Public sector to keep benefits says memo

| 11/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman civil service(CNS): Civil Servants will not be forced to make a fifty percent contribution to their health care, according to a memo from the Deputy Governor’s Office. Despite the announcement by the premier that he would be looking to reduce health benefits, freeze pensions and cut salaries of public sector workers in order to address the country’s forecast deficit, a memo sent to senior civil servants on Thursday indicates that the pension freeze isbeing deferred, and health care benefits will now not be pursued. The Cayman Islands civil service still faces uncertainty regarding earnings, however, as the memo indicates, salaries will not be cut in March but the pay reduction is still on the table for April.

On Tuesday evening some 700 public sector workers met at the Mary Miller Hall in George Town to hear that they could be facing salary cuts, starting at 5% for those earning $3000 per month, from this month’s pay cheque, as well as reductions in their employee benefits.  The meeting followed Bush’s address to the nation on Monday evening, in which he said that, although he did not want to cut salaries, there was little option.

The premier first made the announcement in the Legislative Assembly last week, stating that it was as a direct result of the need to drastically cut operating expenses in order to balance the 2009/10 budget after revenue predictions for the year have fallen some $70 million on estimates made in October.

Bush is currently in the UK discussing the contents of the Miller-Shaw report with the FCO, as well as the difficulties the Cayman Islands Government now faces over its revenue and expenditure.  

The memo offering a reprieve to public servants was sent to senior staff by Franz Manderson and also focused on the need to cut the remaining appropriations of each department by 15%.

“These reductions are utterly essential in order to reduce the projected net deficit for the year to 30th June 2010 by the entire public sector of CI$61 million,” the memo stated. The chief officer said that any acute negative impacts as a result of the reductions needed to be reported but that could not be used as a basis for not cutting and where possible departments needed to look for cuts over and above the 15%.

Manderson stated that the considerations for the 15 percent cuts would be made by Cabinet on Tuesday of next week.

The premier is expected to return from the UK early next week following his discussions on the Miller-Shaw report, which he has said he will make public on his return. Although the report has been kept under wraps, a combination of reliable sources have indicated that the report focuses on the need to drastically reduce the size of government administration and avoid imposing further taxes on the private sector. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have been reading comments on here and would suggest that folks scroll down and read this post I went to the hospital last Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/12/2010 – 00:00 and those in reply. I want to add my two cents and also praise our doctors at HSA for their caring demeanor and respect shown to patients. I have also encountered a less than respectful or caring service from a doctor at the other facility and now prefer to wait at HSA. My experience has been that once the doctors at HSA advised of a serious issue such, as bleeding, the patient is given immediate attention. My guess is that the doctors on duty that evening were not so advised.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Reduce all duplicate positions like those in HR, the CFO positions, Deputy Chief Officers just to name a few eliminate all the waste and pork belly projects.  This way the Civil Servants will be able to keep the little benefits that they have.  By God, these are some of the few benefits that Caymanians get from albiet the so call development. I don’t see the benefits to Caymanians from the mass development, where are the Caymanian millionaires, muti million dollars developments, institutions of higher learning, technical schools, educated population, homes that are paid for, social programs, world class sporting facilities, true businesses (without fronting)?

    The average Caymanian was better off in 1980 and had more in terms of wealth, less stress and happiness than now in this so call time of plenty. Please look around and take note of the beneficiaries of this wealth and trickle down economic theory.  Caymanians all right! trickle down to nothing… therefore I say leave the Civil Service benefits as is, no pay cuts and no payment of health insurance. Have a heart what more  will you expect of the Caymanian population, what more do you expect them to give away, what else is there to give? Take away some of the concessions  and give it to the working poor.  Thank you to all the Civil Servants that do a good job and to those who don’t be careful very careful all eyes are upon you and remember job are hard to get.

  3. Anonymous says:

     Has any one heard of Econ 101 and 102?…. Government should take a mandatory refresher course in Economics before they are admitted to Parliament. 

    I reviewed the budget yesterday and I see where they are planning to build a play field on the bluff for  $6million. What the?….  Millions of dollars to add new road on Cayman Brac. New roads and contruction on Grand Cayman, millions  again. Before they decide to cut civil servants pay they need to go back to the budget and cut everyone of those projects that they have not started. Once they do that the budget should balance. 

    Taking money away from the people is detramental. We already have a crime problem we don’t want it to exulate because people cant afford to put food on their families table. Have the even thought of what will be the reprecussion of their decision? Both parties are leading the country to destruction. Do they not realize that people are given loans depending on their salaries, do they not realize that if they decrease salaries, their social service expense will increase, do they not realize that production will decrease because workers are unsatisfied which will cause the government expense to increase. 

    Let’s see what they do. They promised "A BETTER WAY FORWARD" in their campaign. Let’s see if they will fulfill their promise.


    • Anonymous says:

      If they are building new roads in the Brac I object but I think they are fixing the roads.  Honestly, they haven’t been repaved since like 1802.  lol! Slight exaggeration but they are in awful condition.

  4. slowpoke says:

     The “I pay 50 % therefore you should pay 50% of health insurance…” argument is a red herring.  The real issue is that the health insurance law is fatally flawed. 

    The results of this plan are exactly the same as in the US, leaving many uninsured, many more under-insured and the wealthy over-insured. The consequences will replicate the US issues of personal bankruptcy due to health payments (60%) and long-term family loss of property, wealth and income.

    I enjoy good health and have private insurance.  But, I know that the insurance company does “cherry pick”, by having exhaustive medicals done on new employees.  And, if I were a shareholder in that company, I would want them to.  This is the fundamental flaw with having “for profit” insurance schemes.

     In order to control costs and ensure health care for Caymanians and all residents, we desperately need to have a single insurance provider for primary health care. Private insurance does have a place, for such additions as private rooms, extended care in other countries, better vision/dental plans, all brand name drugs…  

  5. Boston Tea Party says:

    The really sad thing about all the recent news about the budget is that every single proposal to raise revenue (apart from massive increases in fees and a punitive tax on the poorest workers’ money transfers), capital or to cut costs has been rejected or abandoned, so, in truth, the Government and the country are no further towards a solution than they were before they went to London last time.

    No bones about it, the Government chose extremely "small government" advisers to conduct the required survey into the budget, and therefore it is no surprise that the only real solution suggested by those advisers was to cut the size of and cost of Government.  It’s a no brainer.

    If that is unpalatable (about 50% of the voters are employed by Government because of the restricted franchise), the only other solution is direct taxation.  However, the UK, which will have the whip hand after this fiasco of governmental cowardice and opposition pigheadedness, will not allow taxation which is discrimatory, so everyone will pay, dependant on means.  I predict a property tax, like the UK council tax, based on property valuation, first, followed by a payroll tax.  The amounts will be small, but, if Government’s major expense (eg its employees and their benefits) cannot and will not be reduced, there is no option.  We have seen the effect of raising fees and duties – a massive (predictable but unpredicted – or ignored) drop in revenue, and a flight from the jurisdiction of important offshore clients.  Duh.

    All of you naysayers, who have opposed every single change or proposal, but who want gold plated everything, but had no idea how to pay for it (or, probably, felt that they were entitled to it without paying for it) are responsible for this. 

    The final truth – the private sector does indeed pay for government – and can no longer afford to do so.  Get over it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    All I know is when I go to a govn’t department I have to wait to speak to someone while the gov’t employees gossip and drink their coffee and if you tell them you are in a hurry you get attitude! I was put on hold on the phone once and could hear I was put on hold so that the lady could flirt with some guy! The simplest tasks take forever to achieve because they somply don’t care and half the employees don’t even know how to get the job done, so yes they are overpaid. If so many of them can sit around and gossip clearly there are more employees than are needed. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone else tried to have their vehcle licensed to have the worker disappear for 5 minutes in the middle of being served, with out them saying anything. and when thry get back they stink of smoke.

      that really says it all

      Also the fact that Cayman now has a big industry where you can pay people to deal with the Gov to get things doen on your behalf (eg licencing) when 20% of the working population is employed by CIG really shows how hard they work.

      Service? anyone see that notice at the cashier as GT hospital that states

      "The customer is not right, but can expect a pleasant service if they are pleasant" Who great slogan…only in Cayman

  7. Anonymous says:

    i have never seena government do as many -u-turn and flip-flops on issues since being elected….. can someone in the media please do an article listing issues the government have flip floped….. it started with pirates week debacle and has happened on a weekly basis since then……

    • frank rizzo says:

      This sounds like a perfect job for you. Please research and fill us all in. I’d hate to see someone else do the work only to hear complaints later that the answer is insufficient. Google is your friend.

  8. Anonymous says:

    One question keeps getting asked over and over again on this thread and others.  I have never heard a proper answer given. So let’s ask the basic, obvious question yet again:

    Why can’t Civil Servants pay their fair share of health insurance and pension just like everybody else?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it is in my contract of employment and when I took the job less then 12 months ago I did so in the full knowledge of my entire remuneration package.

      If it is to change then as far as I am concerned it is a breach of contract and a court case.

    • Wake me when it's over says:

      Why can’t Civil Servants pay their fair share of health insurance and pension?

      The answer is simple.

      They’re not used to it and don’t want to.

      Any other questions?

      • Anonymous says:

        I have been here for 25 years – been a CS for 12 years – I work pay check to pay check. My friends in the private sector who do not do a job anything like mine are shocked that I earn way less than them, and they are sales assistants! There may be some, a lot earning big bucks, but trust me, the hard working majority do not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most civil servants I know would do that, but the rules need to be changed and no one is making any real effort to change the rules.

      It’s apparently easier just to bash the civil servants than to make real effort at solving problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      The British Government runs the civil service. The Public pays for it and The Premier and other Government members have to find the money no matter what.

      Mac cant touch the civil service with a long stick so long as the Governor wont allow it, so dont think for a minute that we will see any cuts to either salaries, health, pensions or numbers any time soon unless we go Independent then Mac can do what he wanZ

    • Anonymous says:

      The short answer to your question is that many sivil servants do pay their fair share by purchasing private insurance through, reputable insurance companies, to ensure that they and their families are properly covered in the event of an emergency. They do not want to be left to the mercy of the government’s CINICO coverage.

      There are, of course, the highly paid and unnecessary Chief Officers, and others, who should be weeded out and gotten rid of, not the middle management and lower ranks, most of who work hard and keep the country going. Several civil servants I know are paid such low base salaries that the12% pension contribution paid by government is all that makes it worthwhile. Compare that with the long hours that many of these poor people work, including evenings and weekends without compensation when the rest of us are enjoying a break, to ensure that essential services are provided to all of us, the complaining ungrateful lot out here, and you will soon see that in fact they are still underpaid.

      Just stop bashing the civil service and looking to them to solve the economic woes of these islands and instead turn your attention to the successive political wings of government who have overspent their budgets, tweaked the figures to suit their purposes and landed us all in this mess.  That is where your venom should be directed, not the civil servants.

  9. Anonymous says:

    ok now! enough of this damned flip-flopping and yo-yoing by Mac and the UDP gang – we are all getting sea sick from this! Obviously the UDP is totally dis-organized, resulting in a truly chaotic government…get me some pepto-bismol please!

  10. Anonymous says:

    All chief officers and deputy chief officers should be relieved of their positions forthwith i.e. fired. They have failed in their responsibilities and should be made accountable. By the way all those politicians that are singing no cuts in civil servants will not be geting any vote from me. I would suggest the rest of voting Cayman do the same. I believe if new politicians campaigne for getting rid of all those expensive dead weights at the top, the rest of the hardworking civil servants will vote for you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Civil Servants should pay 50% of their health insurance benefits just as the private sector employees do. Why are civil servants or employees of the Government so special that they shouldn’t have to pay anything for their health insurance?

    Also, why does Government pay 12% pension for all it’s employees, 100%? Private sector pay 10% and the employee pays 5% of the contribution. Why doesn’t Government adapt the same values? How much could the country save if we only give the exact same benefits the employees would otherwise receive if working in the private sector? Lets see Government could save 5%, or as it is now 6%, of it’s total wages for what (?) 6,000 employees? How much would that save the Governemnt?  Why are Government employees any different? Why are they owed more than the rest of us for performing a job? A job they should be thankful to have. Sorry civil servants but it’s the facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      You talk about facts but you have one important fact incorrect. You say:

      "Civil Servants should pay 50% of their health insurance benefits just as the private sector employees do."

      I’m sick to death of hearing this as though everyone in the private sector has the same job with the same rewards. Some people have better jobs than others. Those with good jobs in the private sector get good benefits. Many many people in the private sector get their health insurance paid for them. Many get bonuses, their rent paid and school fees paid. I got free health insurance in the private sector. If I went to the private sector to perform the same role I do for government then i’d get free health insurance. I got it for 20 years in the private sector in the uk.

      • Anonymous says:

        Many get bonuses, their rent paid and school fees paid. I got free health insurance in the private sector.

        Many? really? out of probably a 100 high up employees I know in the private sector, none have their rent paid off, or school fees paid for and none have their pensions paid 100% free

        If you worked in the private sector in the UK you did pay for your health care via taxes, think about it.

        I personally are sick to death of freeloaders risking every Caymanian future and their childrens future for their own short term selfishness

        As for heath benefits recently everyone at our firm went from paying 50% of heath benefits to 100% of families benefits.

        Yep the rest of the island are scrapping the barrel while the CS stuff themselves with whats left in the larder before it’s empty and our children starve

        When taxes come everyone please remember it was not the UDP or PPM that destroyed Cayman but the greed of the civil servants.

        Congratulations I hope you can look in the mirror when it happens.

    • Anonymous says:

      As I responded to another comment here, because that is what I agreed in my contract.

      I am willing and more then able to fulfil my side of the contract but if the terms are to change without my consent then it is constructive dismissal and they can pay up the value of my contract and I will be on my way.

      Do not assume I do not care about my job. I am a professional putting in 11 hour plus days. I work well over and above my contractual obligations but I do not expect the counter party to renage on its side. If they could not afford me they should not have recruited me.

      However there is a need to reduce waste in the system. Cutting budgets etc is what is needed and I have to question why there are still jobs being advertised.

  12. Anonymous says:

    None of the MLA have the kahunas to upset the electorate (i.e. the civil service), so they pretty much tied their own hands behind their backs here.

    The civil service is greatly overpaid compared to the private sector. It makes me laugh when I see admin jobs being advertised at over 50k a year, where the equivelent role in a company would get maybe 20-25k.

    Obviously it’s not nice for anybody to have a pay cut enforced on them, but unfortunately there is no alternative if the country is to stay afloat. If I was as overpaid as them I would feel a bit guilty raking in so much for doing so little…..


    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       The country has no money….where will the pay and full benefits come from?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the private company is underpaying its people ?

      Why don’t you apply for that job, idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish. If the public sector was so well paid there would be thousands desperate to get a job there. Maybe you just didnt cut the mustard when you applied and were rejected. If so I wonder why.

  13. Disappointing says:

    Yet again Mac is bullied by Watler into taking a big step back from what he has to do.  We really need to cut civil service benefits drastically and cut 20% of the jobs.  We are now going to have to ask the UK to be allowed to borrow more money when the UK’s position has been absolutely clear.

    • Anonymous says:

       Poor timid Mac… bullied by James Watler.  Golly gee.  What’s a shy and delicate Premier to do?

  14. Us says:

    Ok, so now that has been cleared up would he address the growing crime?

  15. Anonymous says:


  16. Anonymous says:

    You know I am sick and tired of this whole "I pay your benefits" argument being put forward by some very ignorant people. Exactly how do you pay for those things?  By paying the same fees that I pay on a regular basis.  At the very most your argument would have to be that you are paying a larger proportion than me.  But then lets talk about all the things that I do for you, like working an average of 10 hours a day when I only get paid for 7.5, and not getting paid overtime or time-off-in-liue for doing so.  Or the fact that I have health insurance that has an attached premium that accounts for people the private sector refuses to insure because they put on 10 pounds – why don’t you go after them they are the ones causing the high cost.  Or how about the fact that I am keeping the hospital open so you can use it when you need it.  Or the fact that your garbage magically disappears whether you pay the fee or not.  Or the fact that your children get educated for free. Or the fact that private sector schools would close if it weren’t for Govt funding – I contribute to that and my children go to public school so if we are going to talk about people paying for their own share then I don’t want to pay to send your children to private school while mine have to go to public school! How about that?

    Stop acting as if the Civil Service is some separate entity that you can just cut away and the rest of you will be okay.  Recognize that the VAST MAJORITY of Civil Service jobs are paid lower than private sector and therefore the so-called ‘free’ benefits are incentive offered to attract people into working for the Government.  Stop the blanket statements against us, there are over 3,500 Civil Servants and a total of 6,000 Government workers… are you telling me that you experience even 10% of those people on a regular basis?  Come on!

    I have worked in both private and public sector and believe me, there are inefficiencies on both sides.  I encountered quite a few lazy, do nothings in the private sector, so this is not an exclusive problem.  Civil Servants RESENT lazy employees and are not afraid to say so, there is no protection afforded them by us and we would love to get rid of them.. but you know what, most of them are placed into the Civil Service by POLITICIANS looking to find employment for their constituents who couldn’t find work in the private sector for reasons of prejudice or inability.  Then those same politicians make public statements to downsize the Service.

    They also interfere with Departments, like Social Services for instance, forcing them to pay money to people that shouldn’t get it.  You all need to understand one thing.  We are not stupid people, we know the issues and we know how to fix them.  But 1. we can’t speak of them openly and 2. the solutions are usually not to the politicians advantage.  if you seem to be disagreeing with a politician then they go behind your back and accuse you of being alligned with the other party and the next thing you know you are home for no reason.

    By the way, genius private sector people, 1. Govt put together a task force of public and private sector accountants to get the late accounts done.  It isn’t working because the Govt workers have to spend all their time explaining public accounting to the private sector people!  2. The Government put together a group of its private sector supporters to approve the new revenue items that have failed miserably!!!! So some of you aren’t as cracked up as you supposed to be either huh?

    The biggest point lost in all of this is that the Civil Service was asked to cut expense and that happened, it downsized and it saved money on expenses, $7 million I think.  The problem we are facing now is because the revenue didn’t work!

    So do me a favour and please SHUT UP about the Civil Service, you people don’teven have a clue what you are talking about.

    • A Concerned Caymanian says:

      Well said!

    • Anonymous says:

      To say you know the problems and have solutions but cant talk about them is just not true.

      You just dished out a real spectrum of sassiness to the public in this forum under the anonymous disguise, did’nt you?

      You can see things your way. The Public who has to pay you salary certainly should be able to see things their way too.

      You earn enough money to send your children to private schools just like the private sector employees do. Problem is if you and all the civil servants do that it would greatly reduce the amount of civil servants required in the schools and your membership would not want that, would you?

  17. Anonymous says:

    It is not the fault of the Civil Servants people. What a load of baloney!

    I worked for the private sector for a while, and now work for CIG as a civil servant.

    In the private sector it is more organised and streamlined.Working in government if anything is harder and more difficult because it is so disconnected and beauracratic.

    In government it is chaos, because of a lack of organisation and leadership. Some of the leadership dinasours also takes their fiefdom’s as their personal right which is half of the problem.


  18. Anonymous says:

    What lunacy to suggest that reducing government expenditure canbe achieved by reducing the number of civil servants and/or their salaries and benefits.  Clearly this will never work.

    The solution to all of the Cayman Islands problems is obvious.  The government should immediately give all civil servants a 10% pay rise and recruit all unemployed caymanians regardless of their education or experience to the civil service workforce.  This sudden increase in wealth will clearly result in increased expenditure and will immediately reduce unemployment thereby simultaneously eliminating all murders, shootings & crime and will increase local consumerism so that everyone will prosper.

    Supermarkets and utility companies can immediately increase their charges by at least 5% so they too can share in the newly found wealth. 

    Cleary this will lead the country out of its current financial mess into prosperity for evermore.

    Anyone who doesn’t agree with the above obviously knows nothing and doesn’t deserve to live in this country.  Whether you are 1st generation, 4th generation or even 18th generation caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      I went to the hospital last night with my child who was bleeding badly after  a kitchen incident – we were told that we would have to wait 2 – 3 hrs – and there was practically no one in the emergency waiting roon – no one that was bleeding like my child anyway. I went to C. Tomlinson Hospital as my child could not wait that long and was treated immediately – my Gov. insurance was useless – but my child’s well-being was paramount. GTH – has to step up and give a service – which I would be willing to pay for.

      • Sorry to say says:

        By anaology that is the rest of us feel about the civil service generally – we pay for it but the service is atrocious.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not me! I have always been treated well at HSA and I applaud the doctors and nurses who are overworked and stressed beyond their limits.

      • Fed Up but Optomistic says:

        I applaud you.  May I ask how much CTH charged you for that service?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well lucky you didn’t go to CT hosp late at night as I once had to! The nurses were wonderful but the sourly doctor who was called out to attend to me made it quite clear that I was disturbing his evening by his shockingly unprofessional and hateful demeanor. On top of that, I was issued a huge bill for such awful service that I was left feeling even more ill and stressed by the time I left. As I was leaving that sad night I watched the overinflated ego that called itself a doctor recklessly speed out of the parking lot and there and then I decided not to even trust his prescription, which I threw in the garbage. I have never returned there, and have no intentions of doing so. Instead I prefer to wait for hours at GT Hosp where at least I have always been treated respectfully and in a caring manner by the poor overworked doctors on duty. So my dear, both hospitals have their issues but give me GT Hosp any day.

        • Anonymous says:

          My goodness! I had an almost identical experience at C.T. hospital as you did but I thought it was a one off incident and not the norm. It must have been the same fat cat doctor who was on call because the stinking attitude you describe was exactly what I had projected towards me when I took my ill child there one night. That character who they called doctor behaved more like a disconnected, uncaring military officer than a doctor who cared about my child’s health and I too was extremely offended by the attitude and I have never returned. I dont have any intention of returning either. The H.S.A doctors are overworked but they care about their patients and they display it. I am so appreciative of how hard they work to take care of all of us and I am happy to be able to sing them and them praises!

          • Anonymous says:

            Is it his job to care or to diagnose and treat? Many doctors have no personality, but that is no indicator of competence.

            • Anonymous says:

               Yeah, just look at Dr Gregory House on TV. Now thatis no bedside manner, but he knows what he is doing. 

        • Anonymous says:

          "I decided not to even trust his prescription, which I threw in the garbage."

          Sounds you weren't sick that night, BoBo.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL, I love this comment ! Typical local government worker who is absolutley clueless to how the world actually works, and thinks ‘money grows on trees’.

      Delaying the required cuts, is only increase the ‘pain’ later on.

    • Anonymous says:

      obviously a sarcastic post but the scary thing is that people like moses kirkconnell actually beleive in this mentality!

  19. anonymous says:

    McCheeze is a big blowhard.  Kurt ain’t better.  Can you hear the fat ladying singing????

  20. Anonymous says:

     I believe that many in the civil service are on highly inflated salaries. Some I understand stay at home and still get paid thousands of dollars. What a shame and disgrace. Why is this not corrected? How can we find money to waste?

    • Anonymous says:

      Tsk, tsk…there are always those who take one bit of news and turn it into the norm. Though less than 1% of civil servants sit home (because of politicians by the way) the rest of us show up to work and do our jobs!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    The Yo Yo Government!! I wonder what new thing they will come up with next week, then change the story again!

    I guess the Premier will blame CNS and the Compass for giving the public inaccurate information.

    Hold on, will the MLA’s salary be cut??? Will the Premier’s be cut by 30% as he stated.


  22. Joe Grinder says:

    To Wake me up.

    As an avid smoker and social drinker,which is the only way I can read this blog.I can only sit amazed at the claptrap of logic that comes from the minds of these civil servants,the entitled persona of them is what I find the most astonishing. They think nothing of ripping off the government for ,time ,gas,cell phone,time off,gas ,did I say gas.In my mind which I’m assured will be met with (If you don’t like it get out).Attitude. I say to them that your BELOVED MAC,will be shot down (like Ezzards private motion bill to allow a 12 gauge shotgun to eradicate the scourge of the agouti).In England ,he is not on his own turf now is he?.Your Island will come crashing down .They will say no to Big/little Mac,they will say ,either you put in a payroll tax,property  tax for all, no exemptions for , The DNA to to Terra Firma.Or you have to get rid of you expenditure ,which is 55% of your budget on the civil service.Simple to me ,hard reality for the chosen

  23. Common Sense says:

    No surprises in this news.  At the end of the day, for politicians it is all about getting re-elected.  Whilst it is a difficult and politically risky decision to require civil servants to pay half of their medical premiums and take a pay cut, I believe that the majority of civil servants were expecting it to happen. 

    The fact that the present financial position of the country is severe, if there was ever a time to make this difficult decision, it is now. 

    Perhaps we need to sink even deeper (as a result of increased borrowing) to where the CI$ will have to be eventually devalued to par with the US$ before the government realises that it is time to act.

    When (and I say when because we are headed to that destination fast) this happens:

    1. We will wake up to 20% inflation that happened overnight;

    2. Government will then have to implement direct taxation; sell assets; cut civil service jobs, massively cut services and infrasture expenditure all simultaneously.

    3. Foreign investors, Caymanians and residents with the means will flee;

    4. Businesses will collapse like a landslide, causing massive unemployment.

    5. Crime will rise to a level that makes today’s crime level seem like the wonderful old days in Cayman when things were not so bad.

    I do not take any pleasure in writing this negative outlook but for those who do not understand what could happen, this is a real possibility.

     It is never a nice thing to have to take a pay-cut or lose employment benefits and I believe that most people can appreciate the difficulties this will cause to those impacted.  However, without a doubt the situation will get even more severe in the not too distant future if this bitter pill is not taken now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Common Sense THANK YOU!!

      I truly hope everyone reads and UNDERSTAND what exactly WILL happen. The level of selfishness of my people is unprecendented.

      Too many people want to take take take and not contribute their fair share back to society.

      I was disgusted when I heard about the Premier requesting companies to give yet more handouts to civil servants through reduced grocery bills. Ridiculous more of the same setting up the system for abuse and absolutely no accountability for one’s actions.


    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, civil servants should take a pay cut, but there is a lot more that should be done by other entities as well.

      The private sector has contributed nothing to the government and the greedy banks are still doing their best to squeeze everything out of us all, but of course there is no cry for private sector contributions! It seems to me that many private sector companies have  downsized to their benefit by laying off Caymanians and so further contributing to the Islands woes with growing unemployment.

      However, I agree with those who keep calling for the government  to get rid of the wretched finance and management law that has contributed heavily to this delimma by cutting all of their overpaid Chief Officers and others who are totally unnecessary and whose overinflated salaries are not good value for money. I cannot think of one of those characters who are worth the amount that they are being paid. Get rid of them all!!

  24. are you serious? says:

     What a disgrace, the civil service should be ashamed of its self. Not only have they said no to everything possible solution put forward, they have yet to come up with any viable alternatives. The private sector has born the brunt of this down turn with job cuts, pay cuts and companies leaving, what exactly has the civil service offered? NOTHING. Have your cake and eat it you selfish ……., you will be responsible for the introduction of property or income tax to this island – well done, you probably haven’t realised but these taxes will affect you as well! or are you hoping the government will only tax the private sector and let the civil service carry on as if nothing has changed?

    Disgrace i say.

    • Anonymous says:

       It is my understanding that the Civil Service Association DID present a rather long list of cost cutting options and yet none of those options has been implemented.

      It seems clear that if you want to break (or revise) a contract (which is how most civil servants are employed), you will have to negotiate.  Most civil servants I know are willing to make changes, but the "leaders" of government seem much more concerned about stuffing their own pockets and protecting their own friends than real, necessary, lasting, positive change.  Their should be daily meetings to negotiate a proposal acceptable to both sides that can be presented to the Civil Service Association for a vote.  I realize that not every civil servant belongs to the Association (why not?) but change must come and this seems a logical way to affect that change.

      Also, it is my understanding that pensions benefits are written into law and that to change those benefits, laws will need to be changed.  Has any meeting been held among representatives of the concerned parties to determine how these laws may be changed to better reflect the realities of the current world economic situation.

      I think civil servants are fully aware of (and are experiencing for themselves) the results of employment practices that are outdated and no longer economically feasible for this country, and are willing to make the necessary change for the good of all.  It is up to the "leaders" to work with the civil service to do what needs to be done.

      But so far, this administration has proved as effective at resolving the "civil service problems" as they are at dealing with violent crime.


      • Anonymous says:

        Who is responsible for implementing the cuts proposed by the Civil Service?…Why the Civil Service of course!

        Why have they not done so already to SHOW the nation that cuts to their salaries are not necessary?

        BECAUSE THEIR SOLUTIONS WILL NOT SAVE ENOUGH TO BALANCE THE BOOKS. Not even close. Just more hot air to try and delay the worse cuts down the road.

        Cayman – it is time to get real. Schools in the USA are closing for periods due to lack of funding – it is happening EVERYWHERE.

        Pain now, or even worse pain later – choice is yours.


  25. Anonymous says:

     Why is it that those in the private sector feel that they are paying our pension contributions and health insurance?  The majority of private sector employees seem to feel that we as government employees are fat cats that are overpaid, do nothing, and pay for nothing. 

    If working for government is so great, then why aren’t you all trying to get jobs with government?  Most government employees are underpaid, that’s why we have other benefits such as pension and health insurance. Foreigners that are recruited outside of the island for government jobs, receive salaries larger than a local doing the same job, they receive travel benefits to fly home for vacations, they get some sort of housing allowance, car allowance, in face, some don’t even have to touch their salaries.  So maybe we should start with cutting those perks.  

    I am a civil servant and I am willing to make sacrifices, but don’t tell me that I am overpaid, lazy and that YOU as a private sector employee are paying for my benefits.  I would happily contribute to health insurance if I were able to go to a private doctor.  I do not go to the GT hospital.  Every time I need to visit a doctor/dentist refill a prescription, I have to pay every single penny of that bill.  Yes it is my choice to go to a private doctor, but I have very little confidence in the GT hospital.  As for my pension, the way the Pension Board is run, I doubt I’ll be actually collecting anything when I do retire. 

    Yes there are civil servants that come in do nothing and collect a salary, but that is not all of us.  There are many of us that work very hard, for a fraction of what we would be paid in the private sector.  

    And the only reason that foreigners are here in Cayman working and living is because they have a much better life here than they ever could in their own country.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. 

    So before you put all Caymanian’s down and take joy in civil servants having pay cuts etc….why don’t you put that energy into coming up with viable solutions for getting this country back on track.  You want to be considered one of us, but when the going gets tough many of you are the first to turn on Caymanians.  

    Do you really think that kind of attitude is going to solve anything? all it is going to do is to cause further resentment and conflict between Caymanians and ex-pats.  

    Be a part of the solution, not the problem. 


    • Anonymous says:

      "Why is it that those in the private sector feel that they are paying our pension contributions and health insurance?  The majority of private sector employees seem to feel that we as government employees are fat cats that are overpaid, do nothing, and pay for nothing. "

      They say that Civil Servants are ignorant but what about the private sector that has no idea of how government runs and who is responsible for what.  With FOI they could take some time to figure it out instead of attacking people.  Unfortunately, this is dividing the country.  The gangs are taking over the country and I never thought this day would come but if it continues, we will have a civil war.

      This has to stop.We can’t fight crime like this.  Civil Servants are willing to make all cuts except pay cuts.  Why?  If the cuts are made less money will be spent and then the country will not be in recession but depression.  Our country can’t handle that amount of money not floating around in the businesses.  The worse thing to do is to cut pay.  It’s better to cut other places, sell turtle farm and other businesses.  Maybe, Disney will want it.

    • Truther 9-11 says:

      Sir, I suggest you trade in your worthless degree in Psychology, Business Management, Law, Accounting or other useless pseudo-intellectual BS for something that actually means something. Then you may not be so anxious to protect your non-job.

      Are you listening caymanian parents who have spent fortunes on your kids at school to have them learn absolutely nothing but white man magic?

      And it must be magic to make money from some of the ridiculous degrees that you bring home.

    • Anonymous says:


      You ask "Why is it that the private sector think they are paying our pension and health contributions?"

       Where do you think the money comes from? Santa? the tooth fairy?  No, our tax dollars.

      • Me says:

        No civil servant should be expected to pay 50% of a healthcare plan run by CINICO because it includes a premium for other indigents and pensioners and other uninsureds.  My family CINICO policy is in excess of CI 1000 per month to cover all these people not covered under private insurance ect should I be expect to pay for them because I am a civil servant.. How about you pay for me on your company health plan.  I think your health policy contributes $5 dollar or $10 dollars a month while mine is over US $400 per month.  Thats a big part of the reason government is broke because the a lot of people have limits of $25,000 on their health care policy and get sick and $25,000 is finished in a matter of days.  many companies in the private sector has no heart and only interest in making most $$ or staying inbusiness so they don’t care about their poor staff as long as they can remain competitive with India, China or some other  developing nation where a person is worth less than a dog.  Not laying any blame but just saying that with globalization that is the way the world is going. It is government job to transfer the wealth but in Cayman they have yet to find an equitable way to do so.  The fearmonger and people making the $$ do not want to pay income, gains or other progressive tax. I understand their position and it is a hard debate given the immigration issues we have and the large number of foregin nationals or residents that don’t associate themselves as belonging for various reasons

        At this fork in the road, we have two choices and they are not as obvious as tax or cut.  I think the choice is grow or shrink. With the grow scenario we have options tax or cut.  We  have been enticed into thinking that the first sentence is the only choice.  While harder to imagine and more painful the latter choice of growing or shrinking remains on the table. 

        Indeed, many businesses have made unwise decisions towards this speculations and have put pressures towards growth (political and economical).  Such is the human nature and the nature of the planet today.  But in the overall picture we are not the average part of the plant ,that of vast continents and great  numbers of people.

        We are but a small island with few natural resources and a heavy dependency on two industries that are subject to heavy competition and one with almost unlimited mobility.  To replicate the style of investment and the prospect of future growth was and is unwise and not prudent by many of our proclaimed best minds.  The Caymanian populace has convinced themselves and given further conviction to these people as the master of the universe of whose universe is exteremly small and unimportant in the greater scheme of humanity. 

        The potential exists for much money to be lost and much population to dissappear and the Caymanian populace should align a porition of their wealth to investments outside of Cayman. 

        I read the Compass with great interest and as citizen of this planet and have fear that perhaps there is no stopping this outcome and warn my country to prepare. 

        But if we can make it until 2011 or 2012 I think we will be fine>

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me throw the same comment back @ u: BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM.

      Stop generalizing. Talk to people and find concrete facts before putting your stupidity down on paper.

      Please tell me what company gives travel benefits for foreigners along with housing allowance and car allowance so I can go applythere!! You are a joke!

      I pay US 875 a month for health insurance for my family including my unemployed Caymanian husband who has been looking for work for 2 years and finding it impossible to get hired.
      Why? He has a police record….I am here because he can’t get a visa to go to my country. So we are raising our children here, after all, they are Caymanian.

      It would be a lot cheaper to live in my country even tho Iwould have to pay 28 percent of my gross salary in taxes to both federal and state governments. But a gallon of gas is US 2.50 right now, milk is 3.00 a gallon, light and water bills are like 75 percent less than here, health insurance is less than here blah blah blah.
      So guess what, It’s WAYYYY better there cost of living wise, but I chose to raise my kids here with theie father.

      Why is it, could you tell me please, that you think the government should pay 100 percent of your health insurance? This is one reason your government is broke. What private sector company pays 100 percent? Well, they do for singles but not dependents. Hence my 875 a month payment out of my salary. And that’s why MY company is in good fiscal shape, they aren’t giving everything away for free.

      And also, if you aren’t making enough as a civil servant, why don’t YOU go out to the private sector so you can get those great benefits you claom we all have.

      Get a grip on realiity. Be a part of the solution, not the PROBLEM!

    • are you serious? says:

       why exactly are you trying to make this into a Caymanian versus ex pat argument. you can try and drive a wedge between whoever you like but this has nothing to do with expat / caymanian issues. The issue is that Caymanians in the private sector are fed up with making all the sacrafices while their brethren in the public sector refuse to give an inch. would you rather take a 5% pay cut or lose your job? its not complicated. Its a rubbish choice but there is no alternative, the MLA’s and the people of Cayman have asked the civil servants to do their part but at every request the civil servants say that they don’t want to give up ANYTHING.

      Civil servants, just please give the people of cayman something. if you don’t do your part, like everyone else, we will all suffer equally – Tax and pain.

    • Common Sense says:

       Sadly, no one learned from Hurricane Ivan.  If ever there was a WAKE UP call to save for a rainy day (no tourists for months and everyone under stress) then that event was no simple rain drop….


      However, we kept spending and borrowing like spoiled little children and now MUST balance our budget with the ONLY thing we have control over: The number of Govt. employees and what they earn.  Sorry, we cannot go to the private sector "again"…it is time to CUT GOVT. JOBS!!! and hope that we learn this time to save some money for a rainy day.

      Time for 4 day work weeks Govt. folks….Payless Paydays!  Look on the bright side….nomore ridiculous sick days (shameful they are used openly as holidays).  The city of Detroit had to do this.  (payless paydays) Just think every Friday you will have time to garden, shop, be with family, or relax….since the Govt workers are soooo overworked?  

      My goodness, ROOSTER 101 talk show: The lady with 33 year in Govt made my point today.  She "earned" every cent of her pension, but had lots of time to call on a talk show and tell us clearly that she enjoys volunteering for after school programs.  So, when does she actually WORK?

      Cuts jobs and go to 4 day works weeks for the next 36 months until we are OUT OF DEBT!!!






  26. Wake me when it's over says:

    I read this from the beginning right down to the end.  This seems like a reasonable and sensible solution to our current problems. For the following well-thought out reasons: 

    where’s my lighter??


    If.. the largest government expenditure.. as widely reported… is thecivil service payroll and benefits, there isn’t any reason why this should be tampered with.

    If.. most workers on the island need to pay a portion of their pension and health insurance,  phweeeeet    There isn’t any logical reason civil servants should have to do the same.  That’s harsh.

    If…many workers on the island have recently had to take pay cuts, there isn’t any real reason… why civil servants should have to undergo the same hardship. Why not just some of us??

    …I need a drink

    If…many workers will now be asked to forfeit any pension contributions, I see slurp no reason why fully  ahhhhhh   paid-for pension contributions shouldn’t continue for civil servants.

    slurp  If…..  slurp  phweeet  only a few rowdy civil servants took advantage of free gas and it only cost us half an million dollars….what’s the big deal??  Lighten up.


    those are my out well-thought comments

    phweeet  slurp  phweet  ahhhhhh   slurp


    if I get up early enough i’m going to apply for a job in the chivil shervice.  what time do they open???

    • Anonymous says:

      hahahahohohoheeheehee…..ah likes your sense ah humour! slurp..slurp…phweet….

    • tired says:


      I am a Caymanian civil servant and yes there are many gross abuses of government’s funds for example recently I have seen the following
      Extended and fully paid maternity leave for over six months, the work from home scam, conducting of private enterprise whilst at work etc, and employment of unnecessary staff for multiple reasons (including personal friendships, national politics, avoidance of rollover policy). I also have knowledge of people paid (illegally) well above their positions determined salary grade.
      In earlier times I have also been asked to (near our fiscal year end) spend my entire budget to prevent it being cut.
      Yet I was also in a department that provided essential services and where we never got paid a dime of overtime (I put in quite a bit!), time in lieu often never came. I never received a raise/increment (well except for cost of living).I never ever got a bonus. I was also paid below the grade of my salary even though I had similar qualifications to my predecessor. Furthermore, I purchased much of my work related supplies out of pocket drove my own vehicle and bought my own gas. In addition all but one of the trainings I attended where fully funded by international organizations. All of these trips were intensive comprehensive and relevant.  
      And the weird thing was I was the norm (except for the salary thing!) in this department.
      And I know, I know it must all be because I am incompetent and could not be employed by private sector, and therefore my salary must decrease.
      Alas private sector an even public sector advocates of job cuts I pose the following question for a real problem solving discussion:  What do you think will happen to those people who are cut who are not from other countries? Private sector will not have them (you can debate as to why economy, prejudice, generally unemployable etc). All other countries are in the same mess if not worse so emigration is not viable, perhaps they could become entrepreneurs’. Yet I think the chances of acquiring sufficient startup funds would be slim considering the current financial climate. SO the question remains what are we going to do with 800 unemployed Caymanians?! Please tell me. Really I want to know. Perhaps the better question may be what will 800 unemployed Caymanians do with us?! “A hungry mob is a angry mob” so said Bob.
      Regarding pension as far I know we pay .5 and gov matches that. What is different is that our pension is higher I think the law only mandates 5% and we get 12%. However, as far as I know, ½ of that 12% is paid by civil servants.
      I also have a genuine question I have now read on this site of the private sector salary cuts could anyone elaborate? Was this wide scale? What percentage of cut was /is experienced and how and when it was implemented.
      Just wondering?
      • Anonymous says:

        I believe you when you say that you work hard and also believe that most of the civil servants do.

        "I never received a raise/increment (well except for cost of living)" Thanks for putting this up, what do you think cost of living is? It is an increase!!!, when people in the private sector say flat or decrease in salary they are talking $$$, most of the private sector do not receive cost of living adjustment.

        Fully agree with your point about the famous saying by Bob. It is not time for cutting heads, that is why the Government is proposing salary/benefits cuts.

        If you really think you are underpaid and can get a job in the private sector then stop complaining and do so, you will be doing a great service to the country helping reduce cost and to your colleagues who may have to work harder but will be less likely to be made redundant down the road.

        Lastly, what does it mean "as far as I know we pay .5"? Does your salary slip show a deduction for pension contribution or not? If it doesn’t then what do you think that the union pays it for you? that the money falls from the sky?Most of the civil servants do not have this deduction while all the private sector does, that is the point, you should pay as most of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      To: Wake me up when is over.

      Thanks man!, I’m printing this, not only you are absolutly right but you made me lough a lot, and given the seriousness of the situation that is not easy these days.

      If somehow I find out who you are I’ll buy you a couple of more drinks.


  27. common sence says:

    This is a very sensible decision. Our must applaud the Government to standing up to the bully boy fat cats in the Financial Services.

    The vast majority of  our Civil Servants e.g firemen, teachers, garbage collectors are hard working and relatively lowly paid., and our country cannot do without them

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, many are essential, but a country with 60,000 people and 6,000 civil servants has too big a public sector.

      You mention firemen, garbage collectors. Did you know their vehicles are all maintained by a governemnt department?  It’s called DVES. Did you know it costs more to maintain that vehicle than if it was taken to a local, private garage.  There are countless jobs in government that could easily be farmed out to the private sector.

      Oh and tell me again – why can’t they pay a share of their own pension and health care like everyone else? 

      • Jab-Jab says:

        Because their benefits are defined in their contracts? I hope you’re not advocating that employers unilaterally breach contract with their employees just to free up operating capital to redirect to to other projects. Remember, the government did not propose cutting civil service pay to cut debt; it proposed cutting civil service pay to fund more projects, like the Port.

        • Anonymous says:

          I suppose then the only option left is to let the "Company" go bankrupt. Then the need to trim operating costs would be a moot point!

        • Anonymous says:

          umm, no he’s not suggesting breaching contracts. He’s suggesting changing future ones.

        • Anonymous says:

          To: Jab-Jab,

          Amazing how you don’t get it. This is not about contract, if you don’t accept cuts your contract will be as worth us the Lehman Brothers, Enron, etc. contracts!

  28. Caymanian 2 D Bone & Proud of It says:

    If anyone knows the figures that are spent on the following please respond.

    We now live in the technology era, there are so many ways that the UDP PPM Government can cut cost using technology, e.g.  first class seats aboard CAL, High priced suites, & transportation, & meals vs Purchasing VIdeo Conferncing equipment (doesnt the Court House have this already?), elimanate the cost of HOTEL, TRANSPORTATION, & and here is a great way to contribute back to the failing economy eat at local restaurants, & leave nice tips for the under paid. (How much do you think this would save? couple of thousands maybe more with whole UDP / PPM entourage that goes on these trips….

    Instead of a Chaufer driven gas guzzler (paid for by us) try using our Board of Transportation taxi’s, they contribute to the Governments annual revenue as well when they pay for their Taxi renewals, medicals, Licencing fees, & Insurance.

    Utilization of so many other means ARE availiable but the mere thought of giving up all the fancy luxurys are unthinkable to our Government (UDP& PPM alike).

    It is sad to think that with all the faith & trust we(their BOSSES) put into our countrys’ leaders ability to keep our country financially afloat and secure,and it doesn’t matter if it is UDP or PPM with 15 elected Govt members plus Cabinet Ministers whom are suppose to be able to do their jobs, we as a country should not be where we are today.  And before any Middle or Low ranking Civil Servant are let go take a good look at the Higher Mgmt (Top Positions) because it is very clear to the Caymanian People that both parties (UDP & PPM) have failed miseribly at Managing or Country,therefore YOU should be fired first.

    Leave the Civil Service intact, the public have come to believe all CS employees are slackers, because of constraints by General Orders they are not allowed to publicly voice their concerns about certain situations that each of the CS face on a daily basis to ensure you the private sector are taken care of, sure there are CS that don’t pull their weight and over burden the rest of us with extra workloads but the majority of CS are hard working some of us multi task daily, and you the private sector know those CS who each and everytime you visit the various Govt depts on a regular basis see them , some of you deal with certain CS’s so often that if they are not there you will come back so that you only conduct business with that particular individual, the CS slackers have cast a bad reputation on the whole of CS and it so wrong for all of the CS to be judged the same. 

    If at present the CIvil Service is at 3000+ how many would need to be cut to balance the "Budget", e.g. 300 -400 Civil servants ? 300-400 CS’s without work (most likely Caymanians) cantget a job in the private sector, then what? can’t pay their rent/mortgage, feed their families, pay their bills, the list goes on.

    Now here is the best part, you are in your own country with and can’t a job , what happens then???  fathers frustrated because they can’t provide for his family, mothers holding down an additional job,  children raising themselves?  when you are an honest hardworking person and your means of survival is taken away what happens???  CRIME and more CRIME



  29. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable! While Nero fiddles, Rome burns.

  30. Rob says:

    Finally some sensible decisions being made

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh. OK Rob. So I guess I’m paying your pension and health care contributions again this month, am I?

        Plus my own of course.

  31. Anonymous says:

    udp… the flip-flop party…..

  32. Anonymous says:

    Shame! It appears that the Govt is not serious about cutting expenditure and implementing reforms.

  33. Anonymous says:

    What a shambles.


  34. A REALIST says:

    You don’t mess with the civil service mafia.

    Kiki gave a speech in the house where he said, "he would not take no for an answer". lol

    After a week of advertising he was able to get 250 (at most) to the Courthouse steps. In 9 hours civil servants were able to mobilise 800 to Mary Miller Hall. And now the great Premier has sought to absolve himself of all responsibilty by saying his government can’t act on salaries. It must be the Governor and deputy governor.

    Amazing. The man is scared for his political life and since last year has backtracked more than in the previous 26 years of his political life. If there is anything worse than a flip-flopper its someone who can’t take a position.

    Rolston I listen to you in the LA and on the radio. You can advocate points rationally and clearly and give credit where credit is due.  They say your time will come. Your time is NOW!! Rolston he is threatened by you. Why else would he take persons of the caliber of who he did to England to budget talks over a CPA in his cabinet?

    I know. I know. He has the big money behind him and you are afraid of what it will mean to campaign if the big money deserts you next election. You are afraid of his wrath. FRIG THAT! Step up. This isn’t 2000. You have proven yourself. What all interests, business and otherwise need now, is intelligent level headed leadership. That is YOU. If Obama could take down Bill and Hillary you can’t take down William McKeeva Bush.

    Act. For us all.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What an absolute joke.

    Who came up with the ridiculous idea in the first place that civil servants shouldn’t have to pay their way like everyone else when it comes to pensions and health care?  Why should my taxes subsidise them at all? They should be embarassed. 

    I’m not blind, I see how much "work’ some of these civil servants do. The more you work with Govt Depts the more you see it. Half a day’s work in a pretend job –  many are on highly inflated salaries.

    This country will never recover from the mess it is in if we continue to be a low tax society with a such a massive, unwieldy public sector. Other countries with huge civil services pay high tax. There are two ways out: reduce the spending on the civil service or massive raises in taxes.