Higher turnover for public school teachers, gov’t lawyers

A total of 127 teachers and 13 legal practitioners have left the Cayman Islands civil service within the past two years, according to human resources management documents released to the Legislative Assembly last week.

The government’s 2014/15 budget year was a particularly bad one for teacher departures, when about 20 percent of the total number employed in public schools left their jobs. That number subsided somewhat in 2015/16 – the last budget year – when about 10 percent of the teaching staff departed, according to the annual human resources report.

The teacher departure numbers include supply (substitute) teachers, who are only employed on a fill-in basis.

While the number of legal staff leaving their jobs during the two years, 13, may not seem high, it represents about 17 percent of the workforce employed in that area for each year.

In 2016, government legal staff had the highest turnover rate of any occupation in the government service, the report noted.

Other government jobs that saw high turnover during the period included administrative personnel and IT personnel.

The total turnover rate in the civil service during 2014/15 was 14.3 percent, but the rate was reduced in 2015/16 to 8.7 percent.

Although law enforcement jobs in Cayman are often cited as having high turnover, the government’s records for the past two years do not bear that out.

A total of 44 police officers left the RCIPS between 2014 and 2016, equaling about 5.5 percent of the department total staff. Fire service, customs and immigration officers all saw departure rates below 5 percent during both years.

Prison officers’ departure rates dropped from about 12 percent of staff in 2015 to just 5 percent in 2016.

“This is the lowest [turnover] experienced in the uniform divisions over the last few years,” the report noted.

Reasons for leaving

The vast majority of departures (80 percent) from the civil service in 2015/16 came because employees had either reached the end of their contracts or because they resigned.

Thirty-four Caymanians retired from the government service during the year, six of them for medical reasons and three to “improve the performance of the organization.”

Thirteen employees did not have their contracts renewed. These include expatriate workers and Caymanians who had been working beyond the retirement age.

Ten workers were dismissed from the government service.