A two-month long
examination of Cayman Islands central
government pay records has revealed that 80 civil servants within 20 government
departments, portfolios, and ministries received pay increases between 1 March
and 31 October of last year.
The records were
requested by and provided to the Caymanian Compass under the country’s Freedom
of Information Law.
The pay increments came
either in the months before or the months just after government reduced civil
service salaries across the board by 3.2 per cent. That pay reduction took
effect on 1 July, at the beginning of the current budget year.
The announcement about
the 3.2 per cent pay cut was formally made in early May, but the potential for
salary reductions for Cayman Islands government
workers had been discussed as early as November 2009. A specific proposal made
by Premier McKeeva Bush in early March to reduce the salaries of some
higher-paid civil servants was rejected in favour of the across-the-board pay
Later on in the year,
Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks issued a notice that no further pay hikes for
civil servants were to be allowed unless the department had express permission
from his office to do so.
It was during the period
when these various pay-related announcements were being debated and made that
the 80 pay hikes took effect.
Not all of the central
government entities have yet responded to the Compass’ open records requests. At
press time, the newspaper had not received responses from the Ministry of
District Administration, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service or the Ministry
or Finance, Tourism and Development. However, both the RCIPS and the Ministry of
District Administration have replied that they are working on the request, which
was made on 9 November. The Compass will publish those responses when and if it
Pay hikes ranged from one
30 per cent increase in salary at the high end, to a fraction of one per cent at
the low end. Indeed, several of the pay increases given were subsumed by the 3.2
per cent pay reduction that took effect in July.
All 20 entities where the
pay raises occurred gave reasons for why those increases occurred that varied;
most were for performance, acceptance of additional duties, or promotions.
Please see Monday’s editions of the Caymanian Compass for the full story…