Minister vows crackdown on expat musicians

Minister of Education Rolston Anglin has vowed that the government will look into non-Caymanians varying the conditions of their work permit holders so they can perform music.

Mr. Anglin said local Caymanian musicians were hurting because teachers and other work permit holders were playing gigs.

‘The government is committed to looking into this matter,’ Mr. Anglin said. ‘If we have to come up with a specific policy, we will work closely with [Minister of Culture Mark Scotland] and the Music Association to do so. After all, we do need to ensure that Caymanian musicians have every opportunity to perform locally and, certainly, my information is that there are a number of them who are hurting,’ Mr. Anglin said.

Concerns over Caymanian musicians losing out to expat performers were raised by Member of the Legislative Assembly for Bodden Town Dwayne Seymour, who quizzed the minister on the government’s policy on teachers playing gigs and jams at hotels and other venues.

Teachers in the public sector have to go through their heads of department to seek permission to play music. Mr. Anglin said that that so far this year, none had done so.

‘As I understand it, there is no specific policy as it relates to teachers in private schools.’

He said he would contact the Private Schools Association to find out its policy.

Mr. Anglin said both his ministry and the Ministry of Culture had received numerous complaints about this from Caymanian musicians.

Mr. Seymour said he had brought up the matter during a debate on budget issues in the Finance Committee because he had been contacted by many local musicians.

‘It is hurting them,’ he said. ‘They’re sitting at home while these teachers, these foreign workers, who have come to the Cayman Islands for different means of work, not specifically just to play music, [play gigs]. I hear the cries and the cries are loud. I think it is high time for us to tackle this problem and remedy it.’

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