Young UDP= Complete Destruction to Cayman

    …… and we nah see nuttin yet !!!!

    • Ted says:

      Kurt+PPM right wingers+young PPM=Cayman in the 1700’s……..unna want the real deal ? den vote um back in next 3 years!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        1700s was the era of dictators = McKeeva Bush.

        They couldn’t be any worse than the current govt.  

    • anonymous says:

      The saddest part of this UDP PPM and any other party system in the Cayman Islands  is the fact that young people, kids are being recruited to support, believe ,in and follow the Bull S**t that these idiotic leaders are pooping out !

      Young people under the age of 21 should not be alloweed to join up with these loser parties. They have a right to chose and not be influenced into joining up just because their parents are members !

      Do the young UDP realize Mckeeva is selling their future to the highest bidder?



  11. Wisereef says:

    Somebody should let our Lenders in the Foreign Office know that we are paying salaries to civil servants who are not working.  This is really one of the reasons why the Cayman Islands needs to borrow more money so that we can pay our unemployed and pay for projects that will bring no revenue!  I say no more borrowing until our spending is corrected.

    • anonymous says:

      If these three were laid off within hours of McKeeva wining the election and taking office. then how could he not know, isn’t he not responsible?

      He says he’s a christian, what kind?


    • Anonymous says:

      This and other waste is even worse in the FCO and other parts of the British Civil Service so don’t expect to get much response there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    All there people are Caymanians

    See Caymanians do get all the best jobs, been looking for a job thatpays over CI$10,000 a month and you don’t have to do anything

  13. Sign Me Up! says:

    I don’t care what anyone says.  Working in the Civil Service is a good deal.

    Pension AND Health Insurance paid for.  Underworked, overpaid.  Loooooong lunches, plenty of "sick time", free phones, free gas (they’re just starting to look into that now), and if you get laid off you can stay home and get paid.  No wonder 6000 people have found a comfy place to hang all day, text, chat, drive around aimlessly, read papers, and play with BlackBerries.  And no bloody wonder we’re broke.

    But I must say it’s the same in any country and it’s the smartest career move anyone could make.  Forget an education kids.  Get a job in the Civil Service.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is nothing new in government so please let’s retain some balance. Charles Clifford got rid of Tim Hubbell as Chief Officer-he’s somewhere (Protocol Office?) unheard of doing nothing for his huge salary. Arden McLean got rid of Colford Scott-don’t know where he is XXXXX. Nyda Flatley was got rid of by Alden McLaughlin several years before she should have retired. And so on.

      I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it is not new and not only a McKeeva invention.

      • Heavy Cake says:

        At least when they got rid of those folks, they got rid of them completley instead of just having theme sit at home living the good life. 

        Does Mac really expect the Cayman public to believe that he didnt know that? I only assume then that he doesn’t understand the difference between termination and ‘required leave’. No wonder I can’t understand the man – he doesn’t understand his own actions!


    • Anonymous says:

      I am sick and tired of the likes of "Sign Me Up" who are bitter and idle enough to jump on this forum spouting off hate and blanket criticism at every opportunity towards civil servants in this country. Whilst we are aware that there are certain individuals within the civil service who are underperformers, and have poor work eithics, to generalise in your comments as you do is wrong and offensive to the many dedicated and hardworking civil servants who almost sacrafice themselves and go beyond the call of duty to get the job done. There are many persons in government who are at their desks much before 8:30 each morning and who do not leave until nearly the same hour at nights, without compensation and hardly enough time to even have lunch. They do so because of love of country and pride in their jobs and they do it for all of us. So, before you jump next time to generalize and demonize the civil service try to identify some of these dedicated souls to praise for a change. Believe me, they are as easily identified as those you speak of and you may find that the latter are quite outnumbered.

      • Anonymous says:

        ‘They do so because of love of country and pride in their jobs ‘…. hahahaha

        it is ok to generalize….eg  civil serpents are generally overpaid, underworked, lazy, underperforming. ask anybody… that is their experience of civil service

      • Anonymous says:

        Strange, sad, but true, some out there, especially, in the private sector, are jealous of the priveleges we have working for this government, and would wish unfortunate event upon us because of our status in the Caribbean and the world. Last year, I have heard many negative remarks against Caymanians from foreignors here in the private sector. It is like their envy has turned into hate, and the places these expatriates come from, are in a worse condition than this Island. It makes you wonder how much "we" have provided for the expatriate or foreignor, all to be "spat in the face."

        Certain people don’t recognize God. They are unthankful of what life has offered them. They hate Caymanians, and would wish for us to economically fail. That is a reality, and our Caymanian leaders should be aware of this. We should not allow people who are not born Caymanians to take "key" positions in our country that could economically and politically impact us. We are the only nation in the Caribbean where we have open our arms to the extent that we have allow more expatriates on the Island than our native people; they outnumbered us because we allowed it to happen!

        But God knows what is best for us, and in His wisdom will see us through! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all of us working for Civil Service fit your description, but most of who you talk about are the ones drawing the big salaries. . . and I certainly agree that there are many who spend the day driving around, e-mailing foolishness/surfing the Internet all day.

      The Civil Service is way too top heavy in so-called Senior Management, way too many managers/directors/supervisors and not enough people who actually do work.

      True savings will not really be achieved by downsizing the Civil Service – only way to save is to change the spend,spend, spend mindset of any Government (doesn’t matter if it is PPM or UDP), once the party in power gets their hands on the money it is going to be spent – end of story (especially in the absence of auditing/accountability)

      Sign Me,

      Y save 4 tomorrow when U can spend today!!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    There surely is not one person who believes this statement by ‘Premier’ McKeeva.  It is the most open secret in the Civil Service – they were all put on leave within HOURS of him taking office – not days – hours!!Q!.  

    – It is TOTALLY political,

    – it is TOTALLY McKeeva,

    – it is totally because all three are feisty, independent and hard working Caymanian achievers who won’t break the rules….  Angela Martins was even Caymanian of the year not long ago – everyone knows she gets things done

    they are all smart and have really good reputations – everything good about our Caymanian women…….. 

    McKeeva you really are fooling no one…… just no one at all.  You just don’t like them because you can’t pull your nonsense with them.

    Of course you knew and you still do….. who you fooling  – it’s not everyone in Cayman – it just just be yourself

  15. Frequent Flyer says:

    “Well, it is really not my problem except….."

    WHAT!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!  Not his PROBLEM!!??? It is ALL of OUR problem!!

    I can’t believe what comes out of his mouth. WHY did you folks vote him back in!! eh!???!!??  I hope you regret it.

    THAT is why I got Naturalized so that I can Wote his butt out! I hope my one wote counts!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see no one seems to have been fooled by McKeeva’s political manouevre. A REALIST hit the bullseye. What is so funny is that in the run up to the election McKeeva was parading around Mike Adams and others who had supposedly been victimised by the previous government by being asked to leave (funny they didn’t sue, just used it as a political football) . Here we are trying to cut costs and McKeeva’s political vindictiveness is costing this country some $400,000 p.a. on highly qualified and experienced civil servants. They can’t be terminated, McKeeva because you did not have good cause, only political motives for saying you couldn’t work with them. They will sue otherwise.     

    • anonymous says:

      This is full proof that this man named McKeeva Bush seems to have broken in and made entry into our plitical systems.  Obviously he was not elected by the usual voting constitutients.

      He had to iport thousands of people, and prpbably threaten them with their status being revoked inorder to get where he is. No Caymanianian in their right mind voted for this man.

      YOu all better be prepared to march and let him and cherry bodden cowan know NO MORE STATUS GRANTS!


  17. Anonymous says:

    Politricks! Mac is fooling no one.

    All Caymanians know the history of him butting heads with Angela Martins in the past and removing her as Director of Tourism.

    This is nothing more than a political decision and MacDinejad is playing dumb. Or should I say plain dumb…?


    • Anonymous says:

      Hey it somehow works in at least part of West Bay, at least when accompanied by refrigerators, turtle meat, driveways getting paved etc.. so don’t knock it. 

  18. PQL says:


    Bush says, “Well, it is really not my problem except the budget is my concern and when money should be and should not be paid.” 

    Mac, if the Budget is really your concern, why do you allow monies to be paid out for your own HOUSEKEEPER / cook??? 

    “What’s good for the GOOSE is good for…”

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeewa needs his personal cook – If he didn’t have one his personal chauffeur would need to take him out to dinner every night, think of the gas money, so he is clearly thinking of all of the poor suffering taxpayers by insisting that he has a personal cook. It is the same with his personal housekeeper who is paid by the poor suffering taxpayers. If he did not have one he would clearly have to stay in a hotel every night and his chauffeur would have to drive him there. Lets see how that plays

      • Anonymous says:

        I saw the Ad.  At the time it was posted, heard through the grapevine that he already has his own housekeeper in West Bay. But he was paying her wage with his own pocket. That’s the difference! 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Does Bush think we are all idiots ?????

    It was him who said he would not work with these people and so they were sent on leave.

    I know one thing they are building a nice case against the Government for constructive dismissal. Remember Dr. Astley McLaughlin ????

    Yes Mr. Premier……times Dr. Astley’s entire claim, including costs, by 3 and tell me what you come up with ? Approximately $5M right……yes thats what the government will likely pay out to these officers through the courts.

    Hmmm…….thats what I call fiscal responsibility Mr. Premier…….and to think that these three are among the brightest in the service and they are women…….yes ladies pay attention…….the Premier is from the old school……women must stay in their place at home cooking and raising babies.

    Listen Cayman…….we are doomed if we allow this moron to continue any longer !!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Does he think we’re all as fool as him?!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Honestly when is Mr Bush going to stop and think before he opens his mouth . This Island has to much lawsuites going on as it is thru crap that the government has cause i dont see where we as a country can handle any more lawsuites or matter of act any more distruction does Mr. Bush forget Dr. McLaughlin if he has he should get his advisours to remind him. Honestly i wish England would come and take this country over becasue we are heading for distruction . And please dont think this is a PPM or UDP tit for tat this is a straight forward Baya.

    • anonymous says:

      You all keep forgetting that Big Mac no longer represents Caymanians.

      He is now the Premier of the Republic of The Cayman Islands and his people are all from  3rd world countries. He doesn’t answer to Caymanians anymore he don’t need their vote! We have to stop him from granting any more status or he will be in office forever! we must stop him and Cherry Bodden even if we have to petition the governor, the courts or the UK. Has anyone checked the constitution to see how we can remove him?

  22. Anonymous says:

    In the Compass today there is a job advert for a Chief Officer, Financial Services.  Can someone tell me why this position is being RE-advertised, when we have the ex-Deputy Financial Secretary (very nice lady that she is) being paid to sit on her backside doing nothing?

    The salary is the same as she is reportedly being paid, and she is a Caymanian, already in the civil service, so why not stop wasting more time and money by advertising this position and just put her into it. 

    Or could it be that her "required leave" is nothing more than a political decision, in which case Big Mac should stop shouting his mouth off.

    • Anonymous says:

      They gots to have peoples that dem can wuk wit, not dem kind that looks out for Cayman.

      Picture the job requirements for the new post if it was intended to convey the reality of what is going to be expected…..

      "Must be willing to turn a blind eye whenever "funny things" are going on, which will be frequently"

      Must be willing to sign off on really big cheques to assorted advisors, consultants, hangers on living in Dubai, and other curious personalities without enquiring why the cheque is being issued."

      "Must not ask any question or point out really stupid ideas coming from politicians.

      "Must be willing to surrenderhis or her conscience upon taking up the position."


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, 13:30, she should be given the job. She’s very bright. It would also mean she is in a job where people can actually see whether she is doing anything whereas up to now she has been either abroad or buried in an office somewhere doing something no one quite knows what.

      Any of these three could be given the post of CI Representative in London -same salary- which is being held by a foreigner at present. Of course it’s not really a job and should be abolished to save money but that’s another story.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s Dr. Dax Basdeo’s job … he is already in post, this is just a formality. That’s the way things are run under this Administration, decisions are made, then processes are pursued just for the purpose of ratification.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Surprised……Oh Please!!!! He (McKeewah) is the one who did not want to work with them. XXXXX

  24. A REALIST says:

    lol. McKeeva is a funny guy.

    They are not working because McKeeva 1. knows they are independent and cannot be controlled by him along the likes of dinosaurs like Kearney and Mr. I will sign any warrant Carson; 2. knows they are actually very intelligent and will push back against his non-sensical ideas 3. has had it in for them for nearly 20 years when he bucked heads with Mrs. Martins in Social Services and later when she and Tom Jefferson ran tourism; 4. is listening to lazy civil servants in particulary portfolios who complain about people who work their asses off and expect them to do the same as Debbie Drummond; and finally he believed that they were too close to the PPM and Mr. Bush did not want them in any possition of power.

    So for him to act ignorant and state otherwise is very dishonest.

  25. Lobsta Hunta says:

    What a mess!.. 

  26. Anonymous says:

    These are incredible statements. One of the ladies worked in the Financial Sec. office. Her duties & staff were transferred to the new Ministry of Finance (aka The Premier). So why was she not transferred along with her duties, if not at the specific request of this Minister? Yet he claims that he knows nothing about this?

    BTW, she is one of the smartest Civil Servants that we have and very knowledgeable of her subject areas. She was directly involved with the negotiation for many of the various international agreements that the new Govt. signed but they refused to use her expertise to ensure that we got something for signing.

    By the way there are/were other officers that were displaced following the change of Govt. using the excuse, "I can’t work with them". Most have now been relocated it seems. Doubt they are happy though.

    I surmise that the real reason would be not wanting someone that will intellegently question and debate policy, to point out all of the ramifications of decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil Servants who are honest, highly competent and conscientious are a threat to the personal agendas of some politicians. 

  27. Anonymous says:

    I worked for the CI Government for 10 years.  During the last 2 years, the Manager of the department tried everything in her power to make me resign.  When I did not, she refused to renew my contract and pushed me out with a pension of less than 60.00 per month.  My salary was approximately 3400.00 per month, but because the chief officer for health is related to her, I had no recourse but to go home.  I would like to know why these civil servants are still being paid their high salaries and they are not performing anything for our Government.  Mr. Ebanks, I always thought you were a fair man, but this takes the cake.  I am supposed to live on 60.00 per month, while these people are receiving over $100,000 per annum and we are all Caymanians.  This is what the Premier needs to look at.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I think this is so comical….McKeeva didn’t know…lmao!!!

    Mac, I dunno who you fooling but yourself…the reason these ladies aren’t working is because of you didn’t want them working for your administration.Just stop playing politics with peoples lives for one day nah!!

    • Anonymous says:


      • Sally Vation says:

        Capitals and 7 exclamation marks.  Well, anon, the Pulitzer is just waiting for you.  If that is all you have to say, can you please just click the "thumbs up" and move on.  The "Amen" posting virus is getting too much of a hold on the threads.

  29. CaymanLover says:

    WOW unemployment never looked so good?  Let’s all try this! Lets get removed from our posts and expect full salary in return for NOTHING.  Something tells me the repo men would come a knocking.

    Why should I bother getting up out of bed at the crack of dawn, battling through traffic to get to work, stress all day, get back in traffic and get paid peanuts for it?  Where can I send my resume for a cushy setup like these lot have???

  30. Anonymous says:

    another embaressment for mckeeva….. cayman needs direct rule asap….. every day it is proven that caymanians are incapable of running their own affairs

    • anonymous says:

      This is what I call iresponsible. Where are all you idiots that are talking independence?   

      I  hope you all awake from your sleep and slumber and realize that if Cayman goes independent with these idiots at the wheel that we will all  crash into an iceberg.

      We must remain under the UK  its our only hope.

      • Live Free... says:


      • Anonymous says:

        I think you misread the post. He said that direct rule is required. This would mean getting rid of the idiot Caymanians running the show and getting the UK to rule directly.

        The last thing he suggested was independance. Cayman has proved it cannot manage it’s own affairs, so it’s time for the UK to take over. The UK government are also a bunch of stupid, hare-brained, backstabbing, two faced and incompetent fools. But even said, they are still light years ahead of Cayman.


    • Anonymous says:

      There are some civil servants who are a true credit to their countries. Of course that alone puts them on a collision course with corrupt politicians.