Civil servants wait for official nod on 3.2% COLA

| 30/08/2011

(CNS): The president of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association says the management council has received no official word yet regarding the reinstatement of the 3.2% cost of living allowance (COLA) for public sector workers. James Watler said there had been numerous queries from the membership regarding the proposed reintroduction by the premier but he said he was still waiting to hear from the deputy governor. “We have not yet received any official communication confirming reintroduction, but acknowledge that the premier has indicated he intends to hold discussion with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,” Watler said Tuesday in the wake of the public announcement by McKeeva Bush on Friday. 

“Management Council views this dialogue as helpful given the present circumstances. To this end, we have provided comments to the deputy governor and await further developments,” Watler added in a short statement.

Following revelations by government that its year end finances for 2010/11 were significantly better than had been predicted, the premier said that he wanted to return the 3.2% COLA  which had been taken away from all public sector workers last July when government was expecting to suffer a $30 million deficit in the 2010/11 financial year.

As that prediction proved to be more than $50 milllion out, with government actually ending the year with a $25 million surplus, the premier said Friday he hoped to use the money to reinstate the cost of living allowance for the civil service.

It is not clear if Bush will require permission from the FCO to do so as the government’s balance sheet is still not complying with all of the requirements of the Public Management and Finance Law as the country’s debt burden is still more than 10% of government revenue. However, as the premier has stated that government has neither intention and or need to borrow any more cash, it is no longer clear whether the premier still needs to seek UK permission for changes to the current budget.

CNS has asked the deputygovernor’s office for comment regarding the COLA reinstatement and is awaiting a response.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn't Mac cut his own pay and disallow double dipping (pensions and salary) by MLAs? We need to focus on the real issues of blatent abuse here not the demaoralized CS!

    • XXX says:

      I agree with your comment about double dipping.  It is very unfair to the younger generation when people reach retirement age and are hired back on contract.  Is it any wonder there are no jobs for school leavers.  If they are at retirement age and they do retire the position should be left available for someone up and coming.  If a CS retires they collect their pension so they should not be hired back.

  2. XXX says:

    To all the people blasting the Civil Service.  Not all CS are overpaid and not all are lazy, show up for work late etc.  I have been with the CS for 12 years.  My vacation days are 23 for the year. In the past 20 months I have taken 2 sick days.  Two deaths in my immediate family and have taken no compassionate leave.  The COLA we received was from around 2008/2009.  Our salaries were cut by the 3.2% we received then and it was to be reinstated last year which because of the economy it was not.  DO NOT judge all CS as one.  I and many others in my department begin working before the 8:30 time we are to begin and many days work overtime.  FYI the department I work in receives NO overtime or Comp time for the extra hours we work.  Just remember the saying, One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch.

  3. Dare to Dream says:

    If the Premier gives back the 3.2%to the civil servants- its just that "giving it back" and not a raise.  He took it from them and he should have to give it back even if it has to come out of his personal funds.   Another point I would like to make is I am tired of hearing about the "civil servants don't work hard", "civil servants don't deserve a raise" You know what that applies to private sector as well.  Of course there are some civil servants who don't pull weight  around the office but please do not think that the same thing does not happen in the private offices around town.  I have seen private workers  come in to work run around from office to office chatting, going out for coffee, going  for drinks mid afternoon, playing solitare on the computer, tracking their personal investments on the internet, researching recipes, medications, clothings etc.  You name it and they are doing it as long as it is not work.  Also please bear in mind that the civil servants in the offices are facillitating the private offices.   Stop and ask yourselves how would your private offices function without the assistance you get from  the civil servants. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for pointing this out to most of the people reading this – and similar – articles. Many within the civil service work hard, are struggling to make ends meet due to very low wages in comparison to cost of living and education level, and rarely if ever receive raises in their renumeration regardless of how productive and successful they are in their respective roles. The only 'raise' they see is an annual cost of living adjustment that was taken away from them in 2010 and will obviously not be given in 2011 either. It is true that there is dead weight within the civil service, but you can't paint them all with the same brush stroke. The vast majority are underpaid and would like nothing more than a little incentive once in a long while – starting with what was rightfully theirs in the first place (3.2% cost ofliving adjustment).

    • Anonymous says:

      read the miller shaw report!

  4. Anonymous says:

    How can there be a suprlus when Gov't still owes the private sector millions? Did they just forget to factor that in?? Pay the places you owe before spouting garbage. I smell s#@% and it's damn stank!!!!

  5. truth says:

    True to his past Bush is still all about takeing all he can from the island to feed himself and his tribe period.  If only the island could find a leader that would give so much to the island.  Is there no one among you who would take on such a task?

  6. Anonymous says:

    cayman civil service must be the only civil service in the world with no reductions in staff and 3.2% increase in salaries!………

    welcome to wonderland….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. Anonymous says:

    DO THE PUBLIC REALY BELIEVE THAT  THEY HAD EXPECT TO HAVE 30 MILLION DOLLARS DEFICIT, BUT HAVE 25 MILLION SURPLUS.   AT THIS TIME GOVERMENT IS GETTING NO REVENUE.   No construction, no selling of land,therefore there is no duties being collected. did the 3.2% taken from goverment workers,and the fuel hights gave them so much money.   noooooooooo. remember 10 millions were given away to by votes. therefore it should be name VOTE BUILDING FUN..  I this because EAST END AND NORTH SIDE is a part of this nation and no churches from these two district got any money.  Now MR nightmare if you would roll back the fuel tax this would help everybody. dont  you know as yet that everything depent on fuel, where are your advisers.  for the love of this country nightmare get rid of the advisers you have and get guys from old bush to replace them

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lets not all get our undies up in knots over this. Mr. Mac knows very well that the UK will say NO!!!. This is just another tactic by him and his crew. When the UK comes back with their disapproval, he will jump up and say "you see, I wanted to give it back but they didn't want me to".

    A real statesman would have asked for it, without making it public, and then inform publicly the outcome. This however was barked out to the world, so even if it is a negative reply, he can try gain some support for trying. But boy oh boy, that bull manure will not work with the Civil Servants, we see right thru this ploy and it stinks with UDP odor.

    • Cow Itch says:

      Just like he barked out changing the name of Pirate's Week!

      Then delayed making the change.

      Then abandoned the idea.

      Fire, aim, ready!

      Yet he criticizes the PPM for being indecisive.


    • Wet Paper Caymanian says:

      Thank you 20:53. Well said and not only the civil servants feel that way. Don't worry he will get his turn.

  9. B.B.L. Brown says:

    How is it possible to have a $30.000.000 shortage and then come up with a $25,000,000 surplus?  That's a $55,000,000 "error".  Intentional or unintentional, thatis unacceptable in accounting. 

    • Accountant dude says:

      Remember the accounts are prepared unde GUAP which for the initiated means Generally Unaccepted Accounting Prinipals.

    • Dred says:

      Maybe PPM needed to have someone like that when theirs went from 5 mil surplus projection to 81 mil deficit in the space of what 3 months? They sure coulda used who did the UDP books.

      I believe someone around here is a Master Chef…cause I small some ___________ going on.

  10. Uncivil Servant says:

    Can someone send me theapplication form for "Required Leave"? This has to be the best thing since sliced bread. Perhaps even better.

  11. Anonymous says:

    James Watler is retiring next year, who will become the head of the civil service association? I notice that over the years it tends to fall on the shoulders of civil servants who are not that highly placed in the service.

    • Anonymous says:

      It will probably be like the Brac Fire Service, Mr Scott retired in November and no one has filled his position as yet .Another good way to save money i guess. Jeez why did Mr Nixon have to leave?

      • Just Curious says:

        One short for the domino team? How many fires have the Department responded to since his retirement?

  12. Loopy Lou says:

    Why waste the money?  If they don't want to work for what they are currently on they can leave and save us all more cash. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If we follow your logic, it might be more reasonable to leave Cayman and save us all the oxygen.

      • Loopy Lou says:

        "Logic" and "trollish insults" perhaps someone can buy you a dictionary for Christmas so you take the first baby steps towards understanding the difference between the two concepts.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have clearly no idea of how the civil service functions.

      Politicians interfere on a daily basis, making it impossible for the cs to function well.

      It is incorrect to blame the people that work for government. The blame is with the politicians.


      • Kung Fu Iguana says:

        Nah.  The politicians aren't to blame for the awful customer service we get from government offices.  Excessive blackberry messaging is a bigger problem.

  13. Anonymous says:

    You will get it after the elections.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Rather that reinstate the COLA across the board, the Premier should only return the 3.2% in September to those persons earning less than $4K.

    Then for the financial year ending 2012, if there is more positivie trending with government revenues, the remaining civil servants could receive their 3.2%.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should the civil service be the only employees subject to this back door form of income tax????

      • Anonymous says:

        Cuz you all work for Government and it's the Government that screwed the country. Why should we Private sector folks endure the same fate?? 80% of government departments are overpaid anyway as they don't do s#@%, get to work late every day, 3 month vacations, never bother to answer the phone or return calls unless it's to their man/woman and have 50 sick days annually which is never deducted from their pay. Customs, Immigration,Police and passport office "cough,cough"…that's just to name a few!

      • Dred says:

        Actually we are all facing it. You just don't realise it. Many local private sector businesses do not give COLA now. Many private sector people are out of work cause their companies closed down. You should consider yourself lucky in that regard.

        I know from your side of the coin it does not look that way but you should open your eyes a bit wider.

      • Dred says:

        PS I haven't gotten a COLA in 3 years…..