30 police positions to remain vacant
Uniformed police officers will get an annual raise of $3,000 to $5,000 under the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s adjusted budget, Police Commissioner David Baines told his officers at an all-staff meeting Tuesday.
Negotiations continued until the end of last week to increase salaries for police to closer match other uniformed services, such as the prison service, Mr. Baines said.
He said the pay raise had to come from the RCIPS budget instead of from an increase in government funding for the department. To fund the raise, he explained, the RCIPS will not fill 30 vacant positions.
“If we’re going to remain competitive and attract qualified Caymanian candidates, we have to keep the pay rate reasonable,” the commissioner said, noting that the RCIPS had lost officers to the Immigration Department, prison service and other uniformed services that offer higher pay rates.
“Some of our staff make less than $3,000 a month,” Mr. Baines said. Police officers were included in the 4-percent cost-of-living salary increase for the civil service earlier this year. “I never envisioned we would have to fund all of it,” the commissioner said.
Uniformed officers can expect a raise of at least $3,000 per year, up to a little more than $5,000, depending on their position and length of service. RCIPS spokeswoman Jacqueline Carpenter said the raise will be backdated to July. Mr. Baines will determine which 30 positions to leave vacant, and can move officers around the service to address emerging demands. The highest risks right now, Mr. Baines said, are in financial and online crime.
“The biggest threat at the moment is cyber,” Mr. Baines said, predicting that cybercrimes will increase quickly in the coming years.
The new generation, he said, is tech savvy, while their parents or grandparents cannot even work a DVD player. “Imagine the criminal element in that generation, preying on the older generations,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Civil Service Association called on government to raise pay for public-sector workers, citing pay inequities between foreign and Caymanian workers. Newer civil service members have been able to negotiate higher salaries when they join government, according to association president James Watler.
Many veteran teachers received a raise at the beginning of this school year. Other parts of the civil service, including prison officers, have also received raises this year.