Salary cuts will hit low paid

| 24/05/2010

(CNS): Although the recently revealed 3.2% pay cut, or roll back of the 2007 cost of living allowance (COLA) for civil servants, was less severe than public sector workers may have anticipated, sources within the service have raised concerns about how this decision will impact the lowest paid workers. It has been proposed that this pay reduction will be across the board, including those earning under $3000, affecting the lower pay grades and key workers such fire-fighters (left) and care-givers. Former MLA for Bodden Town Osbourne Bodden has also spoken out against the move, saying it will widen the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ creating insurmountable problems.

According to the latest CICSA statistics, around 40% of the core civil service earns less than $3,000 pcm and 60% less than $4,000, and it is those workers that are likely to suffer the most as a result of the cut-backs. Those at the bottom of the pile are likely to be disproportionately hit by the 3.2% cut.  
Numerous frontline civil service posts, such as some teachers, fire-fighters, prison officers, care-givers, refuge workers, post office staff, social workers  and many more fall into salary bands that pay less than $3,000 per month – workers who will undoubtedly feel the pinch when the 3.2% pay cut kicks in this July as anticipated.  
Although the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association (CISCA) had made a number of other suggestions regarding pay cuts that they say would have had a less dramatic impact on low paid workers, a decision to roll back the 3.2% COLA from 2007 across the board was made by the Deputy Governor’s Office earlier this month. Coupled with cuts to acting allowances and travel costs, the Portfolio of the Civil Service expects to meet the government’s request of an 8% reduction in the public sector’s human resource costs.
In a letter to the press, the former PPM back bencher Osbourne Bodden said cuts to low paid workers with families, mortgages and vehicle loans would be really hard to bear in these tough times.
“Although no one really likes a pay cut, persons earning more than $4,000 and right up to the top pay scales could adjust and cope better and in some cases it would make no difference,” Bodden wrote, asking why the cuts were not staggered to remove low paid workers and increase in percentage for those at the top, as had been first suggested by the premier.
“I remember the premier coming out and saying that this staggered method was one he preferred,” he added. “Why did he back away from this position that had my support and I’m sure many others?  This strategy could easily have netted the same dollar result and would have been less painful to the people who needed it most.” 
Bodden noted that a civil servant earning $2,000 pcm will lose over $60. “A significant amount to lose if your salary is only $2,000, probably two weeks petrol for your car or half of the grocery bill for the week,” he added, explaining that, on the other hand, someone earning $10,000 a month will lose $300, which, although not insignificant, was less likely to produce the same hardship.
Bodden said he considered the decision a backward step in the goal to fix the budget, which is suppose to help the very people that will now suffer.
“I know this is done deal and my view won’t change that, but I do not believe this action will benefit the majority, but was a decision as usual taken with the interest of the decision makers themselves in mind,” Bodden wrote. “Decisions such as this only serve to widen the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” but they erode our middle class to the point where social issues create insurmountable problems in our country.”
Bodden is not alone in his view as the CICSA has said that it was hoping for more flexibility in the cuts and that the low-paid workers would be left out so as to help spread the burden across the public sector’s highest earners.
In his recent president’s report, James Watler said the CICSA would not agree to measures that were detrimental to the membership and raised concerns that sacrifices were being asked of members prior to other cost reduction methods being exhaustively pursued. 
CICSA also continues to warn the community that major cuts in the civil service will have a considerable impact on the private sector, even though that is where many of the loudest calls for CS cuts are coming from. However, some private sector members are aware of the impact salary cuts and job loses will have as a number of local businesses depend heavily on civil service customers.
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  1. Annonymous says:

    When Civil Servants’ salary reviews done few years ago, top civil servants made sure they would get a bigger slice of increase to their base salary.  However, civil servants in the lower pay did not get any significant increases.  Some even received $30-35 increase to their base pay.  In this case, why should civil servants in the lower pay scale sacrifice 3.2% pay cut ?  Shame on you Mr. Deputy Governor.

  2. Alice says:

    My wife and I are both civil servants and will lose about $600 with the loss of allowances andsalary cuts.

    we have already cancelled Westar TV and will no longer eat out once per month.

    we have cancelled plans for a security system on our home and will no longer support our local charity.

    we unlike persons in the private sector has never ever received a bonus and do not own homes all over the world.

    it is diffcult for us to understand how people making 600k a year can really advocate a salary cut for us.

    shame on you.

    • Anon says:

      If your name is Alice and you have a wife then a pay cut will be the least of your worries when Rev. Sykes hears this. lol.

    • Pipple Pottle says:

      You have two jobs and fantastic benefits and pension provisions.  From your post no doubt you own your own home.

      No cable TV and one less dinner out a month – oh the humanity!  It is hardly begging is it?  Oh darling, we can’t watch a re-run of Desperate Housewives on TBS, what shall we do?   How can they deprive us of CNN?

      Rather than tell us what you don’t have, tell us the lifestyle you do have any then we will have a better picture of how tough your life is.  And tell us what you both do so we work out how overpaid you are.

      Really, this post made me think that a 3.2% cut is not big enough cut.

      Probably about 1% of people working in the financial services industry make $500k plus. 

      • Tony Montana says:

        Its less than 1%. Only the top partners in law firms and accounting firms make that.  This guy ("Alice") is dreaming.  Most private sector workers make between $35,000 to $65,000 a year.  And that pay does not come from a government that is broke.

  3. Anonymous says:

    MLAs also taking 3.2% cut!is this a joke?Cayman is done as we once knew it,Big wigs looking out for Big wigs,England please help.

    • Janice says:

      You are asking the Ministers of Parliament to help you with this one?

      LOL… LOL… LOL…

      Trust me, there are making more than anyone in government here. You don’t want to imagine how much they are getting paid!

      • Ally Gator says:

        They make much less than our ordinary MLAs (certainly in net terms) and have just agreed a substantial pay cut.

        Janice, go back to your own planet, you obviously have very limited contactwith this one.

  4. Uncivil Servant says:

    I have nothing against people that have helpers. I have something against the whole mentality of the thing. Fact of the matter is that "helpers" are and have always been a status symbol. Some can afford them and some cannot.

    Face it, there are many out there who;

    1. Live in homes they can’t afford

    2. Have children they can’t afford

    3. Owe the bank for cars they can’t afford

    4. Have helpers they can’t afford (and don’t even let me get started on the inhumane treatment of some of these helpers.)

    5. Eat at restaurants they can’t afford

    6. Sporting the bling bling they can’t afford

    7. Watching the TV they can’t afford

    8. Taking the trips they can’t afford.

    9. Burning the A/C they can’t afford.

    etc, etc, etc.

    All just to put on a show.

    I will raise my children without a helper thanks very much, just as I was raised by two working parents. They will be better off for it, of that I can assure you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk about hitting the nail on the head!  You are so correct in your post
      I have some friends, collectors from LIME and banks always calling to see when they coming in to make a payment on their phone bill or loan, yet some how each time I go over to there homes or see them out Miami and bring back big ole HDTVs, got new clothes/shoes, Jewelry etc, or eating at fancy restaurant. you would swear they living the life and well off, this time they broke and for the life of them they never understands why they broke.



    • Anonymous says:

      In Government :-

      High school graduates  (including summer students) get paid at least a starting wage of CI$11 per hour.  

      College graduates earn starting salaries of between CI$3700 and $5000 per month.

      How many private sector employers are willing to start people at this level?



      • Anonymous says:

        not many at that salary, hence they get paid to much by the CS

        You can hire a newly qualified chartered accountant (ie 3 years at university and 3 years studying after university ) for less than CI 4,200 a month from the UK

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, it is much better to have your child stuck in some sort of child care facility until 6 in the evening and then shuff them in front of the TV or computer because you now have to clean house and cook dinner. Or better yet, drag them from one after school activity to the next and from one summer camp to another. Sounds like you have a flexible job and can stay home whenever your kids get a cold or they are out of school for the average of 14-16 weeks a year when schools are closed. Keep in mind that some people have to work weekends, holidays and nights and do not have predictable working hours and not everyone has a support network that can help out.

      Stop generalizing things. We all know that some people are just simply idiots, but there are a lot of people out there who are truly trying and who are you to judge if you haven’t been in their shoes. What may work well for you may possibly not work or be doable for someone else.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s amazing how parents in other countries seem to manage with these problems without a nanny isn’t it?

        • Anonymous says:

          "I t’s amazing how parents in other countries seem to manage with these problems without a nanny isn’t it?"

          1. They have better support systems in other countries eg grandparents, daycares, etc

          2. Few people in Cayman can afford to stay home and not work.  

          • Just Curious says:

            Are you implying that there are no daycare facilities in Cayman and that Caymanians do not have families that are able to assist them?

        • Anonymous says:

          How ignorant can one get! In other countries you pay taxes and have quite a bit or state and government run/supported child care facilities available, especially for lower income families. How many of those facilities are available in Cayman??? In other countries, you have an abundance of part time jobs, or shared jobs, or jobs with flex hours. How many of those are available in Cayman? In other countries, you have maternity leave past the three months you (may!) get here, and as such can stay home with your child until they are more likely to have built up their immune system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Osbourne Bodden, all that you said is 100% true. You said exactly what I wanted to say, only better. Thanks Mr. Bodden for always standing up for your people, all the people.

    • Anonymous says:
      1. Helpers – Let me guess……’re in a job that’s 9-5……….no shift work…..? Well some of us do have shift work. Restaurants…hospital…..customs……fire…….police……immigration……..etc!!!!!!! Would you like our kids to be on the road at night? Do you want them to join the gangs that are out there? Isn’t it a good feeling when the radio asks……… you know where your kids are… can say…… home with the helper. Or would you rather to say I can’t afford it so let them stay home by themselves.
      2. Burning A/C – you inhuman creature, because someone doesn’t make enough money they should not be using A/C. Heat is for everyone, it’s not partial. Let the rich be in the cool while the poor is in the heat? Do you know that the lower income person majority of the time works the hardest? Yet they should come home to heat? Get real…………..inhuman creature!
    • Anonymous says:

       Face it, there are many out there who;

      1. Live in homes they can’t afford- No

      2. Have children they can’t afford – Who is to judge that? Not you.  You wouldn’t be here if your parents didn’t have you. Some people seem to forget they were children once.

      3. Owe the bank for cars they can’t afford – cost of living goes up and maybe the car they could afford when they got the loan now they can’t.  Seem applies to children.  When I had my 1st child, my electricity bill was $50 a month. Now it’s $250.

      4. Have helpers they can’t afford (and don’t even let me get started on the inhumane treatment of some of these helpers.) – I treat my helpers fine.  They get paid, have health insurance and days off.  I know bartenders that work constantly without days off.

      5. Eat at restaurants they can’t afford – I don’t eat out.

      6. Sporting the bling bling they can’t afford – what’s that?

      7. Watching the TV they can’t afford – don’t have that either.

      8. Taking the trips they can’t afford. – what trips? Haven’t taken my family on vacation for 2 years.

      9. Burning the A/C they can’t afford. – you mad.  I’m not giving up my a.c. and have a heat stroke.

      etc, etc, etc.

      All just to put on a show.

      I really would love to know who you are and if you just critizing everyone else like you live in a hammock on the beach and ride bicycle or something.

      Fact is the cost of living increased beyond people’s paychecks.  So now the people are having a tough time paying bills.  Look at the gas prices for example.  That effects not only your driving but your energy bill as well.

      • Uncivil Servant says:

        In which case I wasn’t talking to you. So go take your pill and settle down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hm – in my experience, those people who take issue with some people having helpers are the ones that always:

      1. call into work on short notice because their kids are sick and they have to stay home, expecting their co-workers to cover for them

      2. leave work on time despite urgent matters pending as they have to get to day care before it closes, again expecting their co-workers to pick up the slag

      3. want to borrow someone elses helper to cover school holidays etc.

      4. use computer/tv to babysit their kids when the kids come home from school

      5. have their teenage kids roam the streets with nothing useful to do since there is no supervision for the kids home whilst the parents are at work

      6. always expecting a friend or a relative to babysit for them

      7. take their kids with them to the movies and bars because they can’t have an evening out without dragging their kids along with them

      8. and worst of all, they are the ones who think they are super parents by doing it all on their own, not realizing that they are contstantly in a bitchy mood, stressed out to the max and taking it out on other people, especially their own children. 



    • Anonymous says:

      How old are your children?

      I bet the majority people who gave your comment the tumbs up are the ones who either don’t have any kids, have a stay-home parent, or get free child care from a family member and have a cleaner coming by once or twice a week cleaning their home.

      I can not tell you how many people I know who have started out with the idea doing it in Cayman without a helper, and after the first year of "real" school for their kids, they couldn’t wait to get a helper or share one.

  5. Anonymous says:

    First of all let me start by saying there same to be some poeple that have  some negative remarks towards the Firemen  but those of you that are making these comments do you real know what these gentlemen/Ladies  do when they are on the station Do you???? Have you been there to know what they do. Atleast one thing I can say for the Fire Dept  you  dont see there Company vehicles  park all over the place wasting fuel like some other Government Depts do when they should be station at there work place and as for the Firemen that has a business or a part time job  hats off to you gentlemen because I know for a fact that there are Firemen that been in the service for  over 25 years and not even making 3500 a month so good for you for trying to make a better life for you and your family than depending  on Government to do everything for you. Also thanks for attending the many accidents, Murders, Fires and eveything else that you guys do keep up the good work it very much appreciated.



  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget when all civil servants got their 3.25% cost of living increase across the board, the higher up’s got a nice increase whilst those at the bottom got little or nothing.

    And here we go again, the guy at the bottom gets screwed again!


  7. Anonymous says:

    We need a new section in the Constitution which directly links the pay of all MLAs, including the Premier, to the pay of the average Caymanian worker.

    No MLA, including the Premier should be allowed to earn more than twice what the average Caymanian worker makes and the cost to the people of any perks such as a chauffeured car and personal servants should be deducted from the MLAs pay. 

    If the average Caymanian worker has to take a cut in pay then the politicians should take one as well so that they still only get twice what the average worker gets.

    Only then will we have MLAs that have any concern for what the average Caymanian worker has to live on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Entry level fireman ha! it is a good thing that the majority of firefighters are caymanians and love their country more than the mighty dollar!Cayman should be proud of their Fire fighters,when the rest run in times of major disasters our service is to the forefront acting like true caymanians for love of country and not self greed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    For all those who think they know so much about what Firemen do from what they do not do needs to get a grip!first of all the majority of firefighters do their job for love of country and to help people in need.They definitely do not do it for the money as they are some of the lowest paid in government,and to the point of the fire fighters playing games and cleaning vehicles all day long is just ridiculous,they are professionals in their feel of work and do allot of training to make sure their skills are honed to protect me and you in times danger.

    Any part of the world you go fire fighters will have down times to just chill or play recreational games,or would we all like planes to be crashing every second or buildings constantly burning.

  10. Anonymous says:

    No full time teacher in the government system earns less than $3000 per month so they should not be included in the comment in the story about "frontline services".

    • tired says:

      teachers aids do

      • Anonymous says:

        Teachers’ aids are not supposed to be in sole charge of a class -they are there to "aid" the teacher, hence their lower pay.

        • Just Sayin says:

          You are of course correct in that they are not supposed to be, but are they being put in that position?

          Go on, check it out, I dare you.

          Seems like as with everything else in Cayman, with education you get what you pay for.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To what a shame they will have to let go of their live in helpers!!!!

    Yes maybe so but just remember many of them have helpers because they have to have them to take care of the children. If they cant afford their helpers thenthe government will have additional expenses taking care of these children as they cant be left alone. If they dont give assistance taking care of them then we will just have more criminal wannabees running around as the devil makes work for idle hands.

  12. Anonymous says:

    THAT IS WHY FROM THE VERY START, I RECOMMENDED THE CUTS BASED ON a progressive percentage OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S SALARY. This across the board thing, leaves a low-wager who is a mother with kids making below 3000, have to suffer more than the man who makes above 6000 a month with the same 3.2 cut!



  13. Jonny says:

    Here is a bit of an eye opener.

    A UK Member of Parliament earns GBP64,766 a year. 21,613 of that is paid in taxes. When coneverting the after tax into CI$, a UK MP in Cayman terms would earn CI$51,309 a year.

    Now compare that to a Cayman MLA.

    Really puts things into perspective

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sticking up for the Cayman politicians or saying that they are not overpaid but these comparisons cannot be taken at face value for the mere fact that we’re not in the UK.

      The cost of living in Cayman is higher. The expense structure here is different. Medical care is not free. etc etc.

      • Ollie M. Puse says:

        The cost of living is less in Cayman than in London (where Parliament is if you haven’t noticed).

      • Anonymous says:

        My understanding is that MLAs get free health care on top of their huge salaries and all of the other perks they get.

      • Anonymous says:

        The cost of living in the Cayman Islands is not higher than the cost of living in the UK.

      • Jonny says:

         Medical care is not free. etc etc.

        Really? they pay for their medical care llike CS do then?

        Now, take into consideration that UK MPs is a full time job and a MLA’s is part time.

        Is Cayman really 3-4 times more expensive to live in than the UK?

        Houses in the UK cost double what they are in Cayman. Extra taxes are higher like road tax etc

        In fact mothers in the UK take thier children to creches where they look after many children during the day as they can’t afford to have a nanny/maid there full time ( hardly anyone can afford that), yet CS seem have it as a given.

    • Anonymous says:

      We should also consider that a UK member of Parliament has a constituency of about 100,000 people including about 50,000 electors. Compare that to Cayman where on average an MLA has a constituency of about 3,000 people and of those only 1,000 on average are electors.

      The relatively high pay of MLAs, small constituency size in Cayman, and the lack of transparency in the way that MLAs accumulate private wealth while in office may make the purchase of votes more likely.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS,

    I understand that we ALL need to make cuts.  However, government cuts should be across the board………..ALL of government.  Despite Mr. Bush’s "announcement" no politician has taken a pay cut, nor have I heard them agree that a cut is forthcoming in July (the date that we begin our pay cuts).  It is also been established that many of the statutory authorities and government companies (CIMA for example) will not be implementing a 3.2% pay cut as they didn’t technically receive COLA in 2008 so they don’t have to give back 3.2% now.  How is any of this fair to civil servants who have been told that "there is more to come".  Shouldn’t everybody be made to give a little before they try to take more?

    • Anonymous says:

      Iheard on the news this afternoon that Mr. Bush said no politician was now prepared to take a paycut!!!

      As far as I am concerned NO POLITICIAN should have a say in how much salary or benefits they will receive. This should be letf up to the Governor to decide.

      • Anonymous says:

        What he should have said is "no UDP politician is willing" to take the paycut. I understand that the main objectors were the newer additions to the L.A. and that Mac and Co. didn’t consult the PPM MLA’s (no real surprised there).

  15. NorthSideSue says:

    CS needs to get a grip.  Take a look at the classified ads:  line cooks $5/hour; dive masters, $6/hour.  I’m guessing those folks would be very happy to have $2600/month.

    • Anonymous says:

      right… and you hear many from the private sector complaining about the efficiency of government’s service. You can’t under pay good folks like officers and teachers and expect them to perform the way "some" of you arbitrarily run your business.

      you can’t have it both ways!  an ill-performed civil service will hurt the private sector too

    • Anonymous says:

      They do make about $2600 per month – you are forgetting to add on the 15% gratuity that they get and the personal tips that they get – ohh lest I forget they also eat free meals on their shifts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dive masters do need certification and you need to have logged quite a bit of dive time before you get the certification.  If you’re looking for a line cook you usually look for experience.  I mean, they can certainly apply but the reality of it is that many civil servants might not be qualified. 

      • Anonymous says:

        it’s dive instructors people…dive masters are something totally different…as usual "bloggers" blogging about things they have no idea about…

        • Anonymous says:

          PADI Divemaster course – Pre-requisites: Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI Rescue Diver, Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care.  

          Remember before you get the Advanced Open Water Diver you need to get the Open Water Diver certification.  All in all, you’re logging quite a bit of dive time (4 dives for Open Water, 5 for Advanced, additional dive time for Rescuer Diver).  More than 10 hours dive time, quite a bit of time, nothing compared to 100 dives but it’s still quite a bit of dive time.  But then I did say a divemaster would have had to log quite a bit of dive time and not that they had to log quite a number of dives.  

          I’m sorry if my idea of ‘quite a bit’ happens to not quite be the same as yours, but I would suggest you stop making assumptions and read a bit more carefully.  Yeah, "bloggers" blogging about things they have no idea about…

    • tired says:

      no offense to dive masters( who are generally awesome:)!) but they dont have to go to university for 3 -4yrs and they for the most part do not provide essential services in hostile environments like most public school teachers do!

      • Anonymous says:

         Hmmm… perhaps you don’t have to go to university 3-4 years or provide an essential service to be an important part of the economy of an island nation.  Dive Masters are crucial to the dive industry which is an important part of the tourism industry which is one of the three "pillars" of the Cayman Islands economy.

        We are all in this together. 

    • Hmm... says:

      North Side Sue always gives me the warm fuzzies with her big-hearted concern for the less fortunate among us. Continuing in that same vein I’m not sure that the salaries she describes doesn’t speak more to the need for a living wage across the board. Also makes me wonder how the line cooks and dive masters would feel about a 3.2 percent cut, since POCS statistics suggest there are a couple of hundred CIG workers in or close to that wage bracket. I also wonder if this will make the firemen, part-time teachers, social workers and prison guards who make just a little more than that feel better when they have to dock their kids lunch money. North Side Sue would probably say they should have thought of that before breeding more brats to drag down the public purse and by extension the great wealth that the private sector so liberally bestows on the undeserving.  Bless herpragmatic soul. I say we vote her status now

  16. Anonymous says:

    Teachers and care-givers should be looked after in the pay cuts, it will be unfair to them….they actually do work!

    How often does a fireman work?  Shine his/her truck, take a nap, shine the fire truck, run their side business(es)…

    Lets be real…


    • Anonymous says:

      They dont nap but they play dominoes and play dominoes and excercise in their gym all day and night long – and it is only the entry level firemen who fall into this category of pay anyhow

    • Anonymous says:

       let ‘s be real,

      what about when u or your family is stuck in a car accident or a house fire.I wounder who your going to call firemen or caregiver??????

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am so fed up with people’s opinions of what civil servants make or do not make.  I am a civil servant and I make WAY less than $3000 per month.  I live pay check to pay check and  can’t remember the last time I went grocery shopping much less had any extra for anything else.  This month I am about $500 short for my mortgage payment and it is not because of any extravagance.  We are not all on the same pay scale as the MLA’s and we are not all lazy and expect something for nothing.  If I did I would be another one running to Social Services for help.  Please get your facts straight before you start throwing stones.

    • not a born fool says:

      Then do something about it!

      • Anonymous says:

        In response to Not a Born Fool’s comment, so what do you expect some people to do? Go out and steal? Or stand on the street corner after they leave their Gov’t offices and beg? Try hush!

    • jokati says:

      The problem is that they have one broom and they sweep all of us together. High salaried politicians are thrown in with civil servants making less than $3,000. e even had one come on here and produced doctored statistics to suggest that an individual making $3,000 in the Cayman Islands is as well off as someone making $6,000 in the US.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bodden as I recall you were the elected member telling Caymanians to live within their means when your Government was in power. You were very adamant that this "group" you seek to defend wanted more than they had a right and ability to expect.


    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry, but obviously you mis-understood my debate in the LA – yes, I implored others to live within their means and I still do, just as my family and I do.  Now what I am sayin in this article, is that we need to avoid putting additional hardship on these persons and their already limited resources!

      But regardless what happens, one has to live within their means and strive to improve one’s lot in life through hard work, personal development and a dogged determination to make a better life for them and their families.  Bless.

      Osbourne Bodden

  19. Adam Smith says:

    If the new pay conditions are so bad the workers can move to positions offering better terms available in the market.  The fact that they are not leaving shows that the terms which are still on the table are better than they can expect elsewhere. 

    The 3.2% cut was pitiful – it should have been 10-15%, across the board together with 10-15% staff reductions.


  20. Anonymous says:

    As a Civil Servant, I am not excited about the paycut, but I also know that in reality that’s what needs to be done, so I have two choices.

    1.  Whine, complain and moan about how "awful" it is.

    2.  Make adjustments to my life so it impacts me in only  a small, inconvenient way.


    I prefer to choose #2.  To to the people who are complaining, you will just have to adjust your life, which shouldn’t be that big of deal if you have been aware of anything that has been going on around you.  For the last year, we have been told that a paycut was coming, but if you aren’t prepared you are the ostrich who stuck their head in the ground, and I don’t feel sorry for you one bit.  I have made sacrifices over the last year, in preparation for the likely outcome (paycuts).  And I relaly dont’ think $60 a month is going to kill any civil servant.  Let’s see how the average person could save $60 a month.

    1.  Don’t eat out.  Not a single time. 

    2.  Buy groceries ONLY when they are on sale at the supermarket.

    3.  Car pool!  I know that you don’t "want" to, but it surely won’t kill you.

    4.  Cut off the HD TV or the like.  Maybe cut your internet service or at least cut it to the lowest possible.

    5.  Stop talking on your cell phone for 100’s of minutes each month. This will surely save you money!

    6.  Get rid of the SUV, by an econmy car.  It will cost you less insurance and gas.

    7.  Get rid of your cleaner who comes once a week.

    8.  Have you children stay with their grandparents.

    9. Send your children to public schools (Caymanians)

    10. Don’t go out for "a drink".  At $6 a beer, it seems you could save that $60 pretty quick.

    11.  No Miami trips.  I know, real bummer, but you know you don’t "have"
    to go.

    12.  Cut the AC down or off during the daytime when you aren’t at home.

    …the list could go on forever.  The point is you CAN cut your expenses to make up for the 3.2% pitful.  If you can’t do that then either you are lazy and don’t want to make sacrifies, or your planned poor financially and overextended yourself and that is just your own plain fault!

    Off my soapbox now…looking forward to the thumbs down from those that "just don’t get it!"

    • Anonymous says:

      I read about all your cuts but I have to disagree with you that a $60 cut can’t hurt. I cook every morning for my family and we don’t drink.  I shop in bulk for the month no weekly shopping.  The only thing that I cannot get away from on your list in the helper one day per week.  Even cell phone is limited to Lime All talk at $40.00 monthly and yes I need to have a phone with the make up of my family. But guess what? Even with all that it’s tough to survive on what I make even now before the cuts. My husband was just made redundant and it’s just my salary now with all the bills to pay including car loan for the only car we have and children in school.  So I ask you not to sit there and judge everyone untilyou know what each persons situation is.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t mean to sound insensitive and I obviously don’t know everything about your situation, but it seems like the real issue is your husband being made redundant, not you getting a 3.2% salary cut….

  21. JE'NAE ADAMSONS says:

    PAYCUTS!!!! …. {Unna Nuh See Crime Yet Juss Wait Mon!… Wait!} 

    In these harsh times honestly are you really serious mckeeva ?? …. PAYCUTS!!!!!!!!!!! …

    slowly but surely mac gonna turn " GRAND CAYMAN" into Little Jamaica … I just hope our people don’t take to no druglords like how they are Dudus …. Because honestly Our " Prime Minister" is doing our citizens the same thing as the prime minister in Jamaica not caring about the people after there are in power shame on you mac shame on YOU!

    Cayman I’m gonna continue to pray because honestly if I was in power I would honestly help those who aren’t in a situation to help themselves . ( The Real Poor People Who Sometimes go to bed hungry wondering if they will have anything to eat tommorow)





  22. Anonymous says:

    Whatrate are you using? 1 Ci dollar is 1.25 U.S so thats US3750.00 OR 45,000 a year..get your ROE facts straight before making comments like that

  23. Lala Land says:

    CI$3,000 per month works out about the same income as US$70,000 in the States once taxes are taken into account.  To call someone on that kind of salary "low paid" is a joke.  It shows just how out of touch Cayman has become.

    • Anonymous says:

       the cost of living is much less in the US

    • Anonymous says:

      Reply to La la Land. You need to go back to your drawing board , you cannot compare cayman with the US. Did you ever visit the Supermarkets, the clothing stores the car lots etc in the US? If not just check them out. The cost of living is much less there than here. You could perhaps get away with a $3000 dollar budget in the USA but if you have a family it can hardly work in the Cayman ISLANDS. I  foresee more crime because of this pay cut. What I cant understand is how in the H with two sticks cant the politicians survive on $3000 but we poor dogs must, they cant do with under $10000 per month. Just imagine if their pay for about four meetings per year was $3000 what a saving that would be. Their salary is way out of scale with all other civil servants, except for a half a dozen others. Caymanians should have a demonstration to deal with this unfareness. I hope that the Governor will look into this.

    • Anonymous says:

       I believe your math is off.  I believe it is equal a much lower salary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you considered the difference in the cost of living?

    • Jonny says:

      When I started training as a Chartered Accountant, after 3 years at university, my salary equivalent  was actually less than a school leaver trainee for the CS on their salary chart and I worked in London

      After 3 years and passing all the Chartered Accounting Exams (so with 6 years higher education) I was earning the same as the top teir school leaver trainee as CS.

      It really shows how out of touch CS salaries have become.

      Now if I take a UK refuse collector, they earn 6.80 an hour. SO 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year is 12,064, which is CI$14,477 a year before tax (CI$1,207 a month). After tax and NI that comes to CI$12,200 or CI$1,017.40.


    • Anonymous says:

      Using exchange rates to compare prices, salaries, etc. between 2 different countries is not a reliable method of discerning purchasing power.  As an example, a single monetary unit from country x may allow persons to buy 10 bananas within country x, whilst a single monetary unit from country y may allow persons to buy 5 bananas within country y.  Thus, a person making $3,000 in country x would be able to afford more in country x than someone making $3,000 in country y. 

      Though, I don’t think you used exchange rates when you translated CI$3,000 per month to US$70,000 per annum, as a 0.82 exchange rate ends up being US$3,658.54 which for a 12 month period would total US$43,902.44, before taxes.  But maybe I’m wrong in my calculations.

      • pauly cicero says:

        US$70k before taxes probably works out to about US$43k after taxes, but your buying power analysis is on the money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes your calculations are wrong. $3000 CI per month would be the equivalent net of tax as this is the take home amount. Therefore you would have to compare it to the take home amount in the US. As you said CI $3,000 at your rate of 0.82 is $3,658 USD or $43,902.44 per annum. but this would be AFTER taxes. Add back on your taxes (sorry don’t know the rates, but maybe 30%?) and your looking up at $62,718 before taxes, so his original estimate wasn’t too far wrong. Add on your property taxes etc and your probably bang on there.

        Whilst Cayman is obviously more expensive than the US in terms of cost of living, you are not comparing like for like.

        A school leaver in the states would not be able to afford a mortgage, nice car etc on their salary. Instead they would need to share houses and drive clunkers for years. In Cayman, caymanian school leavers with even minimal qualifications could easily afford houses and always drive new cars supplied on credit.


        • Anonymous says:

          My bad on the calculations.

          However, my purchasing power explanation doesn’t seek to identify a single section of society – Caymanians or ex-pats, school leavers or otherwise.  What I was trying to show in my first paragraph was that a figure of $3,000 per month (whether USD or KYD) can’t easily be termed a low or a high pay, without first considering the purchasing power within the location comparative to other countries.  Just because a person makes $3,000 does not mean they are (comparative to other countries) well paid if they can only afford a bowl of rice when the same pay affords someone in another country a bag of rice.  Adding credit into the equation does not change the purchasing power. 

          I’m not denying that school leavers here have fantastic opportunities – and yes, their first job, in some instances, can afford them a house and a car all on credit.  But school leavers do not make up the entire society.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, well dis nah United States.

    • Anonymous says:

      For those of us who are not mathematically or economically inclined can you please show us how CI$36,000 per year equates to US$70,000 per year in the US. I am sure you are savvy enough to be able to do that for us please please ……… I just dont get it and would love to be able to agree with you but please please show me!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not make the original post, but here is the math.

        If you earn US$70K per year and Uncle Sam directly removes 35% from your pay cheque (or check in this case) for taxes then you will be taking home 70 x .65 or US$45,500. You then translate that at 80 cents to one US dollar and your take home pay is 45500 x 0.8 or CI$36,400 per annum.

        If you "only" earn CI$3,000 per month that is still more than a hundred times what a doctor would earn in Cuba. However, $3000 is more than thousands of people get by with in Cayman each month as well. We each have to cut our coat to suit the cloth we have; at least until we can get elected as an MLA.

      • La La Land says:

        It really is simple.

        CI$3,000 per month = CI$36,000 per annum

        CI$36,000 per annum = US$43,900 per annum

        Assuming 35% total income tax rate

        US$43,900 per annum  net = US$67,538 gross

        Pretty much near enough to $70,000

        • jokati says:

          This is what you call doctoring statistics.


          What you dont point out is that in your calculations is that you have already taken out taxes and what you are left with is $3000 per month.

          In Cayman those taxes have not been taken out. They are included in everything we spend money on. All the food in Cayman has the taxes built in, the utility bills, the gas prices everything.

    • Anonymous says:

       I am not the original poster to the US Salary, but understand where the calculations come from.

      $70,000 USD *.75 (25% goes to taxes-national, state,local)=$52,500.  Convert $52,500 to KYD =$42,568.  

      However, I would argue differently for the lower side of things for Civil Servant wage scale.  Take $27,000KYD for entry level =$33,300 *.75 (25% tax again) = $24,975USD.  That is good pay.  But it gets better.  Then calculate per hour wage (261 days in an average year, and 7.5 hours per day) = 12.75 USD per hour.  Most "entry" level jobs pay 1/2 that in the US.  And if you take the 12.75 USD and convert to KYD that is $10.34 KYD.

      That is not a bad wage if you are just a high school leaver.  To put it into perspective employees at the Westin make about $10USD per hour AFTER gratuities.


      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the insight into the original poster’s calculations. 

        Once income tax is accounted for there is still the matter of cost of living.  Most places you are able to live on a tight budget – students around the world do it all the time.  However, that ability decreases when thenumber of producers decrease and price levels are elevated because of the cost to transport goods to the locale.  Cayman relies heavily on imports (incurs transport costs and duty) which results in prices higher than where the goods originated.  Cost of living here thus eats more of your income than in the States. 

        But that’s not to say there aren’t people who live on meager pay cheques here and send home money.  But then people complain and mock that they live 8 to a 2/3 bedroom house.

        Anyway, just saying that, whilst it’s not impossible to live on a small income here, it is a lot more difficult than in the States.  Good thing most school leavers can live at home but imagine those with children on a school leavers salary.

    • Anonymous says:

      In your generalization of the States you’re forgetting how expensive Cayman is.

      Compare this to one of the more expensive places in the States like NY or San Fran and you’ll soon seen that US$70K doesn’t go very far after taxes.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is all about the cost of living. If I have to pay a let’s say C$ 1,000 mortage on my apartment/house plus CI$ 500 insurance a month, I am left with CI$ 1,500 to pay all my remaining bills such as utilities, child care, groceries, clothing, gasoline, car/health insurance etc etc.

      Not a whole lot left afterwards. I guess somebody in that income bracket is never supposed to go on vacation, or be in a position to save any money for any harder days to come!

      Also, don’t forget that in the States you can go bargain shopping (airline tickets, groceries, clothing, furniture, cars etc etc). Please tell me the last time you managed to get a bargain in Cayman.

      • Taxidermist says:

        Well most places in the world don’t consider property ownership within the spending capacity of the poorer classes, but from your assumptions in Cayman mortgages and property insurance is a necessity for all.

        • Anonymous says:

          In most other countries, people would be encouraged to work towards owning their own home rather than renting it for an inflated price from a few "more well to do" individuals.

          Being "poor" doesn’t mean one is ignorant! If I am going to have to spend CI$ 1,500 on rent for a 2 bedroom apartment for a family of 4 in a perhaps "not so shady" area because I want my kids to grow up in decent surroundings, then why would I not go for a place that cost me CI$ 1,500 a month (mortage and insurance) which eventually will be mine and I can pass on to my children and use to built equity for myself???? Trying to get somewhere now is all of the sudden a bad thing???

  24. Anonymous says:

    What a shame our poor firefighters!Big Mac you and your cronies should be taking cuts,did you forget how our 100% Caymanian Fire Service held Cayman together during and after Hurricane Ivan,God help us if we get another Ivan,maybe you and your spineless government will risk your lives and come out and hold cayman together if we get another major disaster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not only will firefighters suffer but their extended family. I personally know of a person who need to go overseas for medical attention since January and they are still saving from their little pay check in order to go to Miami. Tell me if this isnt rough.

    • Anonymous says:

      I along with alot of friends will not be voting in the next election for nobody, udp ppm mmm  ind ind nor none that stands to run. For this amount of salary NO WAY. The poor has to pay for their salarys by taking a pay cut,whata shame.

      • Isabella Reyes Flores says:

        Dont do that my friend, instead  you must vote their asses out.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a shame, soon they will cut police too, then I know we will be done for.

  25. Anonymous says:

    You know if the government didnt do such unnecessary spending, i dont think we would have to be in this mess. Civil servants who are making under $3000 will loose a lot, just imagine what they would. EVERYTHING??…SOME??… NOT A LOT??…NOTHING??

    One thing i dont understand is, why in god’s world do the government allow employees to run around in vechiles that belong to the government, such as persons working for NRA and public works. I have learnt that  when you have a certain position you get a company car. But to get a company car and do your our personal business with, and this include driving it home and having the car on weekends, holidays, for your use??
    My question is; Do you think the govnerment could save but not allow civil servants drive their vechiles?? YES you can. HOW…by not allowing them drive it home, simple leave the vechile at work.

    Bring back the fees for education. But we always have to accomadate those who cant afford. Ever heard about payment plan, guess not??

    *I’d rather not go on listing all the things that could make the government benefit for money wise, because it makes me sick knowing that single parents, those who have big bills, or those who are the only person working in the family and support every house hold wiill suffer.*

    THE GOVERNMENT could just do simple little things to save, but i guess, when you have so much of it or you have it to you throw it out rather than keeping it in.

    *Mr.Bush dont refuse the public down when they come to your door step, because you may bring us down more.


  26. Anonymous says:

    Who knows, this may spark State of Emergency here in Cayman too.

    Dont we see that the Bible is fulfilling.  It is the end of times.  Prepare for a new  world Order.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bodden shouldn’t even have a say in anything considering the state of affairs in which his government left this country.  Additionally, the completely irresponsible manner in which he dealt with the oversight or lack thereof I should say of the Public Accounts Committee gives him no footing on which stand to criticize anyone.  In my view, if the CS is going to take a pay cut then everybody should get it across the board with no exceptions. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Reply to Mr Bodden shouldnt. When your shoe is well fitting and not burning your feet , you dont understand what pain I am going through wearing my tight shoes. yOU ARE VERY INCONSIDERATE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh how I am so sick of hearing these uneducated UDP supporter’s talking about how "it was the previous government’s fault of what state we are in now"

      PLEASE S T F U!!

      ( I am begging you)

      The reason why our Country is in the state it is in now is because of the GOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS!

      That is the facts, if you have taken the time out to read the and listen to other media outlets  you would know this according to the Miller Shaw Report.

      Sorry but the oh so christian Leader has LIED to you all. And yes you never took the time out to do your own research to find out what is true or false.


    • Dred says:

      You are so disconnected.

      You want someone to attack for where we are at let me point you in the right direction. How about the finance guy who stated "oooh we are going to see a profit of 5%, oops sorry a 20% deficit, woops my bad". Why has he not received the wrath of Cayman for this budgetary mishap. He controls the purse strings. And your blessed UDP took him in with open arms. What does that tell you? It’s almost like he did his best to make this happen.

      Here’s the score so you can try to wrap you head around it.

      Public Sector + Private Sector = All of Cayman

      Private Sector over the past few years have seen paycuts, job cuts and company closures. Many Private Sector works had to scramble to replace jobs and at lower pay because they had no choice. I want to bring HSBC, Walkers as some examples but there were many more and many we did not hear about. Now taking their share of increases made to duties.

      Public Sector – No cuts or losses as yet. Despite the fact that we in problems financially in 2009 we increased our Personnel cost by 45 Million from 215Mil to 260Mil and cut staff by 100-200. So someone is making more money. So far all you have done is to take part in the increases to duties like Private Sector has.

      Known Problems: Known by all private sector but brought more into the light by the Miller Report we see that CIG personnel cost are the actual reason we are suffering. In fact the Miller Report actually states that if not for dropping revenues directly attributed to the recession and not PPM and rising cost of personnel CIG would have pulled through with a profit.

      We can not fix the recession per say because it’s global and we just need to deal with it the best we can but keep cost down. Which brings us to cost. What cost increased? Personnel. Why? Decentralisation? other? maybe.

      So we start to fix…

      1) Reverse Decentralisation

      2) Centralise anything else that can

      3) Excess staff moved into private sector

      Now it comes to more creativity. We need to find other cost to cut. I think if we focus on the centralisation theory we can find that when we group certain things we can realise cost savings. How about heavy equipment is that be duplicated in any manner? How about government vehicles are they managed in the best manner? Could it be centralised for control purposes?

      I have suggested and continue to suggest stores be centralised because if CIG buys as one unit savings can be realised.

      Do we need to cut CS salaries? Maybe. I think we should do what I stated above and see what happens past that.

      One note for CS and helping your staff. Have you attempted to use your buying power? Do you get discounts at various Gyms for your members? You should think of your members the way Chamber things of theirs. You have buying power and should be able to command discounts at various locations for your members giving value back to being a CS which could help should pay cuts be a last recourse.

      Look this problem needs to be dealt with and politicians needs to say to themselves that their job is to make Cayman get through this even if in the next election they are pummelled. If it’s for our betterment in the end we will thank you. If this is not fixed then UK will force taxes down our throats and it will be the end all of Cayman. First taxes never go away. Even if you take a cut it’s possible when the recession is over it can be reversed but taxes never will be.

      • jokati says:

        I am really sorry that anyone has to get pay cuts especially for those not making a great deal of money and with how expensive it is to live in the Cayman Islands.

        Something needs to be pointed out here.

        The big problem this country has right now is that we cant get a balanced budget. Our Government cannot get a balanced budget. Yes a big part of it is that too much money is spent on Government in particular staff salaries. Not necessarily because civil  servants are overpaid quite to the contrary they are underpaid for the most part.

        I have posted a question and have not got a proper answer yet. How has the salary cuts in the private sector helped our Government balance the budget?

        Salary cuts in the private sector is about the companies becoming more profitable not about helping Government. Now I grant you that just as the private sector has had to cut payroll so does government but just as the private sector will cut services so too will government. That could be a problem when those cuts are the police force or garbage men or firemen.

        Lets hope they are wise in the cuts that it does not impact the society that much.


      • anonymous says:

         well said Dred.

        I believe in salary cuts for the CS. There needs to be a correction in pay (downward) especially to reflect the service levels offered- yes a broad generalization. Nowhere would you be paid such a salary, and yet be able to be as unproductive as many of the front counter staff who deal with the public as if they are inconveniencing them. I believe for a pay for performance model would work wonders for the CS. 

        Another side to this situation that needs to be mentioned- the entitlement factor based around ‘the American dream’ that seems to have infected the generations. Just because you live and were born in Cayman does not grant entitlement for home ownership, a car of your desire etc. It is one mentality that I observe and listen to far too often that is an ideal and but should not be expected without putting in your 10,000 hours. Read the Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell. Some people are born into better situations than others- it is the reality. 

        Live within your means, in a smaller more modest home, drive a lesser car, pay cash when you can, and quit trying to keep up with the ‘Jones’. 

        How can the Civil Service justify such expansion during a recession while the private sector is contracting during the same period- is that ‘make work projects’ or just plain pure fiscal management? 10% cuts across the board for the CS I say.


  28. Anonymous says:

    Hasn’t the UK government begun to prune salary levels within the top salary brackets of the civil service? Perhaps this is something to consider here.  Chief officers and above seem to earn quite excessive amounts, surely. I would have thought a marked reduction for the rich civil servants, and a gradual salary down to the three thousand per month level would be a fair approach to take.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well said Mr Bodden!!  I agree with you 100%..

  30. islandman says:

    "Will widen the gap between the haves and the have nots" sounds like mission accomplished…more of the same old same old by Govt.

    It seems Govt’s. main focus is to take care of themselves…first, next and last. Both the PPM and UDP voted and agreed to pay raises for politicians (themselves) of 20 to 35% over the past 5 to 6 years…yet this is their solution?…and are they even "considered" CS (will the 3.2% apply to them?)…and entire or only "core" Govt.? What will 3.2% mean to them with raises of more than some 30% to the Leaders (and hanger-oners and followers) of both political party’s?

    This unethical and greedy behavior can only breed distrust for those in power and authority…which will trickle down to the ruination of Cayman. It’s been the same in other places (our own neighbors) and the same will happen here if we don’t somehow get some sensible and ethical leaders!

  31. Uncivil Servant says:

    What a shame, they will all have to let go of their live-in helpers

    • Anonymous says:

       why do people have things against people that have helpers?  If you have to work and there is no one to take care of your children then Social Services will come pounding on your door.  Or you’ll find them in Northward.

      Sometimes, you have to do this.  I would rather stay home and take care of my kids but I’m a divorced single parent of three kids and their father doesn’t even help support them much less spend time with them.