Civil service body rejects redundancy policy

| 16/10/2013

(CNS): The organisation that represents local civil servants has rejected government’s proposed voluntary redundancy policy as it says that management has not taken on board the concerns raised by its membership. James Watler, the president of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association, is urging members to attend a meeting on Thursday 24 October, where the issue will be discussed and advice offered for those considering taking up the offer to leave the service with a payoff. He said there were a number of concerns with the policy, especially the five year restriction on returning to the public sector. Although CICSA was consulted, he said, they were “surprised and saddened” that the association's concerns were not reflected in the final version.

The deputy governor released the voluntary separation policy (VSP) recently with the goal of reducing the government’s headcount, as pressure to cut public spending continues. The VSP is one of numerous measures to cut operating costs and the size of the civil service.

However the CICSA had recommended other ways of dealing with the headcount and said this policy would create a new problem between local and foreign applicants for public sector jobs.

“Of particular concern to members who are considering voluntary separation is the restriction from applying for any civil service job for five years hence. This applies to any vacant advertised job, in any section of government, not just your previous employment,” he said.

“As the Voluntary Separation Policy only applies to Cayman citizens, and there appears to be no similar measure for contracted officers who have not been renewed as part of the government’s on-going civil service cuts, a baffling and disturbing dichotomy between Caymanian’s and non-Caymanian’s potential to apply for jobs is created,” he added in a statement released to the membership and the public.

Watler explained that instead of a separation policy, CICSA had recommended a manpower survey to determine the needs of the civil service while also identifying the knowledge and skills that existed to better help in reducing the numbers .

"It is our view that clearly there is a lack of willingness to engage in a holistic review of civil service staffing and staff reductions, of which it is strongly felt that voluntary separation should be a third, not second, resort,” he said, as he encouraged members to attend the upcoming Annual Meeting on 24 October at the South Sound Community Centre at 5:30pm, when they can discuss all the issues relating to the changes in the CS.

See full statement below, as well as contact details for advice on the VSP and related issues.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As I understand it, anyone who walks away with VS will be branded "Losers"  and will be unemployed in the private sector – and unwelcomed back into government.

    VS seem to mean that ONLY the Caymanian CSs are ineffictive wasters, and they would be  dumb enough to walk away with a pithy sum, little/no benefits therefter.

    Of course, the others who stay behind will be eventually rewarded for 'picking up their slack'. 

    Does PR/status come into this picture anywhere?

    And were have the meetings/consultation/transparancy been since VS was announced a year ago?

    NOT ONE meeting/memo has been shared with workers to inform or prepare them for VS – yet this is seen as the bast govt can do to balance the budged and cut numbers???

    Shame on the malfunctioning Civil Service Association for failing to inform & represent their members, yet again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If more Civil Servants were “employable” they wouldn’t be so concerned about the five year restriction. They realize that the chances of getting a job in the Private Sector are slim.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know, until a very brave politician (premier) stands up and says exactly that the CS is a stinking cess pit of corruption, cronyism and nepotism, acknowledges the issues with vocational education, assists in making certain elements in Cayman understand that unless the island is competitve it dies, acknowledges that the police and criminal laws need severe tuning, then nothing really is ever going to happen.

      Acknowledgement is the first step on the long road of putting it right, so it works better, people are educated in the right things, want jobs and understand that in the real world most people have to work damn hard to be recognised and promoted. Unless acknowledged out loud, it will just carry on, slowly but surely sinking that which "hath been founded on the seas".

    • Anonymous says:

      You really think it is a good offer eh. Its a joke.

      They are not serious with only the small amount in the budget allocated to VS. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    "… to leave the service with a payoff. "


    I left the service a number of years ago. I hope that the "payoff" is retroactive.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hold on a second! Who the hell is going to enforce this 5 year rule?  The civil service?  

    This needs to be figured out first, otherwise we will be bleeding cash through thousands of voluntary separations each year.  What is the punishment if someone rejoins the service within 5 years and voluntarily separates again?  It would be easy if cs had one HR department but if I remember correctly each gov dept has its own HR, right?



  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry for Franz Manderson and the Governor having to deal with these bozos.

    • Anonymous says:

      Although he has made no attempt to stand up for the right thing and has turned into an apoligist mouthpiece for the union.

  6. Anonymous says:

    "He said there were a number of concerns with the policy, especially the five year restriction on returning to the public sector"  There lies the problem – people want to have their cake and eat it too!

  7. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    The way to deal with overstaffing and inefficiency in the Civil Service is to completely turn the remuneration model on its head.

    We are paying too many petty administrators far too much to sit at desks and do too little (even worse, in many cases we are paying them to do little to nothing while they operate businesses on the side).

    At the same time we are paying essential service providers too little to induce capable applicants from even applying for jobs.

    What I mean by this is that the bulk of the staffing budget needs to go to teachers, policemen, health practitioners etc.

    If we start those positions at around CI$60,000 per annum and take them up to $150,000 – $200,000 (based on performance over a 10-15 year period and subject to a rigorous review system) then we will be able to hire from the best and brightest who currently go into private sector positions.

    This is not an overnight cure, but it would at least put us on the path to a Civil Service staffed with motivated and competent people in the positions where we need them most.

    I would much rather pay a policeman or a teacher a good salary than waste it on a sherpa in the GOAB!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    read the miller shaw report!

  9. Anonymous says:

    So, let me see, in a nutshell the CS want more money for being made redundant and doing even more of nothing? How quaint.

    And not returning for 5 years? Oh dear me, we are fools. We do not understand, we should make them redundant, let them have 6 months off and then they can return to the old job with most of their fat payoffs in hand. Until I read this I thought the Tea Party was right of Atila the Hun (or left, amounts to the same thing).

    Time for a reality break!! JK Rowling could not write this stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of them already have a second income….they run a privat business.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think the headline would be better without the words "redundancy policy".  It could then be a story about donut consumption.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If a Contracted Officer (non Caymanian) is not renewed as part of the ongoing cuts (as the letter from Mr Watler says), then that is not voluntary separation, it is involuntary separation (with no cash paid to them) so why should the non Caymanian not be allowed to apply for a job if one happens to come up? The voluntary separation is only offered to Caymanians and as a consequence of getting a payoff (ie a lump sum of money in their hands to do with as they please), they have to agree not to apply for a civil service job for at least five years. Otherwise, you would have a potential shambles/scam on your hands with civil servants pocketing the money then getting employed in the service again soon after!! The five year restriction is more than reasonable. In fact, it should probably have been longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. The rejection of the five year restriction on re-entering the service is particularly bad because. In most cases, if the person who qualifies for voluntary separateion can do another job in the civil service he/she should apply for or be transferred into that other vacant position, allowing the initial position held to become redundant and be eliminated. There's no need to let them voluntarily separate and pocket potentially thousands of dollars worth of cash as well because they are not giving anything up and are no worse off. In fact, they might be better off if the next position pays better or is more enjoyable to the individual!

      • Anonymous says:

        Or, the Caymanian seperates and the expat is not renewed. Three years pass. A new, different, post is advertised. The expat can apply, the Caymanian can not. The net effect is 1 post reduction over three years (2 gone, 1 added) and a Caymanian who can not apply for a job in their own country. Because of a desire to reduce the total headcount of the Civil Service. Which, if a post is being advertised, is a non-factor in the decision of who gets the job since the post has already been approved.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is a voluntary program.  No-one is being forced to reduce the future job options.  If the Caymanian gets to apply three years later will you be expecting them to repay the redundancy money?  Thought not.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually, yes, thats in the Policy and no one has objected. What they're objecting to is if a seperate post is created there is no 'numbers reduction' reason to not simply hire the best person for the job, even if it is an ex-employee. Of some other branch of the government.

  12. Tickle my Pickle says:

    Civil Servants should feel lucky.

    Too many were hired, and now you have the option to leave with a payoff.

    Take the payoff and start a business or work in the private sector. Do your government and Cayman a favour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many (espeically the high-paid high-rankers and some MLAs) already have their own business(es) already, some of which are recipients of lucrative government contracts from time to time *cough, cough*.  Others conduct business on government time and resources. This has been common knowledge across the islands for some time now.  They need to do the right thing and step aside. Deal with their own business(es).  Its not like they're going to be adding to the unemployment statistics is it? That should clear the table a bit and reduce a lot of wastage at the same time.  CS workers are paid to work for the CS during office hours, not themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don't foist them off on the private sector we can't take much more and we sure don't need underperforming high paid over benefitted  people expecting us to hand them jobs on silver platters!  Most of them are where they are because they couldn't cut it in the private sector!

  13. Anonymous says:

    The stance of CISCA makes no sense at all? Time to vote them out.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a pity that even in a letter to civil servants the Caymanian versus non Caymanian thing has to crop up. Though looking at the list of names at the end it is not surprising as there are two well known anti-expats there. So sad because these are our educated people.

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      There seems to be widening thought in the expat community that Caymanians should be ever so grateful that we have them here and that without their brilliance we are naught.  It also appears that when we speak of our rights and desires and express ourselves in contra to their infinite wisdom and knowledge that we are perceived as un thankful and moronic . 

      Let's be clear here, most of those who speak ill of Caymanians either on these blogs anonymously of course and in their cocktail parties and wild parties , need to understand that we welcomed you here yes we did as we created laws that permitted you to come here and work.  Stop being offensive , and remember you don't have a voice in your own country, so why open ya big mouths and mess with our business.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well let's move to the more effective policy, large scale involuntary redundancy.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This policy is targeting Caymanians only, isn't it already a problem of unemployment here? The 5 year restriction from working with a government entity is also a catch because most civil servants that would take advantage of this offer are on the define benefits pension plan and if they are not allowed to come back in to government for 5 years then upon their return they would be placed on the define contributions plan which pays out way less after retirement. Unfortunately, this policy is targeting our veteran civil servants and will ensure that the civil service remains more non-Caymanian than ever before. Wonder who thought this one up! 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree- what is good for the goose should also be good for the gander.  As far as I am concerned they should be retiring those from overseas who have reached/passed retirment age and allow those in the departments who are quite willing  and able to move up the ladder.  If  near retirement age Caymanians are being cojoled to move then the same thing should apply to the "expats" .  That is only fair!!.  I also think that raises should be given based on productivity- I know a few who cannot get home to their families at a decent hour at night because of the deadlines and work load while others walk around lookiing "pretty" all day.  They are also those who spend most of their days taking care of their personal businesses. The should be made to fly right or fly out!!

      • Anonymous says:

        "Cojoled"? Sorry can't find it in my dictionary. Probably means "shaft the expat' from the context of your post but you really need to know it is not a word and maybe that's why certain Caymanian employees (you?) are effed.

      • Anonymous says:

        The funny thing is that most expats expect and plan to retire at 65 or later (67 for a UK state pension now), not 60 as seems to be the practice in the Cayman Islands. Even more funny that average life expectancy in Cayman is actually slightly higher than the UK, so why do you retire so early?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because the people who write the rules haven't accepted that they need to change them yet. The rank and file in the Civil Service have been asking for the retirement age to be raised or removed or some other change enacted but it hasn't happened yet. Partly because mean-spirited people want to take their job for 'younger applicants' who should be given 'their chance', without recognition of the negative consequences this has for those hiting 60. There is a real ignorance of the longer life expectancy and increased living cost which is facing Cayman and a pandering to that ignorance by leaders.

    • Anonymous says:



      Many CS have a business on the side. These should be the first to go. Its not hard to find out who they are, check on the trade and business licenses and see the connections.

      Some have the license in a family member's  name which  has no dealings with the business.

      Franz you are a let down to the private business, lay off these people that own a business. This is  unfair competetioin, we the tax payers are paying their salary, pension and health, then they compete against us in business.