CIG security could be reserved for locals only

| 20/11/2017 | 83 Comments

(CNS): Government has accepted a proposal from the opposition to consider reserving security jobs at government ports and buildings for Caymanians only. On Thursday evening legislators briefly debated a private member’s motion on the idea by Chris Saunders (BTW), who said that it was normal for nationals of a given country to provide the security at airports, ports and major government facilities, as he urged government to find a way to make that a reality here too. He pointed to the many advantages of having locals working static security because of the knowledge they have about “who is who”.

He urged the government to address the airport security first, suggesting that none of the security personnel there were Caymanian, but to eventually move towards making it a reserved occupation for local workers, as he suggested they would be in a position to be far more proactive, rather than reactive and vigilant.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said government was happy to consider the proposal but he warned that most of the security services provided to government buildings are outsourced; security firms have won government contracts and changing the arrangement could mean adding as many as 300 people to the government payroll because of the need for 24 hour cover in some places.

But he said government was prepared to look at future contracts in the next tendering cycle and to write in a provision of a minimum number of local people in order to secure the bid. He said this would allow government to have “some influence over whether or not the jobs are viable” for locals and elevating the pay from minimum wage. He said the security at government buildings “should be better remunerated, and while that may increase the cost to the public purse, the premier said he believed it would be worth it.  

McLaughlin said his government was in favour of the spirit of the motion and the fact that the vast number of security staff were not Caymanians was an issue he took seriously. He said legislators should be thinking about the overall security industry, as most personnel were “no more than lookouts”.

He said they had no means of defence and there was a need to look at the training they get and what, if anything, they should be allowed to carry as a means of defending themselves and the institutions they are paid to help secure. He raised his concerns that they “create a false sense of security but they can’t do more than raise the alarm or make a call”. He said Cayman was past the point where security wasn’t an issue. “We cannot pretend we don’t have security issues anymore,” he said.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who is head of the civil service, said the proposal had been on the radar for some time as guards are also being asked to meet and greet at some government buildings, and wherever they were also acting as “ambassadors”, doing a dual role, they should be Caymanians as there was no one better to escort people to meetings in the government building. 

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Category: Government Finance, Jobs, Local News, Politics

Comments (83)

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  1. Good over Evil says:

    Wow this is great for Caymanians!

  2. Anonymous says:

    flying kites are very relaxing man!??

    • Anonymous says:

      Chris get your head out of your a..
      Caymanians are not going to do the job for 6.00 per hour what sense does this make they are not doing it now wont do it later airport security doing a great job caymanians dont want the job

  3. Anonymous says:

    What would happen if there was heavy rain?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    We have seen what Caymanian Customs and Immigration officers get up to and they are paid far more than security staff.If we place Caymanians in security jobs, just imagine what temptations they will succumb to.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So what is your point ? That all Caymanians are crooks ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me 1:32pm 21/11
      What are you insinuating?
      Do tell us how PURE your countrymen are wherever it is that you come fr?
      Plz do remember you must cite how many of yours in your home country holding these positions have been arrested?
      Cause when I travel I find Americans. Canadians. Jacans. Bahamians Englishmen. Italians. Dutch. Spaniards. Argentinians, Costa Ricans. Hondurans. Panamanians et al all manning their countries entry points!
      Caymanians are capable; Hardworking; Honest. Dependable. Reliable.

      I am a retired CS ….. 33yrs of service!

  5. Rodney A. Barnett IV says:

    In my humble opinion, all aspects of our society deserve a level of security and safety at the top of everyone’s concern.

    Those of us who grew up in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s look back at a different Cayman, and a different world. Those times and concepts of family and community are gone forever. No longer can we leave our doors and windows open at night, or keys in the ignition of our cars when we gun into the store for a minute. No longer can we allow our children to play outside all day long, not wondering where they are, or who they are with. Each of us, parent, individual, government worker, store clerk or whomever must always be on guard to protect ourselves, our families and our islands.

    In the 21st century we must be on guard for things that were never even heard of in the days when we were growing up. Identity Theft, On-line Stalking, Internet Pornography, Online Banking Theft, and even Electronic Intrusion into our homes are things people are dealing with on a regular basis.

    Government can ensure security at ports and transportation hubs by insisting on the highest level of professionalism and training my those entrusted to protect us. It must also provide adequate resources to those individuals and offer reasonable salaries and benefits to attract the best we can find for these jobs. You simply cannot protect life and property with a cell phone.

    Private industry must also step up and provide a similar, yet appropriate level of security to its patrons and employees. From fast food to financial services, people need to feel safe and secure wherever they are on the island. One or two or a dozen security cameras are of no benefit if they are not carefully monitored by trained, fast responding personnel who can trigger onsite intervention. Someone monitoring a space from an office a thousand miles away is of little help to those on the ground.

    Just like preventive maintenance when dealing with highly complex equipment and systems, preventive security now will pay off a thousand fold in protecting the lives, finances and interests of Cayman in the future.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This policy would be warmly welcomed by the coke smugglers and the gun importers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hold on is that not what the Jamaican security guards doing now all across this island for their buddies? You racist animal. You insinuate that every Caymanian is corrupt and into breaking the law.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Pathetic straw man stuff there buddy. No-one said “every Caymanian” did they? However the evidence that the Compass was right about endemic local corruption seems to have more and more evidence to support it every day.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The industry is owned by Caymanians, they hire cheap labour for a reason.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe there should just be a section on CNS entitled “Chris Saunders’s Nativist Vomit Of The Day”.

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  9. Caymanian security says:

    This is a great idea but let’s be honest here, how many Caymanians really want to be security guards? there’s no chance for any sort of promotion, minimum salary, long hours, work public holidays, shift work and weekends.
    I know there will be a few, unfortunately the government will not be able to fill all these posts. Plus let’s look at the local news these last few weeks with corruption within certain law enforcement agencies here, if as noted we start to replace security at the airport 1st does this not increase the chance of certain crimes (import, export) being committed, becuase of the low wages paid.
    Now let me stop my little rant, maybe what we look at is
    Retired police officers and or other persons in law enforcement.
    For locals maybe we train them to be in supervisory positions

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    • Anonymous says:

      If the jobs are permanent then of course there are options. Caymanians will flock to this industry.

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      • So if Caymanians will flock to this industry why don’t Caymanians want to join their own police force? Those jobs are permanent but repeated attempts to recruit Caymanians in good numbers have failed.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Begging your humble pardon but the hundreds of Caymanians that regularly apply for police jobs do not get them for the simple reason that the police HR does not like to hire locals!

    • Hafoo says:

      So you’re saying that if caymaniams are allowed to protect their borders there maybe s chance for corruption. But if we put a foreigner all will be well?

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the point is that foreigners do not have dozens of family members on Island who may provide a natural inclination to “look the other way”.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    True that Caymanians should have first crack at every job, in every category – that’s already the law. The oft-reported problem, which all politicians should by now grasp, is that Caymanians won’t necessarily deploy at the same hourly rate or enthusiasm as other nationalities. Many of the Asian nationalities wouldn’t necessarily have the blood relations or other bribery/extortion-exposure weaknesses that locals would have, with their home addresses in the voter register. Further, “locals” present the very anthesis of high security, given the depth and breadth of conflicting local relationships and unavoidable/and even regrettable associations which could serve to compromise positions of trust. We’ve already seen this with $25mln in drugs walked out of a secure locker within a gated police compound, with no witnesses or functioning CCTV. You can’t make this stuff up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re forgetting here that the majority of the local police force are not, in fact, “locals”.

  11. Anonymous says:

    LOL, if this happens don’t leave anything in or on your desk and lock everything up at night.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Hahahahahahahahhaha

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  13. Anonymous says:

    afraid of them jihadist’s?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    It is clear that the vast majority of the security personnel performing the airport security screening process at Owen Roberts Airport are of South Asian decent. Let me make it clear that I have absolutely nothing against our South Asian immigrant population here in Cayman. But let us not kid ourselves here by applying the usual “Caymanians are unreliable” spiel. This is about the safety and security of the flying public. Tourists from the US, Europe and around the world, not to mention you and your family members. Think about that. I’m sorry, but every time I go through Owen Roberts Airport’s security lately, I can’t help but wonder what the vetting process is for the people currently doing the screening. Do they have to produce a clean police record from their home country? If so, can we rely on the accuracy of these records from so far away? Would it not make more sense to employ locals in these positions, as their police records are local and can be properly vetted and relied upon?

    The obvious risk here is radicalization. While Caymanians are certainly just as susceptible to the online and social media recruitment campaigns of radical Islamic terrorist organizations, isn’t it far less likely that a Caymanian will be sympathetic to the cause of radical Islamic terrorism and fall prey to their recruitment tactics? Have the current airport screeners been given thorough background checks to clear them of any and all ties to radical Islamists? Do we know for an absolute certainty that they are not susceptible to be manipulated through family and loved ones back home? Just think about that.

    And please, I am not picking on South Asians. Heathrow Airport is staffed by a large number (probably a majority) of South Asians in all areas, however those people are most likely either UK citizens, related to UK citizens or on their way to becoming citizens themselves. They have a vested interest to secure their own. The security people working at Owen Roberts however are not Caymanian and probably have no path to citizenship. So why then is the Cayman Islands Government allowing local airport security to be carried out by people who have no allegiance to the Cayman Islands, or to the UK Commonwealth for that matter?

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    • Anonymous says:

      We regularly read rubbish on here but this one is so far out there it beggars belief.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The security screeners at the airport are the only line of defense that keeps someone from walking on to an American Airlines flight with a bomb in a carry on bag. US authorities have already highlighted for years how terror cells can take advantage of weaker security in Caribbean nations where American carriers frequently fly. How is what the writer suggesting rubbish?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Are the TSA screeners in the airports of your home country citizens or your country? Or are they work permit holders from foreign lands with a higher success rate of ISIS recruitment? Would you be comfortable if they were? So how is this rubbish?

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    • Anonymous says:

      So wonderfully whacky, passive/aggressive racist, ignorant and misguided, this HAS to have been written by an American!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    dart own 60 % of property in the cayman Islands…in 10 yrs time…probably 95% ….all going be left here are politicians…dart and foreign workers….what a darn prognosis for us caymanian’s….and yes, i am a native? time to set sail as our forefathers did…..no future here for us??

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    • Anonymous says:

      We will soon be transferred to the Reservation.

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      • Anonymous says:

        yep..its called the brac. it how cayman was before the evil expats came…you will love it, probably.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you find your statistics in the fairytale section at the library?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe having four fathers is part of the problem?

    • Anonymous says:

      My half brother worked at the airport and made CI$12 per hour, they are still making the same today. CIG pays higher then cheap private companies.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you don’t want ex-pats here but you are going to pack up and moving somewhere else….becoming an ex-pat?! I hope you have fun on the other side.

    • Anonymous says:

      Self-pity overload. Perhaps if you worked a bit harder at school you might have achieved the lower end of the literacy expected of an 11 year old, which would have helped.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    is there any left? most are migrating…as they see no future here…like me…i working on plan B☺??

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  17. Anonymous says:

    yikes…the standard of security will now plummet….

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  18. Anonymous says:

    The sad truth here is, in the long run. this will end up costing the government a lot more money. The wage that security personnel get at the large security firms is below the lowest bracket of the government pay scale. Then factor in fully covered pension and medical as well as increased sick leave due to locals being in the position and the costs will sky rocket. I am a Caymanian (before anybody jumps on that wagon to try and divert the above truths) but i once knew a security guard who worked 20 hours straight (against the labour law i know) because he actually wanted to so he could get the extras hours. Im sorry, but you will not see that in any government department that i know of.

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    • wawa says:

      these security firms charge the government sixteen dollars per hour, and pay permit personal five dollars an hour.
      how can government lose by hiring their own?, come on alden mr premier.

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    • Dwene Ebanks says:

      You are assuming it had to be outsourced. How about a security department instead that is staffed with caymanians? In the long run this will wash out. Further the cost is not based on the per hour cost that the guard is paid but the company’s per hour rate that averages kyd 25. If we paid a Caymanian kyd 12 – 15 ph can you explain how the cost will be higher?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Because the cost isn’t $15 per hour its $15 per hour + 6% for pension, plus health insurance. Plus the administrative cost of making sure you have the staff there where and when you need them. (If I need one security guard at a building from 6am to 8pm that’s two shifts, plus the admin to track their hours and vacation days, and an extra person so when one calls in sick the coverage is there.) Whereas the Center for Security wraps that admin cost (and 5% pension, and a four-letter-word health plan) in to a single $15 per hour bill for 6am to 8pm for a minimum wage security guard whose probably voluntarily working beyond the limits so that at $5 per hour (minus 5% for pension) they can make enough to live on rice and beans and send some cash back home. Hire a Caymanian for that and we’d form a union to protest the working conditions.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No. It will not “wash out” in the long run. You’re way off base on the hourly rate CIG currently pays and also not considering all of the actual expenses associated with running a government department.

        When outsourcing, the only real cost to the CIG is the hourly rate paid to the firm for each guard. And this was confirmed in Finance Committee earlier this month to be $13/hour for supervisors and $11/hour for regular security guards (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bc70zpjVT8&feature=youtu.be&t=54m).

        These companies may charge Joe Blow $25/hr for security services, but that’s not what CIG pays. They can get the cost down and keep it down by regularly tendering a massive public sector contract. There’s decent competition for the bids and the company can spread profit and overhead across many, many hours of contracted service. Consider it like the savings you can get from buying in bulk and shopping around.

        When insourcing, you – at bare minimum – have to consider your employees’ wages, health insurance, pension and paid leave. All of which we can calculate.

        Working from the lowest wage rate on the Government payscale, which is $9.28/hour (http://www.pocs.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/12276851.PDF), and assuming a 40 hour work week and that all guards are single, the pension contribution works out to an additional $1.11/hr (12% of the hourly wage) and the monthly CINICO premium would work out to an additional $2.40/hr (based on the single adult civil servant premium quoted here as $416/month: https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/04/28/archer-civil-service-health-co-payments-accepted/). So we’re already at $12.79/hr for basic remuneration. Assuming the employee has less than 4 years of service and therefore gets the minimum 12 working days of vacation (http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/12420376.PDF, page 48), you can add another $1,227.84 per year for coverage while the employee is on leave – assuming the person providing that coverage has the exact same remuneration package and isn’t paid at overtime rates to cover other shifts. Spread that across the total hours per year to make it an hourly consideration and we add another $0.59/hr. We’re now at $13.38/hr for the absolute basic remuneration costs.

        Remember, CIG currently pays $13/hr for a supervisor and $11/hr for a guard.

        Alternatively, we could work backward from the current outsource rate of $11/hr to get the maximum net hourly wage for the employee after subtracting pension, healthcare and annual leave. With the same assumptions (40 hour work week, no dependents, 12 days of vacation), the take-home pay for a guard hired as a civil servant would have to be less than $7/hr for the CIG to spend the same amount of money for the same service.

        Even if you increase the assumed work week from 40 hours to spread the health insurance premium a bit more and also increase the total take home pay for the employee (though not the hourly rate), the math can’t work considering the more generous benefits packages that civil servants receive compared to private sector employees. And once you hit 45 hours per week for shift-based workers you would have to pay overtime.

        Further, these basic assumptions for remuneration costs wouldn’t work in the real world – all employees would have to be single adults with zero dependents, on point 1 of the pay scale, work for the CIG for less than 4 years, and never take a sick day, maternity leave, paternity leave, compassionate leave, etc.

        Now let’s run a third scenario, but with slightly more realistic assumptions surrounding employment conditions – your claim that we can pay Caymanians $12/hr to be civil servant security guards (and this is the low end of your $12-15/hr suggestion). When you tack on 12% pension contribution you’re at $13.44/hr. CINICO premiums are $832 for married couples and $832 for single adults with at least one dependent child, so let’s use that for healthcare cost. Using the same 40 hour work week, that works out to another $4.80/hr, bringing us to $18.24/hr. Assuming half the guards have served $23/hr.

        And we haven’t even gotten to overtime considerations and other expenses CIG would have to pay to in-source security services! For example, the administrative cost of recruiting these guards as civil servants (advertising posts, reviewing applications and shortlisting, running selection processes, onboarding new staff, performance management, discipline, managing employees’ time and leave records, etc. etc.) would be significantly higher than the administrative cost of contracting a firm to provide the service and monitoring its performance. How much would it cost to provide initial training and ongoing professional development? What about the time and other resources necessary for the Public Service Pensions Board to process pension payments for all of these additional employees, for CINICO to process premiums and payments, for Treasury to process payroll, etc.? And so much more goes into funding an actual department that you don’t need to consider when you’re outsourcing for services.

        The actual cost per hour of a civil servant security guard’s time (which, remember, CIG currently purchases from a company for $11-13/hr) would almost certainly work out to be >$30/hr if the net hourly wage is $15/hr.

        Considering all of this, surely it’s obvious that the cost would ABSOLUTELY be higher to staff a security department with Caymanians at your suggested rate of pay. Significantly higher, in fact. Your suggested rate of pay alone is higher than what the CIG is currently paying per hour to outsource.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a civil servant. 20hrs in a day, no. 10hrs a day after day after day to get the jobs done? Easy. You are right we’re not going to push ourselves past the point of being able to do the job well because we can’t keep our eyes – your example, which was illegal for a reason. But we will put in the unpaid overtime daily. So I’ll see your one 20hr example and raise you hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime a week. People who do their job and do it well, a physical impossibility in your example.

      But you are right, we can’t compete with the underpaid security staff in terms of economy. Which is lucky for the country if Cayman wants to keep a middle class in its society.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t the fact that these jobs are staffed by expats mean that the employer was unable to locate sufficent Caymanians to fill the position?

    Is that not a requirment of obtaining work permits for these people?

    Therefore, I say let CIG try to fill these positions with Caymanians only while maintaining their budget. Go for it, see how much luck is had.

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  20. Airport Attendant says:

    Yes 12:22pm just as Caymanian as American and Southwest Airlines counter staff????? Try hush ya big mouth with your deliberate lies.

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  21. Cayman Ball says:

    Uh, ohhhhhhhhh…

    I bet you this one will also be dismissed from the LA…wanna know why?

    Our Minister of Health, just so happens to be the CEO/MD for APS Security, who just so happens to be one of the companies which provides security services to the ORIA (airport)…

    *whistles a sweet, sweet melody*…. childdddddddddd!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    What a BS artist. ALL of the Security staff at the airport are Caymanians.
    Must be nice to have a ready source of “facts” tucked up your backside.

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    • Diogenes says:

      You ever been to Government Admin? The courthouse any of the various other government buildings that are filled with expat security guards
      Evidently not

      Diogenes

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  23. Puritian says:

    Please Alden the pretender deal with the Police Force first before you start troubling the private security firms and stop listening to Bbaba babushka and his waffling about expanding our population.

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  24. suspected Caymanian says:

    Eat your heart out What exactly you think is happening now or are you are probably one those who is spreading this false propaganda that you are here to reflect the diversity of our community??? We are allowing a foreign criminal dynamic and element to overwhelm and consume this place now. The increase influx of weapons, drugs and dangerous criminals is evident and are direct result of the crimnal facilitators now on this island from overseas. . Before government start with private security they need to deal with this so called “Caymanian police service” just the bias and partial way they carried out their duties nowdays is or should be of great concerned to this so called unity government. Caymanian who commit crimes are going to prison as they should, while others are not even prosecuted in some instances.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    If they will work 90 hours weekly for 6 dollars an hour lol… doubtful…

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    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      And this is where we come face with the reality that a proper minimum wage has a vital role to play in getting Caymanians into these low skilled jobs presently monopolised by foreign nationals who work for ridiculously low wages that Caymanians refuse to accept. Why should any Caymanian work for a debased wage rate that does not allow a decent standard of living, or provide for any development such as a land or house purchase! You do not see a group of Caymanians leaving the supermarket with one trolley of shared groceries and one sack of rice!!

      Come on CIG, stop pamdering to the commercial interests that thrive on the ridiculous low wages to the detriment of Caymanian employment. You are going to have to face this issue before too long or face the backlash from the electorate!! Stop avoiding the issue.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Called lack of a brain or work ethic. Generally a lack of knowledge is related to a poor work ethic/attitude. Usually a parenting problem. In every society there are people that have minimum skill jobs or minimum wage jobs. The reality of life pretty much everywhere outside the Caribbean. Not everyone deserves to own their own home, or car. It’s a privalidge not a right. Almost everywhere else that is life’s reality. Honestly, if a Grade 5/6 educated Caymanian wants a job they should have to compete in the real world. Low wages are a result of zero direct taxes. You could earn $10 an hour and give up 30% in taxes as an alternative. As for sharing housing and a bag of rice? That’s the choice my son makes to live in a first world country. He looks into the future that a work ethic will improve his life.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Well said. Why everyone and their cousin thinks they are too good for minimum wage is beyond me. Choosing no job over a minimum wage job is completely idiotic. Yes if you have years experience and some sort of education after high school, fight for something better. But if you don’t, take a damn job. Attitude is the entire problem with this place. #caymanentitled

        • Anonymous says:

          No. Its because any Caymanian with a work ethic can get a better a job.

          No, low wages are not a result of no direct taxation. In countries, e.g., America, where they have direct taxation they are also fighting over low wages. The US min. wage is USD$7.25 per hour (some places higher). That’s CI$6.09. SO tax systems have no relation to minimum wage. (Id’ blame your parents for not sending you to school but that would be impolite and unhelpful.)

          No one is arguing that it is a right to own a car or a house. The argument is (and has been) that (a) security guards and many other jobs are inhumanely underpaid in Cayman which means that (b) Caymanians find the jobs unattractive. Why? Because with a bit of work we can find a better job. So if you want to attract a Caymanian to do the job you need to compete on Caymanian pay scales, not first world country pay scales (USD $7.25 per hour).

          For example, I know a couple of hotels on Grand that every time I go there the doormen are Caymanian. So its not the ‘quality’ of the job, its the realities of it. How much does it really pay and what are my real opportunities for moving up at the company. Good employers will find Caymanians to give them a fair days work for a fair days pay. Bad employers …

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know why the downvotes. That’s what security guards work and make… The truth hurts!

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  26. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a lot more likely that a low-paid Caymanian security guard would be up to something a security guard should not be up to than a low-paid expat. In fact I think that’s screamingly obvious if you think about it for half a second. Unfortunately our politicians don’t always make it to the half-second mark before sharing their ideas.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Kind of like the advantage of having all Caymanian Immigration.

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  28. Eat your heart out says:

    Give the security jobs to locals only. Their friends and family will be given the access needed to bring drugs, firearm and exotic pets on the islands!

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  29. Anonymous says:

    wrong. laws already in place that caymanians should be first considered.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    The whole “they know who is who” is a double edged sword…the kind of person who takes a security job is not going to risk their lives for a low salary and is certainly not going to tell on “connected” people. I urge caution…

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