Civil service pay cut in July

CINICO costs, other expenses cut

Employees in the Cayman
Islands civil service were informed Thursday that their salaries
would be cut by slightly more than three per cent starting 1 July.

The 3.2 per cent cut is basically a “rollback” or removal of the cost of living pay increase given to
government workers in 2008.

The move comes as no surprise
following statements from civil service leaders earlier in the year that some
pay reductions might be needed in the upcoming budget, as Cayman struggles to
balance its spending plan.

Members of the Cayman Islands Civil
Service Association had previously agreed to a minor pay cut, at least as far
as a temporary reduction, to help government meet its budget targets. However, some members indicated Thursday that they had not been told about the latest round of budget cuts. 

According to an administrative circular sent to all government chief officers and department directors Friday morning, the pay reduction was one of several budget-cutting items set for the next fiscal year.

Other cuts included a ten per cent reduction in premiums charged by CINICO (Cayman Islands National Insurance Company) to all central government departments. Currently, civil servants pay nothing out of their own pockets for monthly health care premiums. 

Funding to fill new or vacant jobs will be limited to positions agreed to during a meeting of Cabinet members and chief officers on 3 May. Government has been operating under a “soft” hiring freeze since late 2008.

Some civil service departments were also asked to cut up to 75 per cent of their recruitment budgets, acting pay allowances, duty allowances, and motorcar allowances. 

Overtime budgets were slashed by 50 per cent for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Eliminated from the spending plan were all payments for accrued leave and compensatory time not taken during the year. Also cut out entirely were allowances for entertainment and laundry. 

“Some of these decisions will require amendments to existing legislation,” read the circular, issued by Acting Deputy Governor Franz Manderson. “Those decisions, when implemented, should accomplish the 2010/11 targets for personnel costs for the core government to which the Cabinet have now agreed.”

Mr. Manderson warned in the circular that government’s budget-cutting exercise is not over.

“Further reductions in operating expenses will be expected over the next three years,” the circular read. “It follows that sustainable means of reducing costs must continuously be pursued.”

The Cayman Islands government has been forced to put off its formal budget proposal for the coming year –
initially scheduled for 30 April – partly due to elections in the United Kingdom
delaying on-going negotiations with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about
how much money the country can borrow in the coming year.

Friday’s circular said nothing about reductions in other areas of government spending, including capital (construction) expenditure and non-personnel related costs.  

Statutory authorities and government-owned companies were also told that Cabinet’s budget cutting measures should be implemented, where they are applicable to those entities.

For the full story, please see Monday’s Caymanian Compass…. 



  1. This 3.2% pay cut is a travesty. The civil servants make the highest salary of any employees on the island. They should have to take a 10% pay cut and contribute 50% of the pension and insurance payments just like everyone else. This party is going to lead us to one solution. The UK will be forced to take over just like they did in the Turks and Caicos. Then we will all find out where the misappropriations have occurred. Someone need to kick McKeeva in his (expletive) or either pull his head out of it.

    Just look at the concessions that he is giving the new hospital. Just take out your calculator and figure out the hundreds of thousands of dollars that will not be paid in revenue to government.

    I say build a roof on that 8′ wall and let him live in his own little world!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I am a civil servant – been there for almost 20 years. Everyone says that we are the highest paid – but it always seems to be those who are not employed by Government saying so. At certain levels and for certain positions, very possible. But for most mid to lower levels where most of us Caymanians are – NO! We/I have not had an actual salary increase since 2001. Our COLAs are always after the fact – 3 or more years behind. I know that I can make more in the private sector but I love my job and the ability to help people in a way that I cannot do in the private sector.
    So please get you facts straight before blaming ALL civil servants.

  3. where to begin…..sigh.

    First off, Mr Bush isn’t the founder of this whole mess. But he has the VERY tough job of trying to fix it. I would not want to be in that man’s shoes.

    Second, that 3.2% pay raise, was deserved to the Civil servants, for many many years, due to not getting a raise at all. Where the private sector kept up with inflation.

    third, shockingly, if you look long and hard. You are going to find, that civil servants on whole, make the same or many times less than an equal post in the private sector.

    You cannot look at a cabinet post salary and try to compare it to a manager at a walmart and point the finger saying “oh…that government person is overpaid”. Entirely different responsibilities.

    what really needed to be done to prevent this financial mess, was not build 4 major buildings in one year. Why is everyone not seeing this? Yet 50% of you would vote that government back in?!

    I think it has been a learning lesson for everyone.

    And what makes this country truly beautiful is responsible government. Yes I said it. I truly believe this. The government has never faced this issue before. Ever. I think it’s handling it by trial and error. And it’s doing a good job.

    Let Mr Bush iron it out. He has 3 more years to do it. And by god, I believe he will. Times are tough.

    Lets all hold hands with the person beside you and strengthen the circle at this time of need. Don’t break the circle to point fingers. You only make the circle weaker.

    I guess some people just love to see others fail, so they can say “I told you so”…sigh

  4. @beachboy Do you live on the same island as the rest of us? Civil servants make the highest pay out of all employees on this island?? I’m a civil servant and trust me I’m not the highest paid anything on this island. My job is a labour of love and a 10% pay cut and paying 50% of my medical insurance would have been devasting to me and my family – thanks for wishing me and my family ill. I agree that SOME of my civil servants are over paid but to blanket all of us as over paid is pure IGNORANCE. Do you think the gentleman cutting the grass on the side of the road or the immigration officer at the airport at 5am are making big bucks? Trust me they are not! We get up every morning and put on our uniforms and serve people just like you beach boy and we don’t get paid nearly what we could make in the private sector. We came to goverment for job sercuity, good health benefits and for some of us(ME!) because we love our jobs.
    Comparing civil servants to the private sector is apples and oranges. WE ARE NOT THE PRIVATE SECTOR! Civil servants, whether you like it or not, run this island. If you think we’re lazy and don’t get anything done now – come for 10% of our pay and I’ll show you a mess of an island then!
    Give Big Mac some space breathing room to do his job and at the end of 3 years if he still hasn’t done it – elect someone else.

  5. Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks is quoted in Monday May 10 Compass saying that civil servants should be grateful that the reduction in pay is not larger. Maybe high earners are, maybe couples with joint high earnings and no or low mortgages are, maybe single folk with no children are but many families with dependents and responsibilities, many single parents, many low earners are not grateful for any cut in pay and nor should they be. This is not just a 3.2% paycut when annual pay rises in line with inflation are not paid in Cayman and the cost of living now is much higher than it was when the 2008 COLA was awarded. Where is the promised guidance issued to contract holders from this office before cuts? There has been no such guidance and civil servants have found out about their livelihoods via the press – gratitude is not the appropriate sentiment to feel or to advise.

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