Turks & Caicos civil service salaries to be cut by 10%

| 10/04/2010

(Jamaica Observer): In a letter to civil service staff on Tuesday, chief executive officer of the interim government, Mark Capes, informed all public employees in the Turks and Caicos Islands that public service salaries and wages for all staff, plus certain allowances, excluding housing, will be cut by 10 per cent. This reduction will take effect, for wage earners, on 16 April and, for salaried staff, at the end of the month. Overtime will now be allowed only in life threatening or other strictly essential circumstances. "By providing over five and seven weeks’ notice respectively, I hope this will give you time to adjust your personal finances as necessary," Capes said.

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  1. Advocate says:

    The UK Cabinet Office ( in charge of the public service) has attempted to carry out a sneaky scheme to cut redundancy packages of public servants before they laid them off.  Right now the UK public service has been striking, they are on overtime strike and have the government in court over the matter.  Let us say, the UK public servants are not lying around and playing dead. 


    Perhaps it is time for private sector employees who frequent this blog and write against the positions taken by CICSA, to consider their own employment positions.  Who can they go to have their employment causes represented. Who lobbies for the poor employee in the private sector when they are being beaten down, abused you name it. 

    Perhaps, while some improvements need to take place in the public service, can one really critisise them as employees for wanting to ensure that right is done by them and the law is not ignored?

    Food for thought.  Is it not interesting that there are no private sector employment group unions in Cayman.  Is it not intersting that the Government ( no matter who they are) will not put into force an Employment law that will actually protect the interests of employees in this island.  Perhaps the only two unions we have in the Cayman Islands is The Civil Service Association and the Chamber of Commerce.  The latter, has been dictating for years what rights and protections employees should have (nil) as it is driven by employers.  The former, is employee driven.  Perhaps, it is time to turn this whole thing on its head and start talking in the positive – Ensuring that whilst government controls its spending, it does so in real ways, irrespective of the political costs, not just "popular ways" and in the meantime, start talking about what  private sector employees should be doing  doing to galvanise themselves.  Is it not funny that no private sector employees had a word to say about cutting their pensions, there are employee advocates regarding health insurane violations and non payment of pensions……Wake up Cayman do not let red herrings blind you from all the issues at play here.

  2. slowpoke says:

    What are the odds of the UK government suggesting something like this at home, what with the unions and an upcoming election…. A non-starter…  But, why not impose it on the loser colonies…

    • Certified says:

      Cuts in pay won’t be suggested by any of the parties before the election, but will be near the top pf the agenda soon after.

      Whoever wins the election will have to find the equivalent of $200 Billion through cuts in spending and taxes rises over the next few years. Public sector pay, pensions, and social benefits are going to have to be cut. It’s going to hurt, and hurt a lot. That is the price of Brown’s insanity.

  3. Anonymous says:

     Corruption will get worse now.  People will do anything when they get in a bind and need to survive.

    • Billy Whizz says:

      So what you are saying is that this "Christian" country is full of people who will turn to crime very easily? 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why is this even an issue? the options are:

    1. salary reduction:                                           Yes                              No

    2. staff cuts                                                        Yes                              No

    3. taxes, income or property                            Yes                             No


    CS the choice is your!

  5. Say again? says:

    I’m sure there will be a few CI civil servants paying attention to this news.  One poster has already commented that making this announcement available as regional news here is an attempt to bolster the notion that local civil servants should "bleed".  However, looking back, it was never an issue of making someone bleed, it was in fact an issue of reducing costs and overhead in the government.  One of the largest pieces of overhead has, and continues to be, fully subsidized pension and health insurance payments for government employees.  However, when it was suggested by government to suspend pension contributions for even a short while, the civil service association turned that down.  When it has been suggested by the public to trim costs they at least begin to pay a fair portion of both, it was turned down also. 

    The final solution from government to reduce costs has been to trim positions.  And this was met by a response by the civil service association that services would also have to be necessarily cut, and /or those laid off would be soon be collecting social services.

    This chess match has been going on for months and still there have no concessions from the association on pensions and health insurance , no reduction in staff, no offers put forth, and no other proposals from anywhere that have been agreeable.

    It then begs the questions who "is intended to be bleeding?"  And who is holding the weapon?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Someone should tell Mark Capes that he could state the reason for the cuts as overspending and bad policies of the PPM government.

    Wait, the previous Turks & Caicos Premier was more aligned with the UDP. Never mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Turks and Caicos is a veryprimitive Place. We should always follow the Leaders.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am sure Turks and Caicos is not a primitive enough place for you or you would be there trying to exchange their beach land and other prime properties for red cloth, broken mirrors and coloured beads.

  7. Dred says:

    Hey can I put in for his transfer to the Cayman Islands and maybe we can transfer Ebanks out.

    Huuuummmm, Just a thought.

  8. sadcitizen says:

    Shame on you CNS.

    Be journalists if you can, and stop your prejudiced, unobjective and ill-informed crusade to make all civil servants bleed.  In your cheap attempts to pander to what you clearly consider to be a popular (and equally ill-informed) view that civil servants must suffer, you resemble the politicians you have criticised for chasing votes by chosing popularity over principle and reason.
    Yes, the civil service needs to be cut.  But, like any organisation that is too big, the cuts need to be targeted and cuts made to departments that have become too big.  It is senseless to compaign, as you do, unthinkingly for blanket cuts to all.  
    Here is a simple analogy: if a house that can only accommodate 6 people has come to house 9, the answer is for 3 to leave, not for all to stay and to have a third of their bodies amuputated.
    The civil service and many in the private sector understand that targeted cuts are necessary and that a blanket approach so as to avoid the taboo of cutting jobs is wrong on every level.  
    Your reference to the situation in Turks is another of your thinly veiled attempts to show how civil servants "should be" dealt with, namely to have blanket salary cuts imposed on them.  This not only exposes your unthinking attempts to play to the bloodlust of some in the gallery, but it is also wrong as a "precedent". 
    The T and C example is clearly not analogous to Cayman. They have had their constitution suspended and we have not (yet!).  So, in T and C, constitutionally determined emergency provisions have been triggered (suspending a constitution after all) that might authorize unilateral changes to public servants conditions.  That situtation may apply there, but would not do so anywhere else in which a constitutionally declared state of emergency does not prevail.  The normal rule of law would have to apply here and changes to salaries etc. (which would hopefully be minimal or even unnecessary if other savings can be identified) would require individual consent and could not be imposed. 
    So, yet another irrelevant “precedent” along with the Young case erroneously cited by the premier.
    CNS, you have lost your sense of balance over this issue and it is hoped that youregain it soon to allay fears that you are becoming as "political" as those you have quite properly in the past sought to expose.  Be the fourth estate, not part of the establishment.  
    CNS: You seem to be confused between news articles, comment and commentary. In our news articles we have reported what the politicians have said or announced about cuts to the budget and the civil service. We have also reported on what the Miller Report said and in several articles, including a recent interview with James Watler plus an article posted Friday on the formal response of CICSA, the civil service’s position. This article from the Gleaner about the UK’s cuts to the civil service in an OT in which they have imposed direct rule is, of course, entirely relevant. It is not an opinion piece – it reports what the UK has done and the reasons given.
    To do any less than we have done in our ongoing coverage of the situation would have been negligent. If you believe this coverage has been prejudiced then I suggest that it is you, the reader, who is unobjective since you are expecting us to withhold information that our readers may find of interest as part of this very public debate.
    I agree, the comments have largely been in favour of cuts to the civil servants, but you seem to equate readers’ views with an CNS editorial standpoint, which is not the case. As the publication of this comment should prove, the comment board is open to all. In fact, we offer a unique platform for civil servants to express their views anonymously.
    As to commentary, where people present their viewpoints, we have so far not written anything. If and when we do you will at that point learn what our views on the matter actually are, as opposed to this baseless presumption.
    It may be more helpful to concentrate on commenting about civil service cuts, which is the matter that should be under discussion, instead of attacking CNS about a non-existent "campaign".
    • Certified says:

      There was I thinking earlier that CNS was too left-wing and was supporting the civil service against cuts. Clearly CNS is balanced – it upsets everyone!

    • Jingo Jango says:

      Quoting from above: "Here is a simple analogy: if a house that can only accommodate 6 people has come to house 9, the answer is for 3 to leave, not for all to stay and to have a third of their bodies amuputated."

      The greater problem on Cayman is the extent to which the public sector employs Caymanians. If 3 were to be cut, as the analogy above goes, you have 3 people on the street — look around, there aren’t great prospects for the unemployed in Cayman. Steps in that direction are steps toward a welfare state and we have enough issues with crime in this country.
      On balance, and while this perhaps approaches something more akin to socialism, the better route likely is to keep more people employed at a lesser wage. There is no question the pain would be shared widespread but it would be balanced across the back of the entire public sector. As private sector opportunities present themselves low wage earners will leave — unfortunately these may be the best and the brightest, but this is a better problem than the alternative imho.
    • Other Side of the Coin says:

      Just to clarify – my thumbs up was my response to the CNS rebuttal. I am not in agreement with sadcitizen. Those crocodile tears and talk of such drastic analogies as "bleeding" and "amputation" are just not working for me. Perhaps the house of 9 should drop to 6 AND take an overall across the board deduction to the balance of staff. The best idea I have seen lately is the suggestion to let go all those who have business of their own on the side. They should voluntarily retire from CS and give their spot to someone who is more in need.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you call the Glass House now a day atbtimes you get voice mail. Can you imagine what will happen when the salarys is cut. From the time that cayman went voice mail and the then Cable and wireless got rid of the Cayman operators and have the phones being answered from Jamaica that was the beginning of the down fall of Cayman.

  9. karen says:

    Arbitrarily without rhyme or reason, this was sanction on the people (without their representation) under the British Rule!

    Shame, shame, shame…

    All in the name of corruption!  When corruption was there long time ago, why did they not at that time took over the Islands???

    All was all stage to get to Cayman!


    • Better says:

      Given the lack of representation given to long term non-belongers there "elected" regime had very little claim to legitimately representing the population.  Bit like in Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like sour grapes, let me guess you were not able to have your way there?

        Don’t try tobury the TCI yet, this is not the first time that they have been knocked down and did not stay down.  TCIslanders are like the Phoenix.

        Like Cayman they had a native population before you went there, that is who they must represent.  My aunt have lived in the USA for 46 years legally would  you consider this long term?  she is not entitled to vote, given that she is not allowed to vote and many in the USA like her, explain to me "Better" if President Obama has very little claim to legitimately representing the population of the USA.  "Better" engage your brain before you write.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon Sun 13:33: Given the terribly poor literate quality of your post, if your aunt is like you she probably shouldn’t get the vote.However, knowing the US as I do, there is some other reason for her not having it after all that time and it is HER fault not the US government’s.

        • Better says:

          But thankfully these islands are bound by human rights obligations which do not extend to a country where they execute the mentally ill. 

        • john says:

          You will find that the many on CNS are not very intelligent and loyal to the Queen. They think she and everything related to her is perfect.



          • Anonymous says:

            Your two sentences contradict each other and don’t make sense. Did you attend school at all?

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you.

      I can’t see why any Caymanian here disagreeing with your "plain as day" statement. It is a fact that they did declared British Rule, despite the people’s opposition to it.

      It terms of democracy and fairness, it is shameful.

    • frank rizzo says:

      "Arbitrarily without rhyme or reason…"  Read the transcripts of the Commission of Inquiry, you will find all the rhyme and reason you need.