Today’s Editorial for March 17: There must be cooperation

Civil servants have responded the
way we thought they would to proposed pay cuts, a pension suspension and requirement
for them to help pay for their healthcare.

While most are in agreement to a small
pay cut, they won’t go along with the pension proposal and would support exploration
of health insurance co-pays based on certain conditions.

It is now time for the elected
officials to step up to the plate and legislate our way out of this financial
quagmire.

It’s well and good that government
agencies have been told to find ways to reduce spending in their departments.

Government – the men and women we
elected in May last year – must set a budget and enforce it, which would force
government agencies and authorities to find ways to make dead weight employees
redundant and get serious about helping our country balance its budget.

But that’s highly unlikely because,
as the Miller Report shows, a huge number of voters are civil servants.

To force the reduction of the
number of civil servants could amount to political suicide. There will be
another election in three years and we doubt the government of the day wants to
give up its power.

So government is going to have to
negotiate. Civil servants do not.

At the end of the day everyone on
the government’s payroll wants to keep their jobs along with their pension and
free health care. Who wouldn’t?

But if civil servants don’t start
acting like employees at private sector businesses who go without pay raises
and bonuses to help their companies stay afloat, they could find themselves in
dire straits in the long run.

If our civil servants don’t work
with government to help balance the budget, the budget won’t get balanced. We
can’t borrow money any more, the UK will come in and take over and our country
will be in ruin.

Then no one will have jobs and we
will once again become the islands that time forgot.

 There has to be some cooperation if we are to
have a sustainable future.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Now let me read you right: only Caymanians who are voters and who elected this government have to agree to be sitting ducks because the higher eschalons of management in colusion with governments past and present have inflated the payroll with voters and flaunted fiscal mismanagement by a disregard to unaccounted expenses such as gas and fuel cards for people no longer in employment and top wages continuing for people no longer employed in CS.
    Well go ahead Caymanian voters – cooperate – and leave the non voters out of it. I don’t think so.
    A sustainable future will come with an honest overhaul of sustainable numbers of civil servants and new private industry posts made available with a boost to the economy.
    Without pay rises each year at the rate of inflation civil servants on ordinary wages have been taking pay cuts for a number of years.

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  2. If the Cayman government is serious about cutting costs it might take a serious look at its own national airline. We are regular visitors to Grand Cayman and for the first, and last time, decided to support Cayman Airways. Our friends did likewise. Their flight was cancelled. Our return flight to Tampa was delayed more than one and a half hours causing us to miss our connection. In Tampa we asked a Cayman Airways agent for help to get us to the Southwest Airlines desk and were told rudely that she would not help since this was not her problem because we were no longer flying on a Cayman Airways ticket once we landed. We were appalled at this total lack of caring and slipshod customer service. The experience with Cayman Airways cost us an extra $500 for overnight accomodations, missed flights and new bookings. My complaint, via e-mail to the airline was ignored. We wondered on our initial flight why the plane was half full as it was on our return flight. We now know. In this day and age it is astounding that an airline can operate in this manner. Our connecting airline was more apologetic and helpful than Cayman Airways which caused our problem. If Cayman Airways can not operate in a professional and responsible manner perhaps it should not be a financial burden on the government of the Cayman Islands.

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  3. I agree, departments should be responsible to stay within budget, and government workers need to pay their fair share to pension and health-care. How can they administer the laws and and give themselves perks over and above the rest of us. Civil servants are in service to the community. The question should not be who will lose a job, but what service will be curtailed if there is a reduction of staff. Maybe we don’t need 10 professors counting conch after all.

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