Minimum wage committee to research rate

| 05/06/2014

(CNS): A new committee has been formed by government that will make recommendations on what the minimum wage in the Cayman Islands should the government go ahead and implement the basic pay. The Committee is made up of twelve full members of employers, employees and independent members, including the Chairman, Lemuel Hurlston.  The committee has begun its work investigating the impact to the economy of establishing a minimum wage at various price points and make a recommendation based on their findings as to what is the most appropriate minimum wage or wages for the Cayman Islands.

“Working towards an aggressive timeline, the committee is hoping to present their report of recommendations to Cabinet by October 31st of this year,” government officials said in a release Thursday announcing the appointment of the committee.

The committee was put together following an invitation from the employment ministry to organisations, service clubs and individuals from both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac to put forward nominations. The committee is also be supported by seven ex-officio members from the civil service, six who manage key subject areas directly affected by a minimum wage and a secretary to assist with administration.

“It was important for us to invite nominations from a wide array of organisations so that as many industries and jobs as possible could be represented as a minimum wage is going to affect everyone and every employer,” said the employment minister, Tara Rivers. “We wanted an equal representation of employers and employees on the committee, and also a committee that is gender-balanced and that recognises the contributions of and challenges related to young people.”

A private members motion brought by independent member Ezzard Miller in February this year, more than three months ago, calling for government to implement a minimum wage was rejected, despite that the PPM had stated clearly in its election manifesto that it would introduce a minimum wage as a priority. During the course of the debate on Miller’s motion, the employment minister revealed that she would be undertaking the research into the possible introduction of a basic wage but made no commitment to its implementation. Rivers raised a long list of objections and fears that have been put forward by opponents of the principle of a minimum wage for many years.

The full list of members of the committee is as follows:
Independent Representatives:
Lemuel Hurlston – Chairman
Nicolas Joseph – Caymanian Bar Association
Maria Zingapan – Director, Economics and Statistics Office
Annette Murphy – University College of the Cayman Islands

Employee Representatives:
Andrea Williams – Business and Professional Women’s Club
Stephen Tatum – Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Representative
Lauren Langlois – Female Youth Representative
Pierre Connolly – Male Youth Representative

Employer Representatives:
Ian Pairaudeau – Cayman Contractor’s Association
Woody Foster – Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce
Ahisha Bodden – Cayman Islands Society of Human Resources Professionals
Danielle Wolfe – Cayman Islands Tourism Association

Ex-Officio Members
Mario Ebanks – Director, Department of Labour and Pensions, or his designate
Adolphus Laidlow – Senior Economist, Economics and Statistics Office
Linda Evans – Chief Immigration Officer, Immigration Department, or her designate
Christen Suckoo – Deputy Chief Officer, MEE&GA (Ministry Liaison)
Philip Scott, Senior Policy Advisor Human Capital Development, MEE&GA
Tammy Ebanks, Senior Policy Officer (Gender Affairs), MEE&GA
Kimberly Kirkconnell – Policy Analyst, MEE&GA (Secretary)

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  1. Anonatymous says:

    The same people who hire supermarket cashiers to stand in one spot without a stool to rest on, for 9 or 2 hours shifts for min wage. You expect them to have their best interests at heart about salary?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The people that this will help the most will be the low paid expats, Most Caymanians still won't want to take these jobs for a minimum wage. So this is going to have an impact on mostly the expat community giving them higher wages to send more home..

  3. Anonymous says:

    Minimum Wage will never work, adn it is not for the Caymanian Middle Class worker!

    The main beneficiaries wil be domestics & labourers – not saying that they don't deserve it!

    Employers can easily cut staff hoursto meet their limited budgets for wages.

    Or, it can result in other 'staff incentives' being devised by the company.. such as forcing the work permit staff to work for "free", in return for other benefits – think "free apartments".

  4. Anonymous says:

    mimimum wage is only part of it

    you need to look at the workers

    when the workers send home ALL the money they make,

    then the economy suffers

    the more "poor" people we bring in, the poorer we all become

    simple math   !!   poverty creates poverty !!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why do the Lesser Caymans need special treatment again?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Look to the swiss!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh lawd, please help me now that the UCCI is getting involved. XXXX The cosy little incestuous political monsters stirke again. I'm going back to Jamiaca, it gets more stupid by the moment here and this comment is just gonna get a brinks to make sure all thier stupid friends are on a commttee to make more poor. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone upvoted you cause you said that you were going back to Jamica.  lol.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Not a West Bayer! [Mario does not count.] And do we need Maria Zingapan – Director, Economics and Statistics Office. The sad thing is that not one of these people on this committee have to worry about  money to buy groceries this week. What a shame! Is there anyone on this panel with a family who earn $1500.00 to $2000,00 monthly? Or are there any who would know what a minimum wage should be. And what is these nineteen people costing us? Five hard working Caymanians could have told you what is needed to survive today.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    looks like about 75% of these folks make 100K a year. I would bet 100% of them have have either a full time domestic, child care worker, or a part time helper in the family. 


  10. Anonymous says:

    Why bother? We don't enforce any other laws in Cayman so who would be there to enforce that law? Anyone?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Now that's how many commitees formed by the PPM gov ?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now here we have political representation once again and we Brackas all know that the DP don't want no minimum wage for the Brac as then he would then have to pay it too. P&L got their representation for sure cause you know them big shot rich Bracka shareholders nah want to pay no minimum wage. And the soap opera continues.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This group seems a little heavy on the employers side. Shouldn't there be an equal half and half group of people who represent employees ? What about people who work in the middle class level with families to support? Ages 30-50 years of age with experience in the problem? Will this be a voting group? one vote per person? If it is the group that you have there …..minimum wage is defeated.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why do we need a committee to download a copy of the UN report?  Committees are formed to mask the intellectual incompetency of the prominent members.  Download report.  Discuss.  Pick a number.  Next.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Only 19 committee members?


  16. And Another Ting says:

    Wa ya say a Comittee fully loaded with civil servants. Hmm we watch and wait to see.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Just what we need – another committee!

  18. The Thinker says:

    I am against a minimum wage law because businesses will have to pay out more for their labor.  In order to stay in business they will have to raise prices on whatever they are selling.  Everybody will have to pay more for goods or services of the businesses.  The cost of living will go up.  It already costs very much to live in the Caymans.  Do you want it to cost more?  I don't.  Wages are like water…. if left alone, they will find their own level.


    • Anonymous says:

      Minimum wage only raises cost of living if you're in the habit of employing (or frequenting employers who pay) at destitution wages. Ask yourself this: do you think the person doing this job should be paid less than $5 per hour? (Or whatever you think is 'fair'. $3/hr perhaps?) If you can look them in the eye when they mop the floor around your feet and say "yes" to the above question then you don't support a minimum wage. If you kinda squirm and can't meet their eyes then you do support minimum wage. If you're looking in to the eyes of the person sitting in a chair then they're probably making over minimum wage already so don't worry. This law isn't going to have any effect on your cost of living.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Good Lord.  A committee of 19 people?  19 people couldn't agree whether to get muffins or donuts.  

    Two options.  

    Option 1: Say nothing at all except to agree with everything everyone else says.  Everyone will praise your "contribution" and conclude you areboth thoughtful and respectful.

    Option 2: Say anything original at all and have to argue with at least one person that disagrees with you. You can then either concede or make an enemy for life, either way it will be noted that there was no consensus on your point of view and everyone will think you're a douche.


  20. Anon says:

    …and then we need to tender for an independent consultant to tell us if those recommendations make sense.  And then when it comes to our politicians voting the law, they seem to not show up to the LA.  

    So what do our politicians actually do for their hefty salaries? Select committees and consultants all day? I am for sure running for election in 2017!