CS get 3.2% for Christmas

| 12/12/2011

Christmas-bonus-200x300.jpg(CNS):  Full story  — Government is giving back the civil service cost of living allowance (COLA) that was taken from them in July 2010 in time for the December payroll. According to a memo sent by the acting deputy governor on Monday morning to heads of departments and chief officers, the premier's promise to return the 3.2% allowance to acknowledge the contribution of public sector workers in helping government cut costs will be in the pay packets of all civil servants before Christmas. The news that the government is giving back the COLA comes in the wake of revelations in the government's Strategic Policy Statement that it anticipates it will be facing a deficit of over $4.5 million by the end of this financial year rather than $12 million surplus government had predicted when it delivered this year's budget.

McKeeva Bush raised the issue of returning the allowance to civil servants this summer when the 2010/11 fiscal year ended with an unexpected surplus. The premier said he intended to use some of the cash to return the 3.2% to civil servants by September.  The reinstatement will not be back dated to September however but is starts from 1 December which will ensure the allowance is returned in time for Christmas.

Bush said in August that government had always intended to return the COLA as soon as the public finances were stabilized and although the last financial year had ended with a surplus, the latest predictions for this year are now calling for a deficit which represents a turnaround in government’s financial fortunes of more than $16 million.

Nevertheless the memo from Franz Manderson confirmed that the allowance was reinstated as a result of the hard work over the last eighteen months of the service in reducing government spending and the need to acknowledge those efforts especially at this time of year which can be a “cause of financial strain as much as seasonal joy,” he said.

The deputy governor noted however that the government finances were still in a difficult situation and urged the service to continue its work reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. He said the other measures which were implemented last year including overtime bans and other cost cutting measures would remain in place until June 2012.

The reinstatement was welcomed by the local civil service association especially as a result of the surge in the cost of living over the past couple of years to new heights.

“We take this as a sign that the government accounts have been strengthened through the many cuts the Civil Service has implemented over the last few years and from the plethora of cost saving suggestions and recommendations,” James Watler the president of the CICSA said in a statement released to the membership on Monday afternoon, adding that those recommendations made by members must have been taken on board and paid dividends.

He said the CICSA management council urged members to continue to keep their eyes on the bottom line, and to continue to find ways and means of economizing as he noted the vulnerable situation.

Watler thanked all the civil servants that had to accept a cut in pay but did not compromise the integrity of their work.

“You sacrificed professionally by cost cutting as well as personally doing more with less because of the salary cuts but also emotionally; finding ways to cope despite the high cost of living, the umbrage of persons in jobs even more exposed to the financial downturn than ours, many of whom do not appreciate how uncompetitive your monthly salary is compared to what you could be making in the private sector had you chosen a different career, and the other stresses that were compounded by this pay cut,” Watler stated. “You stepped up to the plate and made the sacrifice that you were called upon to make.”

He said the service’s acceptance of the cut which lasted for some 18 months despite the hardships placed on the members and their families spoke volumes on their commitment to the country.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    3.2% of ones current salary is less than the 3.2% of ones old salary (unless ones current salary is higher than the salary one was making when the 3.2% was originally deducted). To say that civil servants are being "given back what was taken from them" is actually false and misleading.

  2. The lone Haranguer says:

    We continue to feed the civil service monster and when the food runs out, the monster will eat us, then when the country has failed the monster will starve to death. It is a cycle that we see in all democratic societies. When the majority of the people in society reilise that they can keep voting into power people who will give them money and benifits from the treasury.

    Hard to stop it you must have a plan B to get out before it hits rock bottom.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This makesme feel sick, for the last 2years I have had great problems keeping my small contracting company going and pay the guys who work with me, they understand the problems, I understand the problems, Why does Mac not understand the problem, the puplic sector has to many people employed and not doing a good job, election time soon come, who gives s… about the poor people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please note that this 3.2% is not a gift as it was borrowed from the civil servants to pay for all of Mac's "miscellaneous" expenditures.  Such as the funds spenton handing out money to the people and churches he chose through no transparent process.  Also, the "clean-up" crews hired during the Christmas that barely perform half of the work they are paid for.  These funds would have been better spent preparing these people for the workforce.  Also, paying the penalty on the financing deal in which he ignored the tendering process.

    He is a clever man in that he has reinstated this cola at Christmas and most likely will give the civil servants back pay right before elections.  This is to wash away all the XXX things he has done over the years from the civil servants minds.  I pray they are not so simple as to fall for this strategy.  Instead you should be upset that he borrowed your money and didn't give you any interest.  He spent your money so frivolously while you children starved and the cost of living increased so much that you can barely afford milk.

    Don't worry with the Dart deal on the table he will sure get his "honey" which will allow him to blind the people with what appears to be a gain.  However, whatever deal he negotiates on the behalf of our country will be to his benefit first and at whatever cost to the people.

    Wake-up Cayman and don't let this man fool you again!  Westbayers please don't let the $100, appliances and free bus drive to the voting stations fool you again!  Show him you have a mind of your own and you have been grading him on his performance during the 4 years and will vote accordingly!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please remember come election time, not only that Mac gave you the 3.%but he is one that took it away necessitating the giving it back.

    He would love for the UK to rescind it so he could make himself out to be the good guy fighting for you against the evil UK monster.  Do not be surprised if that happens.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Apples for Apples re the head of the Civil Service Association yet again making reference to civil servants being underpaid in comparison to the private sector

    Average cost of employee benefits to the employer in the private sector (pension, medical, vacation, sick, public holidays) about 11-13% of base salary/wages.

    Average cost of employee benefits to the employer in the public sector (government's own figures) ? About 32%.

    Those private sector numbers are based on basic medical and statutory pension requirements, but the reality is that neither law is remotely well enforced, so many employees receive little or none of those benefits.

    In the public sector ? full pension and medical benefits (including for retirees, remember that they get cut off from medical benefits when they retire from the private sector), and no contribution to either from the employee.

    So, next time you compare your salary, Mr/Ms civil servant, recognise that in fact you receive about 20% more in benefits than a private sector employee.

    Apples for apples



    • Anonymous says:

      I think government could be more creative in the budget crunch…

      Eg. As a forrm of payment, perhaps waive fees such as car registration/land transaction fees, and issue CAL tickets for space-available seats, and consider these part of their pay packet.

      BUT – Before being critical, just 2 little points to consider:

      Is the public aware of how many civil service retirees are practically 'indigent'?

      And, the performance bonuses/housing/ cars /schooling & other perks which much of the private sector hands out (but which the civil service doesn't get).

      So, real apples-to-apples comparisons cannot be made to the private sector.

      PS – Most civil servants would be happy to pay insurance premiums – but CINICO knows that most would then go to private doctors.



    • T.L. Haranguer says:

      We are unable to get good Caymanians to work in the private sector because people are rational. If you are Caymanian the goverment offers a low stress very secure job with fantastic benifits why would you as a Caymanian work anywhere.

      What happens down the road though is that the civil service demand for money to keep the gravy train going bankrupts the country the infastructure gets run into the ground and the country becomes just another banana republic.

      This is the journey that we are on. Make your plan B now.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Let us not forget that police officers are also civil servants and they deserve every penny they get and more for risking their lives every day for the rest of us. I know some officers who should be meter readers because they are simply not qualified to do the job, but I also know very hardworking,  dedicated officers who give 100% and  who put their butts on line every time they put that uniform on.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed with the Police Officers!  However I do not think this increase should have been across the board.  This should be based on performance and based.  If you are dead weight to the civil service you should be treated as such and not provided with any benefits and increases.  Or just fire them and hiremore efficient individuals, rather than wasting money on seat warmers.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree but you try firing them for nonperformance and bad behaviour and see what happens! Some heads of departments have tried to do that, documenting much evidence in support of their decision, only to have it overturned when it reaches the top! Scary who they have placed in position to now make those decisions. Poor Cayman.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the government should stop renewing expat government contracts. In a year or two that would probably pay the for the 3.2 per cent to the remaining Caymanians.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You know, I might not have a problem with this 3.2% reinstatement if I saw where even 3.2% of Civil Service was productive. I’ve worked in the Private Sector my entire work life and have never had it easy (I work for my damn pay). All vacation, sick, late days are fully accounted for. I know one lazy ass at a certain gov’t dept. that has had 58 sick days and counting for 2011 with no salary deductions as yet? And not even a warning letter?? Granted this heffa is just lazy and frequents our local bars too much in the night time – not like she is sick with some debilitating disease and home girl has all her limbs.  Our gov’t has found so many ways to waste money it’s unbelievable. Let me not get started on some of the “class nerds” we have wasting away at college both here and oversea on OUR dime!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You have spent your time in the private sector and obviously have no knowledge of the many civil servants who work our butts off to keep this country going!! I am sick and tired of idiots like you spewing forth venum against civil servants and referring to us as lazy. As is the case in the private sector, there are some civil servants who may not pull their weight, but that is not the norm. Also, since you suggest firing and other discipline you should speak with the head of the civil service and suggest an amendment to the the civil service regulations to allow for heads of departments to fire those who need to be fired when identified once evidence in support is produced. At the moment heads of departments are doing all they should to rid the service of the undesirable lazy, trouble making, non performers and not have their valid decisions, with evidence, overturned when it reaches the top. 

      • Anonymous says:

        If you "work your butt off" how do classify the half day you are allowed to take for Christmas shopping and the half day friday before the Christmas and New Year holiday, the rest of the island will be "working thier butts off" at these times! Also why are the Post Offices closed on Christmas Eve?

      • Anonymous says:

        I made mention of one particular case when I have heard of many more. Most government departments are being run too inefficient. I have gone to Customs already and witnessed one person playing games on the computer, another stacking cards and two in the corner discussing their man problems….ALL AT PEEK BUSINESS HOURS and the fact a customer walked in didn't change any of their inactivity or convo. That does not look professional!!! And, yes they are damn lazy!!!!! You seem to think you are a hard worker and perhaps you may fall in to the 3.2% productive CS but you know what they say about a bad apple. A lot of shit Gov't workers get away with could not fly in the private sector and yes we have some bad apples as well but nothing near what Gov't has hired and they don't get chance after chance to abuse the system. Are CS supervisors/manager's sooooooooo busy they can't take note of some1 having 58 sick days per year and constantly smells of liquor when they do come to work?!?!?!?! I.e. Can you imagine Maxine Rawlins, CEO of Maples Finance walking in on her staff being so idle?? You can paint the rest of the picture. I'm glad I never worked for CS because the examples set around me might have eaten away my brain cells and lowered my IQ.  

      • Anonymous says:

        And explain to me how you can dial 911 and nobody answers eh? Not to mention the times you can call GT Hospital and the phone rings out, the times you call the popo's only to be transferred to voicemail, call immigration to get an automated receptionist – you can leave messages but no1 returns the call eh? The times you do get through you're talking to some1 who doesn't know crap and puts you on hold while they go find another idiot eh? You work your butts off yet essential business's such as these can't answer the friggin phone and direct patrons/callers/customers accordingly? SMFH!!!!! Some of you should get 6.4% reductions…..no worries though as McKeewa the indian giver will start deducting again next year when he realizes the shit got stinker by stirring it.

  10. cow itch says:

    don't give me just cola, give me the cola with the coca coca…. oppss… i meant give me the drink, coca cola…

  11. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    They tried to protest the cut with a work slowdown. But no one noticed.

  12. Dred says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    the reality is that the overpaid, over staffed, underworked civil service is the reason the cayman islands is the dire financial position it is in………….buy hey….who's interested in the truth anyway?….we can always increase fees on business!…zzzzzzzzzzzz

  14. Anonymous says:

    Another symptom about what is wrong with Cayman. Take more money from the producers and give it to the non producers. This may give the 'servants' a warm feeling but how about the rest of the country.

    How is this supposed to make Cayman more efficient and produce more real job opportunities?

    The 'servants' may be able to continue their trip through 'Alice in Wonderland' for a while longer, but the end will be very unpleasant indeed. Government overload is already by far the largest problem in Cayman.


  15. Anonymous says:

    The  GOWERMENT is treating the Miller Shaw Report, and therefore the UK Government, with utter contempt.  Enjoy your Turkey CS, while the rest of us in the private sector eat dog food for Christmas — just a metaphor you understand!

  16. Anonymous says:

    He'll probably take it back in January anyway so don't get too excited.

  17. anonymous says:

    The question that is unanswered is how far the savings have been due to downsizing the civil service and cutting waste in Government or, as many fear, simply the result of cuts in the services Government delivers. It is a frightening prospect that we are heading towards a system that raises revenue simply to support the Cayman public sector, rather than to deliver the services that the country agrees the public sector should provide.

    And this is clearly an issue that the political wing of Government has, for obvious reasons, no appetite to address effectively.

    The Miiler Shaw Report should be regular bedtime reading for our Government. Neither our elected representatives (of any party) nor our senior civil servants would sleep easily if they fully digested the unpleasant implications of that Report.

    Tim Ridley

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well I sure wish that I could give my employees a raise!!!!

    Must be nice to pass this along to the private sector and lets see how many companies can ride next year out, with so many not playing by the rules and the ones that are, are having to pay for the goverment's spending……………

    Thanks GOV

    Merry Chritmas 

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not a raise.  It's a Cost of Living Allowance as in adjusting to meet with the Cost of Living.  Believe me it's not much money if you are on the bottom band of the scale but every penny counts.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Find me one public servant who is at the 'bottom band of the scale' (whatever that means?) and I'll back you.

        The level of public sector salaries is a national disgrace.

      • Anonymous says:

        Call it what you will but the fact is that NO private sector business can afford to give any of their employees more money right now. This is vote buying, pure and simple, perhaps that is what you should call it.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not a raise, and if you can't understand that perhaps you should not be in business!

      It is simply returning to the civil service what was taken from them.

      Or would you rather live in a society with no public services or regulations, and live like they do some parts of the world ?

      You live in a free democratic territory and in order for that to happen there must be a civil service. Name a free democratic country that does not have one?

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are getting more money it IS a raise; it IS a raise.  This raise is being called a rising cost of living allowance. Ask your friends in the private sector how much of a raise or COLA they got this year, last year, year before that. ZIPPO! CS act as though everything should be given to them just because they are civil servants.  Count your blessings you dont have to pay $1000 a month for health insurance for your dependents like some of us do.

  19. Olly and his Brolly says:

    We have just fleeced master funds for $7m so we can waste the money on these overpaid civil servants.  This spiral will only end in tears.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Our hard working civil servents deserve 10% for the way they have performed during these hard times

    • JimBob says:

      You would be correct if the population of this island was over 2 million people. It is a joke that we need such a large civil service for a population this size. A small council would suffice. 

  21. Bracca says:

    Good, Now i can go back to kirkconells for the 1.50 chicken noodle soup that market place has for 1.67.

    • Bracca says:

      Sorry that should have read 2.50 from Kirkconells.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't know where you getting those prices.  I pay 3 for 1.00 at Market Place and about the same at Kirkconnell.  Kirkconnell is rarely ever more expensive than Market Place.

        • Bracca says:

          Dumbutt Im talking about the chicken noodle soup in the can I tell you Kirkconnell has it for 2.50 and market Place 1.67 Take a drive and check it out.

          • Anonymous says:

            You the dumbutt wasting money on canned goods.  That stuff is poison.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Excellent job mr. Bush well done. Now the hard working civil servants can enjoy christmas like the rest of us.

  23. Anonymouse says:

    Well some of us do appreciate this effort. Thank you mr. Premier as we know you will take much heat on this but my wife is elated and we will share some with the poor with food donations and it won't go to waste. kudo's must be given when Kudo's are due. thank you.

  24. R.U. Kidden says:

    When are the government big shots going to take some cuts?  Can we start with eliminating the DOUBLE DIPPING? 

  25. Young Caymanian says:

    Some of you need to be thankful Premier McKeeva Bush is trying to make the Country stable again…. but yet you all sit down and JUDGE the man accordingly….Let him do his JOB that MOST of you can't do. I May not agree with some of the stuff he does but once he's putting his Caymanians first then I have no PROBLEM with that bcuz the day he makes a BIG MISTAKE I will lash out!

    Word of Advice….#GET A LIFE!     

    ROME was not built in one day and the time you take to criticise Government you'll find something worthwhile to do i.e. get a JOB! Bcuz it YOU same one going to them to either pay ur rent or buy food (which is not a Crime but some of you can do better). Most of you that governemnt help be's in the club night after night and where/who do you leave your kids with??? and then when friday come you all be lined up at Social Service for the lil pension. Some of you make me SICK!!!!!

    If Govenrment sees it feasible to reinstate the 3.2% reduction back to the Civil Servants den what's the BIG DEAL????!!!!!

    • A says:

      It's a job even he cannot do.

    • Anonymous says:

      The BIG DEAL is that we cannot afford to pay them it and the ONLY reason Mac is giving them it is to buy their vote at the next election. He could take a pay cut himself and give them all that money or stop flying around the world first class with his buddies on our dime. That might pay for it too!

    • Anonymous says:

      The day he makes a BIG MISTAKE? He has already made a number of serious blunders. How many do you you want before you wake up? McKeeva Bush is not doing one thing to help Caymanians, whatever he does he does to help himself and if we happen to benefit all is well and good.    

  26. Anonymous says:

    take away 3.2% give it back a year and a half later
    Next year it will be 6.4% taken to make up for this
    Merry UDPMas!

  27. Libertarian says:

    CNS:  "The news that the government is giving back the COLA comes in the wake of revelations in the government's Strategic Policy Statement that it anticipates it will be facing a deficit of over $4.5 million by the end of this financial year rather than $12 million surplus government had predicted when it delivered this year's budget."

    I hope there is some good reason why they are giving the Civil Service back their 3.2 percent. There must be more than just a mere "acknowledgement" of the Civil Service contribution.

    • so anonymous says:

      The good reason is that they are the ones who put him in there in thefirst place hence the pay off and they are the only ones who will put him in again hence the pay off now.  This is just common sense and would make sense to everyone else if they were not the ones PAYING for it all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do everyone think thatt the Civil Servants voted in McKeeva?  Is every CS from West Bay?

  28. Uncivil Servant says:

    I left work early to celebrate!

  29. Anonymous says:

    A Tale of Two Cities. One behind the fortress walls of the GOAP building, and the rest of us outside!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Wow……..another golden cow….How will the Islands ever recover from this down ward spiral. Only in Cayman. Bush economics, secure another political term to the detriment of the whole Islands.LOL..

    • The Prophet says:

      Please why dont you stop it.  The Premier is doing his best for this country but those people on work permit is blasting the news service with negativity.  I am not a civil servant but I am sure happy for them because I know many of them was pinching pennies, and now this year can buy their kids a christmas present.

      Anyway Caymanians know by now how it go.

  31. Anonymous says:

    What is a cost of living allowance anyway?  Isn't the cost of living one of those things you use your actual salary for?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is an increase that civil servants get from time to time to offset the decrease in real wages due to inflation.   

    • Anonymous says:

      The correct term is actually cost of living adjustment, COLA.

      • Just Me says:

        Premier Bush I need some COLA too.  Can you please advise all other agencies, authorities and private companies to follow your excellent example?

    • so anonymous says:

      Does "cost of living" mean the same as "payment for voting" in Caymanian?  Too bad it has to cost the rest of Cayman more than it has already payed for.

  32. Anonymous says:

    let see if government allow 3.2% reduce in work permit fees so tourism based workers will have a Christmas bonus!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would they get a bonus? They didn't pay for the work permit fees in the first instance. This is not about a Christmas give-away; it is simply retoring to the civil servants what they were already entitled to and had been taken away.  

  33. Anonymous says:

    Buying votes?

    I'd like to see some evidence of 'the contribution of public sector workers in helping government cut costs' because there's not much indication of it in the real world. In fact quite the opposite, the gravy train seems to be merrily rocking along without any sign of the brakes being applied. 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Yes and I understand that he will be taking it back the raise after the New Year.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I thought "Cash was King" last week – / ??? – WTF to this mans thinking.

  36. Anonymous says:


  37. Anonymous says:

    only in cayman…..read the miller shaw report!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hey – supermarkets owners/utilities etc: FYI this is Not a raise!

    This is only catching us back up to your prices in 2010… so please dont adjust your pricing guns!


  39. Anonymous says:

    WTF?? We in Deficit –how can they justify this STUPIDITY???

    • Anonymous says:

      This STUPIDITY is justified by the number of votes the UDP will get from civil service voters in the next election. That's the only criteria the current government is interested in.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Well.. at least we are now back to living at the level it was costing us to live a year and a half ago, instead of 4 years behind.  And of course things have gotten more expensive since July 2010, but we can (continue) to work hard, even if below the cost of living.

    As the recent Compass survey/article illustrated, most of us are earning lower-end wages anyways — while still trying to give 100-percent .

    • Anonymous says:

      So for what percentage of the time do you give 100%?  Shouldn't you give 100% all of the time – that's what you are paid for?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well join the club – most of us haven't had a raise, bonus or anything for at least 4 years, and on top of that we pay our own contributions to pension and healthcare as well as yours.  So who's getting the raw deal really – the CS or the public? 

  41. Anonymous says:

    There is always money available when the Premier wants to make a "good impression."


  42. Anonymous says:

    Got to ensure these votes keep coming!