Plea for return of civil service pay cut denied

| 01/05/2014

(CNS): As the need to slash the civil service bill takes front and centre of government’s agenda, the man in charge of cutting the public sector has been lobbying for the re-instatement of the yo-yoing 3.2% cost of living allowance which was cut, returned and cut again during the last administration. However, Marco Archer the minister of finance confirmed that there is no room in his 2014/15 budget to return the COLA to government workers. Although the guardian of the public purse said Thursday that the budget for 2013/14 is on track for the $100million surplus as predicted, the reinstatement of the 3.2% would push the personnel bill for 2014/15 over the $241million wage bill agreed with the UK.

The healthy surplus that Archer is expecting is spoken for as it has been consumed by capital works and government debt.

Government is said to have almost 200 vacancies which it is not filling in order to keep costs down forcing the much beleaguered government workforce in many cases to work much harder and longer for less reward as there has been no increases to public sector pay for six or seven years  — just a 3.2% cut.

Franz Manderson, who is understood to have sent a memo recently to the elected arm of government regarding the reinstatement of COLA has stated publically on a number of occasions that the civil service is at the end of the road in its ability to make further cuts without significant policy changes. Another review is now being conducted by Ernst and Young after the management consultancy firm won a $155,000 contract to advice what public service government can sell off or partner with the private sector to cut costs further.

The deputy governor has also noted that many people in the CS are working harder than ever as a result of cuts in resources and personnel but there has been no reward. The size of the government’s budget and the chunk that goes on personnel costs continues to create the perception in the private sector that the civil service is dysfunctional as the end user of government services does not always see the hard work first hand. The public sector continues to face criticisms but the vast majority of government workers or not fat cat bureaucrats but men and women earning far less than the national average.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Comments (46)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    There are enough misbehaving and out of order civil servants floating around the civil service who are great candidates for dismissal. If that happened instead of moving them around and in some instances appearing to promote them the civil service would be much trimmer indeed!

  2. Anonymousand says:

    Wait a minute-i thought the politicians had no controls over government workers!
    This refusal is the ultimate HR control, even over the DG!

    • Jah Dread says:

      Look chief, they have to vote te money don't they, so that way they have control over them. They don't have administrative control. Ya didn't know that?.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true!
      There should be a separation of Administrative+Executive powers!
      Why is this allowed…?

      • Anonymous says:

        It is allowed because Manderson refuses to cut the Civil Service to the levels required! If he would step up and do his job in this regard then perhaps the cost savings could go to the workers he wants to have the amount reinstated for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and thank God there is that control!  Stand firm Marco Archer!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Make 10% redundant and use any savings to the rest the cola allowance.  Just don't tell the civil servants who the 10% are until after they have decided they want then deal.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Since that last "Indian-giver" COLA from 8 years ago, the cost of living has risen over 15%…

    So, how do you think that balances out for public workers each month-end?

    Our loans, gas & utilities cost the same as anyones!



    • Uncivil Servant says:

      I gots me a gas boy card.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well now 15:09, perhaps if you were working at at 3:09 p.m., rather than being on here posting your comments, your goodly DG might be able to argue a bit more sensibly for you! You prove the point that people like you don't deserve to have the percentage reinstated. Do your job! Develop a better work ethic and you might be a bit more convincing!  

  5. Anonymous says:

    Get it straight please:

    Government workers do NOT simply "work for the Civil Service";

    They work for the country, providing services which the private sector do not; or would charge too much for.

    While there is some room for privatization, let's see if those services would be any cheaper or better as a private company… and who would be employed there?

    A raft of other cost-savings & revenue-generating measures were provided by CIG workers from years back, but few suggestions have been adopted.


  6. Fantasia says:

    $100,000,000 surplus. I will not hold my breath on that. But I tell you what, even if they managed to save $5,000,000 it would be a rare set of politicians who could stand to put it aside for a rainy day.

    We should look to the North Sea oil windfalls to see who has done best: United Kingdom (zip, nada, nothing saved) or Norway (world's biggest sovereign wealth fund for 5 million happy people).


  7. sean says:

    why was the RETURN of the 3.2% denied. revenue is up, cost is down, $100m surplus enjoyed???

    • Anonymous says:

      And we are still under the FFR iwhc basically is blocking thie Governments attempts to increase salaries. After the Bush years the FCO has decided to handcuff our legislators. We may as well send the Politicians home and just let the UK run the show now. Thanks Mac, thanks a bunch !!

      • Anonymous says:

        Not the FCO, we did it to ourselves: voters allowed it to happen, again and again and again.  We need to get our house in order over the next decade.  The only chance for any major infrastucture development, improvement, is via public-private partnership (we can barely afford maintenance) and we'll need to make concessions and honour our agreements or we'll black-list our own country.  All the "parties" and their recycled politicians have proven during the last 20 years that they still don't get it – seeking out ego-driven capital-intensive legacy monuments – like the massive school in middle of Frank Sound, community center on Brac, roads, ports, statues, hero's parks/walls, and airports.  Unbridled egos have choked our nation with debts – while rewarding all complicit voices with special favours (Brac paving), a massive pay raise (in the trough of the recession) in 2009 which was neither opposed nor repealed, and self-conferring the lifetime title of "honourable" on all the silent club members. 

      • Jah Dread says:

        It seems that those who have lived here most of their life have forgotten and it's the Johnny come backs or come lately who fail to understand that the PPM is who got us in so much debt that the FCO forced Mckeeva to sign the FFR. It was them the PPM who got us into the economical mess we are in. There were not too many alternatives for the UDP who were by nature of the situation was forced to raise taxes etc . So let's talk sense as to the debt to be. Repaid and the reasons for the FFR process and restrictions. Ona forget "only Divine intervention can stop me from building these school". Who had to attempt to clean up the mess,?. Nuff said .

    • Anonymous says:

      If you Caymanians would start taking more interest in whats happening to your country, you would'nt be wasting time making such comments.

      It was plastered all over the medias, the public meetings the marl roads,the gossip columns, except for under the coconut trees.

      The Cayman Islands are in debt, we have borrowed way over our limits. The UK have said to us, bring your debt down! before any more borrowing can take place.

      By the year 2016 we have to pay off our debt in the tune of 300 million Cayman Island dollars.

      This is the reason this administrator is forced to not go wild on spending. Thus having 100 million in surplus within this budget. This surplus is to pay down  our debt. Is this clear now??

      I really wish our people would make an effort to come out their shells and hear first hand what is going on in their country. Some still proclaim  we can continue to ignore the UK and keep borrowing.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with your comments 4:58,  but the only reason this is being discussed like this is because a Member of Cabinet (Franz Manderson) publicly chided the politicians and told themto give the 3.2% back!  My opinion is that this would hae been better handed internally.


      • Anonymous says:

        You are so right 4:58. I would just have worded it 'you civil servants' as there are the foreigners in the civil service mix who are also complaining. You need to go and talk to Franz Manderson and get him to understand all that you have said because it seems that those simple facts have blown completely over his head!

  8. And Another Ting says:

    We know that the civil service led by the Deputy Guv is fast becoming the Government. We know that they work harder than the politicians right?. Then you think the PPM gonna givethem de money ya must be fool fool, and why should they, the Private sector employees on a whole are also starving for raises for at least 7 years. Ya want a raise march on FCO .

  9. Anonymous says:

    we will give you the cola rise when you start paying health/pension contributions…….end of story.

  10. Anonymous says:

    if the civil servant don't like it….leave …….and try to get a job in the private sector…….

    what are you afriad you can't make it in the real world?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Good.  Civil servants, if you do not like it there is something called the private sector.  Things are different in the private sector.  The best bit is the rest of don't have to pay for you there.  No-one is forced to work for the civil service.

    • Anonymous says:


      I hear you but….  whilst good CS are not forced to work for the CIG, have you given serious thought of what would happen if all competent, honest and hard working CS left and got jobs in the private sector.

      Take it from me it would not be good for the country because like it or not, some services provided by Government are very necessary, and this will be even if they privatize some departments. Some must stay and they need good CS to run them.


  12. Anonymous says:

    funny, there is no mention of double-dipping by the Elected Members.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yet there is no problem to pay the double-dipping MLA's THIER Salary and Pension. What a mess!

  14. Anonymousand says:

    Thanks so much from the bottom of my sole for this encouragement and your heartfelt recognition, as we continue to work hard, as new contracted workers are hired above us, as the cost of living escalates. as weak compliments are paid once a quarter in ‘awards’, and as we have no representation to speak up for us or demand some relief.
    We have been suffering for a decade, but 4 years is too long between elections!
    Happy Travels!

    • Anonymous says:

      20:16 I pray for your 'sole'. Poor thing, I wonder when the DG will find a good English class for you to attend which might help you understand the difference between 'sole' and 'soul'.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why are you confusing my favorite pet fish with your shallow soul?
        And “English class” is an well as being an incorrect phrase.
        Do you mean “English language course”?
        Or perhaps you don’t grasp that England no longer is a global Empire.
        Get a tutor.. I do home schooling at a fair rate!

        • Anonymous says:

          OK, post your contact details please! Would love to arrange tutoring to properly master the English language.

  15. Anonymous says:

    There is only money for the top.

    The stupidity, is that the majority of civil servants spent all their income and therfore giving back the 3.2% would result in an increase of spending (=cayman economy) of 3.2%.

    And reducing the 100 million surplus with 5 million (3.25) still sounds like a surplus to me.

    Strange there is always money for advisors, trips, useless meetings, dinners and parties.

    Don't get fooled people. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    They deny this reinstatement but the MLA's continue to get fat salaries for doing nothing!  On top of that, any minister who serves once gets lifetime pension and medical thanks to the PPM!  Why is it that even expats can come here and not have a mandatory retirement age but govt workers are kicked out at 60?  Totally disgusting! And the PPM want to build a new road for a golf course?  That is ok?  PPM you have no chance of getting back in.  You fooled me twice so I am the fool indeed and sorry at that.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, has your DG explained to you then why he is not writing his memoranda to request mandatory retirement age to be extended beyond age 60? Or is it that he does not support that?  Go have a talk with him and find out!

    • Anonymous says:

      Extended retirement age should be voluntary – not mandatory!

      Especially for those older wrokers who have other plans!

  17. Anonymous says:

    By "working harder than ever" I assume he means "staying right till 5 o'clock most days".

  18. Anonymous says:

    Most civil servants earn peanuts to help government make ends meet, while the so called experts of politicians, who before the election knew the solution to every problem Cayman faced, now has to squander money on consultants to tell them what they said they had the answers to if they were elected.  Politics and politicans are disgusting to me.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The pay cut that should be volunteered should come from MLAs who annointed themselves with massive 9% raise put forth by former premier in 2009, while simultaneously cutting the CS (later repealed).  Unsurprisingly, the MLAs have not offered to reverse their pay hike or the double-dipping on pensions and salary and nobody questions this?  Why not? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the ppl are too gullible and fall for the handouts n empty promises that are so freely given at election time. Wake up and see what is happening to this beautiful Island. At this rate of spending there will not be anything left in the next few years but Mount trashmore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the ppl are too gullible and fall for the handouts n empty promises that are so freely given at election time. Wake up and see what is happening to this beautiful Island. At this rate of spending there will not be anything left in the next few years but Mount trashmore.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The civil service here is 3 to 4 times the size of an equivalent sized service, in a foreign township of 55,000 people , plus has its own failing airline. Hopefully E & Y can give an accurate report of what else can be 'trimmed' from it ? Start with Cayman Airways & go south from there.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not fair to compare Cayman to a township in the US which also has state and federal governments undertaking certain duties that our civil service does.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The UK is starving & poverty levels are high, A poor example to follow! Give Back Our 3.2% crime would Decrease Because People Would have more $$$ in their pockets & don’t have a reason to commit a crime to make ends meet=able to pay their bills! Gt votet

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, we could stop all those muggings by the civil service employees