A pre-Christmas gift is coming for hundreds of Cayman Islands civil servants whose salaries have remained stagnant for at least three years.
According to documents circulated among the Civil Service Thursday morning, the government has approved a proposed remedy for ongoing “pay stagnation” issues.
These have arisen over the years when longtime civil servants have been paid at the same rate due to ongoing austerity measures. The issue has created a pay disparity between longer serving government workers, who are now paid less compared to new hires, who tend to be paid at market rates.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson estimated that some 1,500 civil servants in various core government departments had stagnated pay and would qualify for a pay hike.
“Pay for these employees [has] been stagnant for at least three years, with the majority of employees’ pay being stagnant for more than seven years,” Mr. Manderson said in a memo to civil servants released Thursday.
Pay stagnation awards to those government workers deemed deserving, will take effect as of Dec. 1. and they will see the pay increase in their December checks.
Mr. Manderson said those who will receive the pay increases have largely been identified. Length of service without a pay increase is only one of the qualifying factors. The civil servant must also have received at least a “3 out of 5” rating on their most recent performance appraisal and must not be on required leave or extended sick leave. Also, those civil servants already at the top of their pay grade for their job will not receive an increase.
“Good performance pays off,” Mr. Manderson said Thursday. “This is proof that if we perform at a very high level, that good performance will be rewarded.”
Mr. Manderson said about $4 million in the current budget would be spent on the pay raises for the 1,500 civil servants, but he said it was likely savings achieved in other areas of the spending plan would result in “no net increase” to the overall 2016/17 budget.
The increases apply only to workers in core government and not to those in government-owned companies and statutory authorities.
Although all government workers received an across-the-board pay increase of 4 percent in mid-2015, as well as two “bonus payments” of 2.2 percent of salary in 2016 and 2.5 percent of salary in 2014, Premier Alden McLaughlin said those payments were given to everyone and did not address long-existing disparities in pay for specific civil servants.
Last year, the government funded some pay stagnation awards for teachers and police officers. “Government has largely been able to improve civil servants’ pay by realizing savings within human resource budgets and reinvesting these savings to reward civil servants’ productivity,” the premier said.
How it works
The pay increases must be agreed between the workers and the civil service appointing officer who hired them. Mr. Manderson said “all the work” would be done by human resources managers beforehand, and civil servants would be asked to sign a form approving the pay increase.
Any workers whose pay had not increased in the past three to four years (since Jan. 2, 2012), would move up one point on the civil service salary scale. For instance, a civil servant on the “J” range earning $55,560 at “point 1” would move to $56,940 at “point 2.”
Workers who had not received an increase in five to six years (since Jan. 2, 2010) would move up two points on the scale. Using the same “J” range, the “point 1” salary would go from $55,560 to “point 3” at $58,368.
Pay for those who did not receive a raise in seven years or more (since before Jan. 1, 2010), would go up three points on the scale. The “J” range civil servant would move from the “point 1” salary to the “point 4” salary of $59,808.