Government personnel costs to increase by $20 million


The Cayman Islands civil service expects its personnel costs will increase by $20 million in the 2015/16 budget, which takes effect on July 1.  

The spending plan forecasts the personnel costs, which include salaries, pension and healthcare payments for central government workers, to total $252.4 million, compared to $232.3 million budgeted for the current fiscal year which ends June 30.  

Nearly half of the 9 percent one-year increase is a planned across-the-board pay increase for civil servants that will take effect on July 1. It is expected to add $7.5 million to the government’s upcoming budget.  

The 4 percent cost of living pay raise will effectively be the first pay increase the civil service has received since 2008. A 3.2 percent cost of living adjustment was made in 2008, but was then rescinded, given back again in 2010 and rescinded again.  

In addition to the pay increase for all civil servants, some will have their annual pay “regarded” – meaning increased either through promotion or job category change. That’s expected to cost another $500,000.  

The 2015/16 budget plan also seeks to increase government employment in specific areas “to increase service quality.” A number of these jobs will be added late in the current budget year.  

The additional staff will be going to government’s Needs Assessment Unit, which focuses on the provision of social assistance to lower income families, the Cayman Islands Judicial Administration and the Department of Education.  

In all, salary hikes account for $14 million of the personnel cost increase projected during the next budget year. Healthcare costs for employees are budgeted to rise by about $5 million in the coming year, and payments to the civil service pension fund will increase by more than $1 million.  

Government has struggled to contain personnel costs over the past five years, according to budget records. Those costs have increased from $213.3 million in the 2011/12 budget year to $238.9 million in the 2012/13 financial year.  

The unaudited actual figures for the government’s 2013/14 budget year put personnel costs at $238.1 million and anticipated costs for the current budget at around $232 million.  

Cayman’s government employment mushroomed in 2001 when it began hiving off certain civil service job functions into what are now known as statutory authorities and government-owned companies. At that point, 4,034 people worked in the Cayman Islands civil service.  

According to the government’s 2013/14 human resources report, 3,571 people worked in the central government and 2,275 were employed in the separate public sector entities.  

A Public Authorities Bill, aimed at downsizing the outside entities and bringing many of them back under the direct control of the central government, is one of the proposals legislators are expected to consider within the next year. 

Personnel costs for central government workers and other civil servants are likely to reach $252.4 million in the next fiscal year. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT


  1. No surprise here, we all know that the Civil Service is the single largest voting pool in the country. Any Premier has to keep them happy in order to keep those votes. Any decision that effects the pockets of Civil Service workers is political suicide.

  2. I just hope that after 2017 election that Civil servants will be able to keep the 4% raise, and not to realize that it was just a two year loan.

    In the same breath I would like to point out to the people of Bodden Town, that out of the Fifty point three million dollars Mr Archer bragged about in distributions yesterday; and seven ministers getting a POT LUCK yet only a few measly dollars was given to Minister Osborne Bodden in Bodden Town, FOR PURPOSE OF ONLY making repairs and upgrade to the HAIG BODDEN PLAYING field. Is that fair progress for this Town, and you people are considering a One man one vote?

  3. What is needed here is the total number of workers who will receive increments. People being promoted does not add to the load as the person being promoted will certainly be making less than the present incumbent. Is there an increase in the total number of workers?

    A lttle bit more info might help.

  4. 250 Million ?

    That’s like the CIG STAFF costing a family of 4 over 20,000 a year…

    or adding 3,571 and 2,275 which gives an average COST per employee of around 43,000.

    Does the figure include MLA’s Salaries or is that a separate figure?

    So, does Cayman need more government, or less?

  5. Contributions for pensions/medical put off until after the next election, it’s the same old story with the PPM and all previous governments,and business as usual for our cosseted civil servants. With reference to civil servants having their salary "regarded", I thought this was the process adopted to circumvent the pay freeze.
    As regards the projected personnel costs of $252.4 million for the upcoming year, it is not clear from this article if it includes employees of the statutory authorities and government owned companies.