More change ahead for CS, says new leader

| 06/12/2016 | 13 Comments
Cayman News Service

James Watler receives his long-standing service award from long standing CICSA Secretary Zeta Bodden

(CNS): After ten years at the helm of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association President, James Watler has stepped down and John Bothwell, senior research officer at the Department of Environment, has taken over the reins after he was selected by the membership last month to become the 22nd president. The closest thing Cayman has to a workplace union, the CICSA has been around for more than 50 years but the future is likely to present the biggest challenges yet for its members, as public servants navigate the ongoing government shake-up.

Bothwell comes to the new job armed with a plan from his predecessor, who had commissioned a strategic plan for the organisation to build on its strengths, identify areas for growth and guide the work of CICSA over the next five years. In a press release about the new president and the plan, Watler described the process as taking “a deep hard look at ourselves as we strategize in an effort to become the vibrant and dynamic organization that we are expected to be”.

Having spent over five years serving on the CICSA Management Council, Bothwell said the strategic plan was a critical and necessary step as the organization prepares for the future.

“We have a lot of issues that the civil service and the association have been dealing with and more are coming at us full speed,” the new president stated. “This strategic plan is an opportunity for us to reassess which ones are most important and determine what are the preferred outcomes for civil servants, because with each of these challenges comes an opportunity for progress and CICSA will be prepared to seize those opportunities.”

Watler has been a staunch advocate for the civil service and has been at the table representing the interests of civil servants over the last decade during a time of major change. His commitment to the service was lauded at the AGM where Bothwell was elected and members indicated that most people will never know the extent of his true sacrifice for the membership as he advocated both publicly and privately for them during all discussions regarding change to the working lives of government employees.

“It was my pleasure to stand in the gaps for you, our very valuable members …We were able to address those issues with our employers on your behalf,” he said.

With the strategic planning exercise now well underway, CICSA is also appealing to all civil servants and stakeholders to take the time to help shape its future. A survey, which is in circulation, is being used to capture the thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Everyone who has an interest or a stake in CICSA is asked to set aside ten minutes to share their voice and in doing so influence change.

Click here to access the survey, to find out more about the work of CICSA or how you can get involved email

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Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How about at least one positive comment. Mr. Watler did an outstanding job as President of CICSA – he had a unique ability to work with the politician’s who so often interfere in Civil Service matters.
    Best wishes to Mr. Bothwell in the challenges that are ahead.


    Former Brac Civil Servant by choice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well from where I am sitting, it seems like the only reason Civil Servants are getting a salary increase is for them to then turn around and pay their portion of health insurance when that starts in 2018; so technically they will have extra cash for a year or so then it will be taken away…….again!!! Aye boi only in the C I.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t see the sea change in the Civil service you are probably stuck reading the cut and paste Miller Shaw report.

  4. Jean-Baptiste Ebanks says:

    The more things change…

  5. Anonymous says:

    yawn……everything you need to know about the civil service is in the miller shaw and e&y reports……

  6. Veritas says:

    Regarding the latest round of pay rises (the fourth in 2 years), I hope the hardest working (by far) employees in the whole of the Civil Service will be included i.e. the men who collect our garbage.

  7. Veritas says:

    “Vibrant and dynamic” it will never be, more like “all hands in the cookie jar”.

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