No decisions made on CS cuts

| 05/05/2010

(CNS): Members of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association have said that no decisions have been given to them by the Deputy Governor’s Office regarding what will happen to civil service salaries, benefits, working hours or jobs in the next budget year. Cabinet issued a directive to the public sector management that civil service human resource costs needed to be reduced by $19 million in the fiscal year 2010/11. Following its recent annual general meeting the association confirmed it had offered a 4 percent salary reduction via unpaid leave and was wiling to discuss how to reduce government’s health insurance costs but had not yet been told what government’s decision on the cuts was.

With the uncertainty surrounding the careers of many of its members, the association said it has also decided to recruit the services of a lawyer to assist with representation for members on employment and contract related issues, which still remain in the balance. The new management council of the CICSA has also pledged to take a stronger stance on the many issues facing its membership to get problems addressed properly by the relevant parties, including the deputy governor and governor.
CNS understands that, following government’s decisions to change the law in order to delay the delivery of the budget, the civil service management has now been given until the end of this week to finalize where the $19million will be trimmed from personnel costs.
Some members of the Civil service Association said they were not expecting government to accept the 4% cut and believe there is not necessarily going to be equitable cuts throughout the various ministries and departments, but they are unsure where things were headed.
CNS understand that there are already concerns within departments that in some areas where there could be room for head counts to be cut without seriously impacting services, in others where staff levels are already tight it will be salaries that are cut, meaning that there could be cases of some public servants facing wage reductions while their pay grade piers retain their full salaries.
However, there is as yet no certainty on where and what will be cut. The CICSA said on Tuesday that it could not comment directly on the current situation as nothing had been shown to its management team for comment and that members were fairly certain that the consultation period was at an end.
The next stage for the CICSA would be when the decision on what would be cut was presented to them so they could distribute the information among the wider membership.
The association also remains concerned about headcount cuts and the expectation of delivering services. Although the Deputy Governor’s office, as the executive arm of government, has jurisdiction over civil service numbers the problem, according to the CICSA, is that Cabinet still has the ultimate decision on policy and therefore job cuts cannot be made in isolation.
Should head counts be cut, the association said, it will impact the ability of some government departments to deliver the services associated with government’s policy decisions. In other words, if staff levels are to be reduced civil service management will still require directions from Cabinet on which services it wishes to cut if there are not enough people to deliver all the services of a given department.
While decisions are being made in conjunction with Cabinet on operational expenditure, CICSA states that head counts are directly related to the services delivered and they will also need to be with the approval of Cabinet as government will likely need to make policy adjustments to fit a smaller public sector body.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Breaking news Government cutting salaries 3.2%across the board ! wow that is great,Just goes to show what spineless leaders we have,guess what cayman the only people that this will affect are those poor civil servants at the bottom who are actually working,good going big mac keep borrowing for the big wigs that do nothing but waste funds.

    • good idea says:

       " Cabinet issued a directive to the public sector management that civil service human resource costs needed to be reduced by $19 million in the fiscal year 2010/11."

      Okay PAC…..start with every employee found abusing the fuel cards: Immediate dismissal for abusing public funds…..there is a start and a strong message.  

      Next go to seniority (sadly lose  GOOD talent, but fair)…anyone hired in the last five years must GO or take a big pay cut 20%.  The departments are bloated.  

      Besides for education, trash collection, police service, and hospital….anyone in a clerical job is at risk.  

      Hard times call for hard measures.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Breaking news Goverment cutting salaries by 3.2% and health and pension benifits are still 100%!guess what you spineless leaders the only persons that are going to feel this are the poor workers at the bottom of goverment and trust me you have alot.

    • Anonymous says:

       How was this "announced"?  I’m a civil servant and have heard nothing but rumours.

    • Pathetic says:

      Gutless wonders!  If this is true it is pathetic.  We should have cut properly a long time ago.  We have an inefficient, unproductive and excessively large public sector.  A bigger cut with a commitment to an efficiency drive to rapidly reduce the workforce by 10-15% would be the minimum to protect the economy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The solution to this is for the Premier to make it clear that the government will not vote the money to pay the salaries of all the Chief Officers if they do not cut jobs in the departments under them. I bet if he does that you will see what will take place. Mac needs to get tough with these bunch of jokers. I read a post on here that new positions were just filled, while cuts are being requested. The audacity! I agree with the poster that if government had any spine they would demand a list of all the new hirings make every single one redundant, I don’t care who was hired. That is just wrong, nothing else but wrong. I am sure that if those positions were really necessary they would have been filled ages ago. Step up to the plate Mac and make them redundant.


  4. moh n moh says:

     To those concerned about Mac’s political career…Mac is already rich!…why would he need another career?…he can just chill on lifetime pension and benefits…not to mention Ritz and other real estate deals…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Talk about a classic dilemma for the Cayman politicians, the civil service realize that they are the largest political voting bloc in the country and want to make that point very clear to both parties.

    It is funny to listen to the politicians falling over themselves talking up the civil service. The UDP, PPM and Ezzard couldn’t talk up the civil service any more because they all want to stay at the trough.

    They passed the chopping block to the civil service and big surprise, the civil service passed it back with no cuts.

    Don’t expect any cuts soon.


    • Pipple Pottle says:

      Our politicians are egos without an backbone.  Of course a quick 8%-10% cut in civil services wages plus a reduction in benefits a year ago would have been the best thing to do (and the only credible option).  And if civil servants did not like it and were as good workers as they say they are some of them could have left to other jobs by now (thus further reducing costs).


  6. Anonymous says:

    Ok there will be some people that  will agree and some that dont but so be it. This Island is in a mess and it has nothen to do with just one party this was in the making for a longtime now but it has come to a point that they cant hide it any longer from the people of this country so of course you cant get any more money from England and we have no choice but to make the people no so they can make a big up roar and bleam this one and that one but the bleam lies with all of you that is in that house who we the people voted for to reperesent this country and we the people  and its una job to make sure that these so call heads that we the people have to pay every month the big salary to is doing what they should up till now Mr. Ken Jefferson havent  said a word and no one is forcing him to either.Governement wants to sell the Government building or should i say Mr. Bush wants to but why is my question is it  just because of other party starting it why dont they sell the Govenors house yes the Govenors house why do they have to live on Seven Mile Beach think about it which building do u think is worth more????

  7. Da big deal says:

    The Civil service problem is just like the Immigration problem, cut that one or send that one home just not my 3 the fact is the political group inside and outside government created this bloating and expansion. The civil service too understand this and are well aware of the farce and hypocrisy of this situation at play now on this Island. When a politician wrestles with his conscience he usually wins.

  8. Anonymous says:

    "The new management council of the CICSA"……….. is virtually identical to the old. Same old faces elected by a tiny turnout because no really busy civil servant wants to take on any of these positions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    what a shambles… no wonder the uk are pressing for direct taxes when we can’t reduce an overpaid, overstaffed, under worked civil service (as per numerous independent reports)….

    civil service is like an anchor around caymans neck

    • Anonymous says:

      IF  and when they start to cut, they should start at the top!! With the

      supervisors and managers who sit at a desk all day….One would think

      they could combine departments and staff to spread out and cover

      more areas.  These are the ones who most likely are overpaid and

      under worked!!

      A lot of men and women at the bottom of the scale are barely making

      ends meet as it is…

      Once the supervisors have been thinned out that will also give any

      under performing employees reason to shape up and pull their load

      because of the reasoning they could be next if they don’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is rubbish. We need to get rid of the underperforming staff first not last. What a ridiculous suggestion!

        The civil service is vastly bloated and there are many jobs being performed by multiple people, most of which are not doing what they are supposed to be and instead mess about all day on the internet and making phone calls. Productivity measures need to be in place for every employee and department and all should be made aware of the fact they need to up their game if they want to keep their plush job and gold plated pension benefits.

        Get rid of the dead wood. This won’t be popular with the locals as most of the dead wood is Caymanian, but there is absolutely no point cutting the good staff as the remaining idiots won’t be able to run the operations without the good staff. Cut the idiots first and the quality staff will have to find efficiencies to make up for lower headcount, although to be fair I don’t think it will take much to make up for the loss of most employees.

        We must remember that the civil service is not meant for keeping underperforming caymanians in high paying low demanding jobs. It is about running the island efficiently. In the long run they will realise this and by rolling a few local heads now the future of the whole island will look brighter and the Caymanian youth will have a future.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a joke! Just make the deicision already!

  11. Bodden says:

    There is alot of FLIP-FLOP, coming from the UDP, especially, the Premier himself. One minute this way, the next minute, the other way!  

    In a way, it shows indecisiveness and at the same time, it shows that the UDP are at least weighing the repercussions per every idea that comes up.

    All I have to say, I wouldn’t want the job he has


    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is that the government isnot weighing the options as statemen would, that is "what is good for the country". Our leader and the little fries are looking at the options from the perspective of what is best for their own personal advantage.

    • Anon says:

      There’s such a thing as shooting yourself in the foot – right now I am wondering if our Premier has any foot left he has shot himself (but blamed others) so many times.  There’s a heck of a lot I would have done by now in his position, even at the risk of making some onpopular decisions and upsetting some people.  But after a whole year the country is slipping further behind and making no progress dealing with its problems at all, and its not through lack of support and suggestions from the community; its purely through lack of action and accountability from those supposedly responsible for doing something (our Premier and all the other cronies in the LA).

      I seriously fear for the country in what would appear to be such incapable hands.

  12. Anonymous says:

    As a Civil Servant, I can tell you the back and forth motion of what is going to be cut, then what isn’t going to be cut, and we are going to cut here, oh wait not really, how about here has pretty much put the Civil Service in unrest and severly affected Civil Servants. 

    If government one year ago had just made a decision (regardless of what it was) then Civil Servants would be fine today.  Civil Servants would have taken a 5% pay cut one year ago WITHOUT any issues.  Of course we woudl have complained, but we know that cuts must take place.  What is unforgiveable is the back and forth motion of what we are cutting, when we are cutting, and now it is down to the last minute.

    This government just needed to make a decision and stick with it, period.  In addition, every civil servant I have talked with would be happy to pay a co pay at the hospital to help out with finances, but also in helping run the hosptial better customer service wise.  I am sure some will give thumbs down, say civil servants are lazy, etc, etc, but all civil servants want is a decision made so we can plan our futures, that is it, nothing more nothing less.  As employees I think we all could agree that we need cuts, but please don’t leave them until the next pay period, we can’t change our budgets that quick! 

    • Anon says:

      I applaud your response and entirely agree with you.

      • Unvcivil Servant says:

        I offered 5% and would be more than willing to do a co-pay on health but nobody seemed to take me seriously. Oh well.

        • Anonymous says:

          Many civil servants would be happy to do a smaller percentage salary cut and a 4 day work week, one day being unpaid leave. Many also have private health insurance and would only ask government to pay the 20% not covered by their insurer in the event of illness (similar to the AARP suplemenary plan in the US).They presented some of these options to government remember but it was rejected by the government!  There are also some civil servants who are near to retirement age and who would welcome the opportunity if govenrment allowed them to retire with their full benefits as it would be when the reach retirement age. That would slove many problems wouldn’t it? Of course that suggestion would likely draw another "no" too.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually, as I recall it, the ‘retirement on full pension’ issue was one of the major issues raised in the Miller report as being a huge financial liability for the government now, and even worse headed to the future as more retire and draw full pensions.  The generous government pension is draining the public purse.

            If you get the 20% then you are ending up with a far better deal (for you) and costing the government far more money in the long run, than what you are giving back.  The government would be mad to agree this as it has the potential to increase expenditure immeasurably.

            We all know how costly that 20% can be.  Its why many of us do not proceed with necessary medical treatments – because we can’t afford to.

          • But says:

            Wouldn’t allowing someone now to retire on full salary just push up costs by having to pay their inflated pension and find a replacement to do their job?  Upping the civil servant retirement ago to 70 might help.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We all know of a number of civil servants — "dismissed" by Mr. Bush when he became Leader of GB — sitting at home on full pay!  We all know the number of civil servants per capita is rediculous.  We all know the Civil Service is inefficient, and poorly organised.  If Mr. Bush does not not take a sharp axe to both the number of jobs and salaries as part of a complete reform of the Civil Service, this will be the last time he’ll "lead" the country.  If Bush asks the people of the Cayman Islands to stomp up more money in duties and taxes and does nothing to slash, and I mean SLASH, public spending– beginning with the civil service– his credibility (if he has any left) is shot, and his career as a professional politician will come to an end at the next election. 

    • Dred says:

      I agree with you right up to the point where you said "his career as a professional politician will come to an end at the next election." because he runs for office in West Bay and the sad situation is that his seat is all but guaranteed every election.

      West Bayers simply do not see how rediculous this man is. His greatest asset was his decision making. He used to be the kind of person who made decisions and lived with it after. Now he is not even a shell of the man he once was. Maybe when he shed the weight the ability was shed also.

      We need a new team for Cayman. I can not say this enough. Neither UDP or PPM is the answer for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully the members of the UDP will realise the disaster that the Premier is creating and will help him to find a new career long before the next election.