Rivers: Chamber has failed to deliver

| 05/02/2016 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

Employment Minister Tara Rivers at a Chamber event

(CNS): The apparent rapprochement between government and the Chamber of Commerce is not looking as harmonious as the new president implied earlier this week after the employment minister said the organisation had failed to deliver on promises to help government with employment initiatives. In a statement issued Friday criticising the outgoing president and the business body, Tara Rivers accused the Chamber of making claims that were “simply not true” about her, in particular the issue over the consultation of the proposed labour and pension bills.

Refuting the allegations that she was not engaging with the Chamber on the bills, she criticised the business organisation for not doing its part with government employment programmes.

Despite the Chamber’s recent commitment to engage with government on the Ready2Work KY project, Rivers said the ministry stood ready to bypass the organisation and work directly with private sector firms, as it already had a successful track record with a number of entities.

The minister said she was “surprised and deeply disappointed” by the claims made at the recent Chamber AGM and that for the past two years she had attempted to engage with Chamber presidents and staff.

“The ministry has given the Chamber ample opportunity over the past two years to meaningfully engage by specifically asking them to assist with developing and driving targeted employment and training programmes that would meet the needs of their members and ensure that jobs are more accessible to the local Caymanian population,” she stated in a release. “Unfortunately, to date they have not delivered on their promises to help the government.”

Hopeful that the new Executive Council was now prepared to make good on the recent offer to help the government develop meaningful employment programmes for Caymanians to access the jobs in the  labour market, she said that the work would continue with or without the Chamber’s assistance.

“It is now time for the Chamber to deliver on its stated desire for and commitment to a true partnership with the government in order to assist in addressing the employment concerns in a way that will benefit both employers and employees. However, if the organisation is unable or ill-equipped to fulfil its promises, then it is incumbent upon the leadership to make this known so that the ministry and the government can continue to press ahead and make successful inroads and partnerships directly with key industry representatives as we have been doing since taking office,” the minister stated.

Having successfully partnered already with Cayman Finance, CITA, UCCI and EY, Rivers said she hoped that working with the Chamber in education, training and employment initiatives would also prove successful but she said the ministry was willing to work directly with the key industries if necessary.

She said the ministry had always invited Chamber participation in the major exercises on national policy, including the NWDA Task Force and the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee, and several offers were made to the association for meetings to discuss the draft labour and pensions bills.

“I strongly refute the claims made by the outgoing Chamber president regarding the lack of engagement with respect to the Labour Relations Bill, 2015. I, along with members of the ministry and DLP, have always made ourselves available for dialogue with the Chamber and its members,” she said, adding the Bodden was wrong about the bills being presented to caucus and had misinformed the membership, despite being told so before he made the inaccurate comments.

Rivers added that the majority of comments from the Chamber about the labour bill had been accommodated and further consultation would be provided to comment on both the revised bills once they have been produced.

Accepting the role that the Chamber of Commerce plays as an advocate for the business community and employers, she said the Chamber would not dictate the consultation or revision process for the bills.

“The government does not answer to the Chamber Council; the government answers to the people that we were elected to serve,” Rivers said in the statement that illustrates the ongoing tensions that remain between the government and the private sector association.

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with someone setting the record straight! Would we all be so willing to sit by while an organisation makes false statements about us? I wouldn’t. Her points are valid and well made, good for you Tara don’t be bullied by the Chamber like so many others!

  2. blah blah blah says:

    Ummh, actually “Trying to act like a Minister” Ms. Rivers, it is you who has failed to deliver on just about EVERY count!!! People are not stupid. Throwing blame unto others will not help you! F- for you. No re-election for you either!

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Dear Members of the Chamber and my fellow Americans, I am going to shout at you today to kick start my election campaign. I hope I am being transparent enough about it so that you don’t take it personally.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think she needs to be tested to see if reality and her world could ever cross one day.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think some of the comments about Tara are unfair. In fact, I do remember her doing a road show about Pension and Labour Law not sure how far they have gotten.

    I think that was positive that she sought community involvement. However, like others, she was bowing to the PPM and the very same Chamber who pressured her to act against the interest of these firms.

    For example, when asked about the possibility to regulate the amount of fees charged by “pension providers” such as an annual cap of 1% of assets under management this was rejected and instead replaced by a market forces argument! Absolute rubbish, just like the market forces at work at our Gas Station and Supermarkets.

    Anyways., she at least had the time and effort to get out into the community and ask for comments but really brought about no major proposals for change that is so badly needed in Cayman.

    This is politics in Cayman., lets keep things more of the same but as the people are starting to wake up and make noise about mortgages, about the price of gas and the price of food and about employment these politicos are going to have to make a choice. Is it going to be the business and the caucus or is it going to be the people. Wake up Tara! time is getting close…it is time to tell Alden acting like you are the angry wife that things can continue to go so! Chamber is going to have to eat a little less this year and the people a little more…tell them that trickle down is done…if not by will then by new fees for business…10 plus employees plus $10,000 50 plus employee 50,000 in fee 100 plus employees 1,000,000 in new fees! give them that proposal and watch them squawk up the jobs ! Trust me., the oligarchy aren’t going anywhere and if they increase prices..well pull permits! Poor are already suffering! maybe the rich can suffer too! I’m tired to being the welfare system being begged at Fosters to help feed the children at school…it is a shame for a wealthy nation that we don’t even feed our children at school. We shouldn’t have to beg for charity to support the poor amongst us for the greed of a few! Don’t even see the few at the supermarket..they send their helpers..picture that

    • blah blah blah says:

      You believe the comments about Tara are unfair??? Wow, doesn’t even begin to describe it. Tara has done nothing and continues to do nothing other than to cast blame unto others. She has alienated the teachers and just about anyone under her portfolio with ridiculous statements and claims. When she came to power people had the highest of expectations of her – she has been the biggest disappointment since OJ’s acquittal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    #Thanks for opening the door for dual status holders to vote and run for office here.

  7. Anonymous says:

    4 words:
    “Remove Political Lifetime Pensions!”

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear. Pot kettle, kettle pot…is she Alice in Wonderland? Or the Red Queen?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who wants to work is working. There are always be unemployable and unemployed. Just accept it and move on to developing new work market and training.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree. There will always be unemployed and unemployable individuals. Government should be focusing on diversifying our economy!! instead the pander to the whims of a select few.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The proposed Labour Bill is a joke and another waste of time and bureaucracy! What is the Chamber gripping about. No matter how you look at it, it is still in major support of employers and probably will always be and does not offer the “so called support & safety net for Caymanians”.
    What happened to implementing age 65 as suggested ‘retirement age’? all talk and no action! Retirement should be a individual choice not a forced action in a democratic society. Furthermore there is ‘age discrimination’ under the Human Rights law.
    People should retain the option and be able to engaged in employment as long as they are able, capable ,willing and have the need, instead of being cast out to pasture, losing their dignity and ending up being another burden to the social system.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The woman is still running around like a headless chicken trying to find a conviction. She is a disaster in the education ministry and totally ineffective in gender affairs. Bullying is rife in her ministries, inequality grows and she appears to prefer to buy in so called experts to validate her own ill thought out policies. Tara Rivers needs to go, plain and simple. May 2017 soon come for this old fool who thought a young female Caymanian would somehow be good for the country.

  12. Anonymous says:

    tara rivwers…..the minster for unemployment…. and inane stupid waffle…..

  13. Anonymous says:

    A total failure speaks about failure. The voice of experience…

  14. SKEPTICAL says:

    It has to be said – she does not seem fit for purpose

  15. Anonymous says:

    Since no comments are allowed on the post about the Rape article, I will ask my question here:
    RCIPS will you say how many Rapes and other crimes are unreported to public?
    How do u expect help if the crimes are not made public??

  16. Anonymous says:

    in a local newspaper she said she was continuing with the ‘agenda of the C4C’… aren’t they all Chamber members? WB voter wants to know

  17. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how these politicians love to bicker against each while doing nothing for the people that they work for and collect a big fat paycheck

  18. Carson says:

    The irony of this situation is that mr. Bodden is caymanian. Think of how many other caymanians there are that are suppressing their own people. No difference from the slave days. Businesses have promoted one or two caymanians to keep immigration happy and then the caymanian supervisor bully their peers – sounds familiar?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, actually not at all like the ‘slave days’

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll tell you what sounds familiar. Self-pitying moaners like you who bring shame to the local labor market by blaming others for your own inadequacies. Nowhere in the world is more favorable for a local to make it than the Cayman Islands. If you cannot make it in Cayman you were never going to be able to make it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Somewhere in fantasyland a mythical herd of wannabe attorneys wail at the realisation of the truth and that their momma lied when she said they could be whatever they wanted to be. They skulk off into the distance to hunt those that were going to be helicopter pilots because their parents thought that no one else had that idea. They will emerge in time to join the Lodge and flourish in a habitat where their mediocrity is no impedment to advancement.

    • Anonymous says:

      An HR director than can judge just how many you need to hire or promote is worth their weight in gold. Business still needs to absorb the costs involved but at least that cost is minimized.


    Disqualifications for elected membership
    62.—(1) No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly

    (e) is serving or has served a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him or her by a court in any country…or has been convicted by any court in any country of an offence involving dishonesty;

    • Anonymous says:

      But get caught supplying cocaine and you can get on the government’s ticket.

    • Anonymous says:

      So? The immigration law says that anyone granted status is liable to have it revoked on the same basis. It never happens. Our laws are irrelevant. Didn’t you know?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Please tell your people what the shawl really represents, what religion or secret group?

  21. Anonymous says:

    It is all about Miss I Can Do No Wrong.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The irony of it all is that nobody has failed to deliver for Caymanians like Tara as minister

  23. Anonymous says:

    What happened to the we shall work together message of unity?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Ms. Rivers. It is time to call a spade a spade, however I hope that you are ready for the backlash, because you have to know it will be coming your way. The Chamber, no matter who is the Chairman is always all about rhetoric. They hace the Premier fooled, thank goodness they cannot fool you and the public who care to see them for who they are. I think that it is abominable that the Government of these islands are actually paying these chamber members to ,train Caymanians with the hope of them throwing a few scraps to us. I don’t believe that such a practice would be allowed in any other oart of the world. The work permits used to state ” that positions held by expats where necessary and possible would have a Caymanian understudy who would be trained up to take the position when the permit expired. I am not sure if that is the case, but that stipulation was always ignored year after year. I have said it before and I will say it again that there are unemployed caymanians out there who worked who held down jobs other than raking leaves along the side of the road and painting the medians. Those kind of jobs are fine for those who cannot do anything more but there are people out there who worked in banks, legal secretaries,insurance clerks etc. why are expats holding these positions while our own people are losing their homes because they cannot pay their mortgages. Please remember persons with mortgages in arrears were not out raking leaves, and painting garbage trucks because they would not have been able to secure a mortgage in the first place. mr Premier you really need to address this issue and while you are at it please also explain why persons on work permits are also holding permits for other persons. I am not referring to business permits but personal permits like working in their homes etc.

    • Educationalist says:

      Unfortunately there are many jobs in government where nothing is really being done to equip Caymanians to replace expats successfully. In some roles, experience in other jurisdictions is needed to fully understand what is possible but, to my knowledge, nothing is being done about this. For example, school leaders have been benefitting from some training from Ontario for the last year or so but where are the plans for sending people up there to shadow successful Canadian school leaders?? Surely much more powerful to see the impact of ideas in action rather than just hearing about them in theory….?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well lets see first how successful the Ontario principals model really is. The training is good but the research does not suggest it being as successful in situ as they claim. Again though I am enjoying the training.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Tara Rivers, thinnest skin in politics.

    What’s that old saying, if you can’t stand the heat… yell at everyone to turn the f$&cking heat down, I melting right here!!!

    CNS, I suggest an FOI on all correspondence between Tara Rivers and the Chamber to get to the bottom of this he said, she said.

    CNS: Anyone can make an FOI. You can do so by email and anonymously.

  26. Anonymous says:

    More waffle and deflection from Tara Rivers the worst Minister of Education and Labor in Cayman’s history bar none!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny how the Hon.Minister started out here tenure so full of talk and ideas etc etc, then when went very quiet for 18 odd months/ 2 years then lo and behold is popping out the woodwork like a cuckoo clock come election run up. just a thought….

      • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

        l happen to have the highest respect for Ms Tara Rivers her mistake was joining the PPM. Tara that ship has now submerged, swallow pride and at lesat get yourself elected in 2017 by jumping ship like the others. they realise Alden, is rolling the boat ashore hallelujah!so get out while you can and disconnect your name from PPM. l too believe any well meaming lawmaker trying as hard as you do ,deserves a second term but the wrong party will destroy that chance of a life time.Tara remember 2000 elections ?you were so excited now is your chance please don’t blow it by remaining in the PPM camp. its over for them you worked too hard to get where you are only to give support to a self centered excuse like This current premier. Do not let 3days past without you jumping ship you may need to prepare for early elections PPm aint returning l can tell you that; so get out now while you can!

    • Anonymous says:

      She comes out once in a blue moon to toot her horn. Sorry Chamber of Commerce does try to work with the community and funny thing is the Chamber had a GREAT relationship with the previous government. But Tara what about the lawyers that stated the “new Labour Law” needs to be looked at again and discussed. Are you saying they don’t know what they are talking about either? The same lawyer stated putting a minimum wage and the new laws can destroy quite a few companies yet ignored their request. That is the thing about government they get the input but completely ignores it. I hope the Chamber responds to this ranting of Tara

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s face some facts. Some of those companies which would be destroyed by the new labour law and a minimum wage, should be destroyed.

        • Anonymous says:

          Those same companies are owned by the self annointed royalty of cayman society who have been allowed to play by different rules decades and import slave labor

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