Civil service to save $550k with 16 redundancies

| 16/01/2014

(CNS): The government is expecting to save more than half a million dollars a year if the first sixteen civil servants who have volunteered to leave the service accept their offers. Of all the applications reviewed by the Voluntary Separations Committee, 16 have been approved, according to the minutes of the deputy governor’s heads of department meeting on 16 December. The minutes reveal that only those applications with the “strongest underlying business case could be approved” from the undisclosed number of applications. However, government stands to cut the public sector wage bill by around CI$550,000 per year if the 16 who have now been informed about their applications agree to the terms. 

According to the minutes from the 2 December, which were released with those from the 16 December, chief officers have also been considering the existing civil service pay policy. This has been in place since 2008 and a review has begun to address some of the anomalies andconcerns which have arisen since its inception. It was agreed at the CS heads’ meeting that further consideration was required and the policy was set to be discussed at the chief officers' meeting on 16 December. However, according to those minutes, it was not brought up at the later meeting.

In addition to the various issues relating to government’s succession planning and matters over staff reviews, the senior civil servants also discussed a staff motivation survey pilot that has been sent to 150 members of staff. The results of this survey, the minutes stated, would be sent to a third-party for analysis.

Another award has also been proposed and approved by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson as part of his ongoing scheme to recognise the work of the civil service. The latest award is for communication and will go to one outstanding ministry or portfolio, focusing on a number of criteria, including media relations excellence, internal communications, change communications, crisis communications excellence, PR stunt of the year, external communications, publication, leaflet or flyer, campaign of the year, and communications of the year.

He said the ward was intended to promote excellent communication across the civil service. It will commence in the 2014/15 financial year and launch at the end of the 2013/14 year. Manderson confirmed that people would be chosen from the private sector to serve as judges.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Now, won't extended the Civil Servants Retirement age to 65 defeat that purpose, by keeeping the remaining people on the job longer?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe since they are cutting they should see about the employee that they have earning a salary and living in the USA with low cost of living and enjoying all the benefits and still earning a salary in the Cayman Islands from the CIG.  When there's qualified people right here in Cayman unemployed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke. The offer for these persons to leave was 3 weeks pay for each year worked plus 3 months salary. That in itself is a huge sum of money. Also they let these ones go and then they are replacing them so there will be no savings to government. This is like the moratorium on hiring and every day they are advertising non essential vacancies.

    • xxx says:

      Just a point to make.  The only ones who received approval are those who will not have to be replaced. No-one will be hired to fill these spots.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This country would sell there own kids for an outsider! we’re second class citizens in our own country! Bracka

    • Anonymous says:

      Your own country?  Interesting.  But it's Caymanians selling their own kids, right? Nothing to do with expats!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Freeze civil service pay for a few more years.  That would save a lot more money.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A slow start, but a start nonetheless! Presumably no more hiring allowed or are we going to get creep back?

  7. Cayman Concern says:

    Mr Manderson you need to be transparent about succession planning and what the plan is for the rampant expat hiring in the CS over the last few years.  All mid management  hires move onto PR and even recently the scandals of degreed CaymanIans being passed over continues! Of course if we pay recruiters we can attract the very best globally from millions of people instead of our small population, but when a local obtains a BS or MBA degree, has experience, and would take less than 3-6 months to learn mid-senior management roles- WHY are we still allowing Dept Heads & 4 person panels to handpick expats? Is the LAW not the same for Civil Service or Authorities? Why?

    Our Crabs in a Bucket mentality is going to kill the chances for our white collar achievers and upcoming youth! HSA,DCI, Legal, General Registry, GIS, Computer Services, CIAA, ICTA, L&S all guilty of hiring expats OVER qualified locals in the past 6 months so don't tell me anything has changed!! Where does the NWDA sit with CS applications? Where is the succession planning?

    i wish all who are leaving the CS a fair shot at private sector jobs, but that will only happen if the NWDA gets teeth against the old crony Chamber members on the Immigration Boards and white collar Business Staffing Boards.

    The CS needs to clean house. Thanks for your contribution and term contract, but a job in Govt should not be a fast track to status!

    . 20,000 permits is our sole unemployment, vocational, and educational country problem. Drop that number by even 5% and the focus will be to educate and place our own.

    • Anonymous says:

      10.40 you completely miss the main issue. You do not mention anything about being able, capable or willing to do the job in the international understanding of such. I

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear 13:52,

        I actually DO know what I am talking about, but let me clarify as a Big Ten graduate (thats Division 1-A USA to you) 

        Being qualified, capable, and willing goes without saying at the application process. 

        The local 4 year degree + MBA degreed and experienced Caymanians ARE the right candidates, but were passed over by USA, Jamaican, UK, applicants with equal experience WITHIN THE PAST SIX MONTHS and that is just wrong.  I'm talking about local applicants WITH overseas experience too!  You are one of the ones that perpetuates the myth that we all stay on this rock, not true…shame on you.

        Again the very guilty of biased panel interviewing and skrting the laws are:  HSA, Lands and Survey, General Registry, Govt Computer Services (IT), CIAA, and ICTA. 

        We must get back to succession planning and rewarding solid efforts.  If a Caymanian (or status hold or married to Caymanian) goes overseas and gets a top degree and good work experience with glowing references and a solid track record, they should not be passed over for an expat, period.  I'm not talkng about wannabees, but real genuine qualified status holders, locals, children of locals, etc.. are getting passed over for expats in the Civil Service and no one is stopping it!

        I can only think the panel of peers feel that their own promotions would be at risk to let other Caymanians in, but the crab in a bucket mentality is just wrong.

        I pray people start to publish FOI findings MORE so you can see the local myth of not being qualified is wrong.  We have talent that we overlook!!  This leads to 7 year contract renewals and the job is then GONE forever. 

        The private sector has it's cronies and rubber-stamping Business Staffing Planning Board (what a blow to locals that has been!) but to see it over and over in our own government is just shameful.  Talk to me when all degreed Caymanians have a job who want a job and not staring at 20,000 work permits from a glass front door! 


        • Anonymous says:

          "Big Ten graduate"?  Bet itis not Michigan.  And the rest are hardly worth shouting about.

        • Anonymous says:

          15.30, you make good points, however there is one major issue and you have to ask yourself how this came about, is that whilst there are some very hard working quailified and clever Caymanians ( I work with and respect those in my office), there are others that through the much talked about "entitlement attitdue" that effectively are a tax on our business, and employers cannot do anything about these people without risking a complaint to the various boards that exist and the subsequent investigations. In my time here in this job 3 expats have been let go or not had contracts renewed because they did not fit the bill or could not work properly, they all left island, and frankly these were right decisions. Employers cannot do the same with Caymanians and it must be in the back of their minds all the time -"is this going to cost me money and cause trouble?" That very issue is a deterrent to employing Caymanianss. If there was a level playing filed were subject to proper checks and balances it would be easy to let Caymanians go, you would very quickly find that those Caymanians who suffer the entitlement disease would quickly become world calss employees. The job protection is in fact the downfall of Cayman.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good  effort Franz. 

    But will they be entitled to any pension and or medical benefits within the next 5 years?

    • Hire local says:

      550k / 16=$33.4k, that is not much of a salary. How about some real savings? If we hired locally we would save airfare, housing $$ costs. moving and $hipping costs, but NO we fuel our own job security by hiring from …. Come on!!?  I know qualified Caymanians with excellent experience and references that have been passed over in Civil Service in favour over overseas hires last year.  Disgraceful and Franz needs a plan to place locals (mentoring- re advertise all expat posts) 

      It is not the $34k a year jobs in CS that bloats us, but ALL expat contracts over $50k need to be reviewed!  Even specialized doctors, literacy teachers, business analysts, IT experts, police, authority employee for Govt, ALL these positions should be a path for degreed locals.  Yes, we need to stop the panel farce of interviewing Caymanians and then hire from outside- demand better accountability and don't stop asking …. Ok, so 2 years from now what Caymanian is being groomed to take over?

      Hire a local and $ave.

      • Anonymous says:

        Some of my best friends are furreigners. . . .

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed that the salary is not much and the size of the civil should be reduced as the UK has said. Could CNS please find out how many applications were first sent to chief officers and then on to committee? Which posts were refused? Why was the package named voluntary since the volunteers were refused surely they knew the risks when they applied? The onus should not have been on chief officers to cherry pick those applications that went to committee some without even having a discussion with the applicants. There were posts that could have been reduced or let go and be replaced by qualified caymanians  out there desperate for work  and would take on one of the vacancies at a lower pay. Everyday vacant posts are advertised so what is the sense then of voluntary separation? At this rate by end of June 2014, 50 vacancies would be filled and only 16 gone through voluntary separation.

      • Anonymous says:

        Better still, out source many of the gravy train CS jobs and make these people work in the private sector where they are accountable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Voluntary redundancy is not a costs saving.  it is spineless excuse.  This process only results in large payments to those that were going to leave anyway.  It also tends to be used by those that enter the private sector most easily.  Large scale involuntary redundacies are what is needed most.  No politician has the guts to do it. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    thank you Deputy Governor for your efforts to reduce the costs of the Civil Service. We are well aware of the dire situation of many civil servants who are strugglings to meet the rising cost of living. I am sure that the PPM will work with you to ensure that the 3.2% pay cut is reinstated soon. However, your efforts to reduce cost must be the first step.

    keep up the good work- we have not seen this type of actvity in  the service for a ver long time.