MLA accuses CIG of excuses over top CS jobs

| 04/04/2018 | 41 Comments

(CNS): The independent member for George Town Central accused the government of making excuses after it rejected his private member’s motion to make the top jobs for the fire service and immigration department reserved for locals. Kenneth Bryan believes that the government does have the power to direct policy and could discriminate in favour of Caymanians if they had the will to do it. Given the problems and failures of succession planning, Bryan wants government to enshrine in law the need to protect key positions for locals.

Despite gaining support for the spirit of his proposition, with no one disputing the fact that they all want to see locals in these top posts, he was only able to gain a small number of votes for the move. Nevertheless, the failed motion provided an opportunity for the concerns about the failures of succession planning to be aired in public by government and opposition members.

Bryan, who said he knew his motion was going to fail even from the start, pointed out that this was not about him but about the Caymanian people. Maintaining that fears of marginalization are growing, he said the public does not feel that the government is putting them first and they have lost trust in the system.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said that the Legislative Assembly could not accept the motion because the elected arm of government does not have the power over the hiring practices of the civil service. However, he raised his own concerns that succession planning has gone backwards in some areas, and said no one was more disappointed than him when, for the first time in history, the fire chief’s job was taken by a foreigner.

The premier also pointed to issues he has raised with the deputy governor that he believes are undermining the process of getting Caymanians into top public sector roles. He said the civil service was trying to combine open competitive recruitment practices with succession planning for local people. McLaughlin noted that he did not believe these approaches can work together, saying the civil service was trying unsuccessfully to create a hybrid of the two.

“This is highly de-motivating for many civil servants,” he said. People felt they were doing the right things to get qualified for the top jobs, achieving the goals set for them, but were then forced to compete with the whole world for the job, he said.

“It’s neither chalk nor cheese… but they disagree with me,” he added, referring to the civil service management. Although he said hiring is not his responsibility, he felt it was his responsibility to keep pointing out what he feels are the things that are working against Caymanians getting into the key senior posts.

As he argued his case for legislative protection, Bryan pointed to a number of problems regarding succession planning in the civil service which he believes prevent the advancement of locals.

He said trust was being eroded because as local people gained experience and qualifications throughout their careers with an eye to promotion, the goal posts were often moved. He said the constantly changing requirements for senior posts were making it harder and harder for Caymanians to know what the necessary qualifications for a given job would be by the time they reached it. He also noted the obvious reluctance of foreign nationals to identify their replacements, raising his concerns that once an overseas person is recruited to a senior post, the challenge to get a Caymanian back in gets harder.

He said that locals were being blocked from getting the top jobs by the very foreign nationals brought in to train them because they sought to hold on to the job themselves. Bryan disagreed with the acting deputy governor’s claim the civil service was doing well employing and promoting locals, as he pointed to the numerous key positions now held by expats.

Bryan also accused the government of hypocrisy after it had passed a law in 2010 giving government the power to designate certain posts for locals, but only in the private sector. This legislation was supported by the then UDP government, including the current health and education ministers as well as the speaker, but it backed off doing something for the public sector. 

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks like most people don’t even like Bryan. I heard him call into that crap talk show to say he was almost there to talk to them. That’s it, no input on what they were even saying. 5 minutes later he was in the studio. I think that’s a metaphor for his policies. Lots of smoke and no fire. Pun intended.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This will be the last job he ever has. Unless an opening comes up on a crappy radio talk show in the future.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree that Caymanians should have all the top jobs in Cayman including Fire Chief and Chief of Police, however only if they are qualified. Thankfully the fire department workers have an enormous amount of free time on their hands ( which is a good thing) so I wonder how many of them have ever spent that time doing some courses and upskilling themselves? I wonder how many of them have been encouraged to pursue a degree course in management etc. surely if the initiative is there I am sure they would have been given time off to go abroad to study and have their job and promotion waiting for them. I believe Cayman is one of the easiest places to get a scholarship for further education once you are accepted at a high grade college or university. I wish that our people would change the mindset of asking politician to force government and private sector to get them jobs, they can encourage but they cannot force. If it is a blatant act of discrimination ( which does happen) politicians have every right to get involved but even so they cannot go in and force anything. Politicians are there to pass laws that businesses and government should abide by, the Courts are there for redress, but politicians cannot hire you for other people’s businesses. Politicians also cannot afford to pay your bills, pay for your education, vacation etc. perhaps they can lend a helping hand and some do, but please stop and think that they have mortgages, school fees, car loans and the same high cost of living that we all have. Caymanians really need to change the assumption that because they are Caymanians they should have preference, instead prepare yourselves as much as possible, adopt a good attitude, show that old tried and true Cayman kindness and don’t expect a handout from strangers. If applying for a job in writing, ensure there are no typos etc. Show up to interviews on time, neat and tidy ( no chewing gum and no visible gaudy tattoos please) . Research the business to which you are applying so that you know something about them before you show up. I do not like to toot my own horn but I have had a few jobs in the past ( now retired) and never ever had to call on a politician to fight for me to get a job. I stayed in my last job for thirty plus years, worked with numerous different nationalities over my working years, it was not always ideal but I did my work, showed up and tried to avail myself of whatever training offered to me. Show up to work on time and do not the first out of the door in the afternoons. Do not call in sick if you are not sick. It is ok to go to work feeling sick provided you do not have a communicable disease. I am well aware that things have changed over the year but if you do your part you will probably be ok. Set a goal and stick to it – believe me it works.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Better recommendation: declare that no new GOL’s (or renewals) will be given for Real Estate agents. There are enough local agents to fill this industry and more available to fill any future needs. The skills needed are not very great.




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    • Anonymous says:

      That business is truely remarkable. Talk about money for nothing. For the life of me I don’t know why y’all have imported anyone to post a picture on Cireba, unlock a front door and pick up a 6 figure check.




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  4. An Unimpressed Youth says:

    For a top position in a an area like the Fire Department, the most qualified individual should get the position. A role directly related to the safety of the people of these islands should not be compromised. Period.

    This whole notion of spoon feeding Caymanian’s who think they have been slighted by the Government or employers needs to stop. Yes it probably does happen in some cases. But in the majority I believe the issue lies with the disgruntled Caymanian’s attitude. Competition drive progress.

    This is coming from a ‘Millennial Caymanian’




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    • Anonymous says:

      It Just isn’t that hard. You don’t need the most qualified candidate in the whole world. A qualified Caymanian should be chosen over any expat. You shouldn’t even look at expats unless you determine that no qualified Caymanian is available.




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      • An Unimpressed Youth says:

        No you don’t. But generally the best candidate is chosen from the pool of applicants for a job and that’s how it should be. That’s not to say I don’t want to see Caymanian’s being successful in top jobs. Any employer would be a fool not to hire the best candidate no? whether its the civil service or private sector. Everybody deserves the right to compete on a even playing field for a given role. That is the governments responsibility to the people. Providing the tools and services to support locals to be qualified to compete for those top positions. Either through further education or through training from working under experienced leaders in the respective areas. They should not be ‘giving’ important roles to people based on their nationality. They should earn it, like everyone else.




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  5. Richard Wadd says:

    I have a pilot license. That does NOT mean that I am capable / qualified to fly a 747 passenger jet. The same applies to any career, and politicians.




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  6. Patricia Bryan says:

    A foreigner found to be qualified for a top governmental position should only be as is in the private sector–long enough to train a Caymanian and or for the Caymanian to become academically qualified. John Bostock ran a marathon immigration department, Dave Martin awesome at Tourism, Anthony Smellie run a marathon judicial department but so too did Kirkland Nixon and Mr. Powery of Customs. These Caymanians worked their way up, gained experience, training and qualifications as time went on. Were things perfect in those departments over the years? No. But no department and operations are ever perfect. But for the non Caymanians who held posts eventually those posts were passed on to a Caymanian. Franz Manderson and Orrett Connor held their own. At this moment my memory is not pulling the others I could name but there are many others. Department of Labour. Postal Services–Sheena Glasgow and someone before her. All headed by Caymanians. Treasury–Sonia McLaughlin. Dax Basdeo. Deanna Lookloy and Jen Dixon at DCF. These and more Caymanians ran departments well. There will always be complaints regardless of a Caymanian or non-Caymanian heading a public Department. Competent, qualified Caymanians.
    Our islands must demonstrate as other small jurisdictions (or many other jurisdictions worldwide) have confidence to do and that is show that there are COMPETENT people in native people to hold such positions (with respect and appreciation to non-natives). Qualify them. Regardless whether that is qualification and experience. THIS should be the end result.
    We must no longer be the islands that is erroded by ‘pirates’ (and piracy) as have been customary. Our nation is too wealthy, developed and internationally recognised now not be use our own crown jewels (at least eventually).
    Time is ripe in our islands’ growth to maintain our birthright for our generations to come or Caymanians will be an extinct nation as we know it. Our children may not be able to one day do as their forefathers did and that is to hold recognisable positions, and Caymanians lead our islands.
    You people know exactly what I mean so I expect my viewpoints will not be taken as biasness against immigrants and taken for what they mean.

    (Disclaimer for any erroneous names and positions but these are my vague recollections).




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    • Fair Play says:

      Reading these comments, it’s a bit like the Western Front with two sides constantly sniping at eachother.
      What is encouraging however is the increasing number of expatriates and Caymanians taking the middle ground and seeing problems from eachother’s point of view. Hopefully we will see more of this.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    @ UnCivil Servant – all I have to add to your comment is a gigantic AMEN!!!! I’m so sorry for us as a people, we are the only country in the world that has a Government that mainly represents foreign nationals, from the DG down. Shame on unnuh!!!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you all keep voting these people in year after year, it is because of stupid or don’t care ?




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  8. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly what happens when the DG and his Chief Officers refuse to cave to political interference on civil service appointments. Politicians stay out of this.

    From the latest HR report tabled in the LA. I note that 75% of the civil service are Caymanians and the vast majority of top jobs are held by Caymanians.

    Have a look at the DG Facebook page and you will see the evidence that capable Caymanians are being promoted in the civil service on a regular basis.

    Fortunately Mr Bryan would not land a job in the civil service.




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    • GOAB 4th Flr says:

      Why not? How easy we forget that Eric Bush reached the top as a Chief Officer without any qualifications all the way to head up the Cayman London Office without going thru a single interview for the post. Proving it’s all about knowing the right people and having their support. Proving anything is possible in the civil service just ask the DG and CO of POCS.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The CIG prides itself on mediocrity.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Can you imagine the result if Bernie and Bryan had to apply for jobs in the civil service or private sector?

      Bernie has not done well with anything he tried and Bryan was fired by the Premier . What is so alarming about this motion is that Bryan knows that there is not one firemen capable of being promoted to Chief.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Public record: it was the selling of cocaine to undercover police officers that was really the “career-limiter”. To that, even a drug dealer HR dept would promise to “keep your resume on file and let you know if anything comes up”. This is a hot-headed guy, with poor judgement, that, through his own actions, has been locked out of the traditional career-path he would have preferred. That’s why he gets so fired up on affirmative action plans.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Fighting Bryan down for his past is what cost the PPM to loose Marco to Kenneth. Keep that up, you are only continuing to make him the under dog. People love under dogs and vote for them.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Do what you like with the Civil Servants but please keep the top Fire Officer to best person for the job, with experience and qualifications. I am not bothered what colour, race, creed or gender they are when the come to help me out.




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  10. Z says:

    As a Caymanian for these positions I expect the best person for the job. In some instances that can be a foreigner and in some cases a Caymanian.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    more populist guff from bryan.
    if he thinks this is a good idea, he needs help….




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  12. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding right?




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  13. Anonymous says:

    If you want to do something for Cayman, support or lead something that will get through. This is about grandstanding, suggesting that from an Island of 30,000+ Caymanians that there are going to be enough people and varying talents for all top jobs. If the education system was different and some of the belief in entitlement shown to be a negative rather than positive force, then maybe that could be true. Especially if people understood they have to compete not just in terms of qualifications, but in attitude to be the best and succeed. Do you really want mediocrity at best in these positions? No, you/we need and deserve the best. The public facing CS is a prime example of what not to wish upon ourselves. So, Mr Bryan, stop crying wolf, go change the education system to provide top notch vocational skills as well as teaching competitive skills and you might just start getting somewhere.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Do that and you might get top notch people in the higher positions in education. Instead we have a CEO of a failed secondary school and a Minister of Education who thinks she can ignore the experts as thirty years ago she taught for two years!




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    • Anonymous says:

      1:36 pm, What rock you been living under to say Cayman only have 30,000 people, that plus is double and more.




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      • SSM345 says:

        11:15am; Perhaps they meant 30k Caymanians? Then look at probably half if not less are actually of working age; so choices are limited and that’s putting it politely. Those who can read have a clear advantage.




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  14. Tut Alors! says:

    As far as the Fire Chief is concerned, publish the details of the Caymanian applications for this position without mentioning names. End of argument.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    When is Computer Services going to headed by a Caymanian? What is being done to replace the new expatriate Director?




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    • Anonymous says:

      They replaced a very competent expat SIMS manager with a local and now look what we have got. It should be the right person for the job and not nationality determining these vital positions. As one earler post put it, it is not always down to qualifications but experience and the ability to get the job done.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I do not necessarily agree with everything Ezzard does but I totally agree with him when he said “All jobs in Cayman must be for Caymanians” no buts.




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      • Anonymous says:

        but you didn’t answer the ‘what is being done?’ question. (Hint: You should have been able to say ‘succession planning’.)




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  16. Anonymous says:

    speaks volumes about Alden’s leadership when for the first time in our history the fire chief is a foreigner. its his lax policies on immigration and his fright of criticism by foreigners which has us headed down this dark path. Its now such that people we have generously let into this country for mutual benefits and a society in whole both Caymanian and expat which are no suing us for the right to stay and occupy the jobs which young high school and college leavers should be occupying. I say he is rough around the edges but Kenneth Bryan for premier would see some desperate changes needed.




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    • UnCivil Servant says:

      It starts at the top with Franz Manderson Gloria Nixon and Premier Alden who ultilise a sliding scale of standards when dealing with certain Caymanians. They only help who they want when they want to yet all benefitted from the system providing opportunities for them. They facilitate the double standards in the civil service and government.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your input Kenneth. Two words, hell no.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I regret that your post says it all…making excuses for failures, when all you need do is take responsibility for your own future, not blame everyone else. He doesn’t care about foreign criticism, because we cannot vote for him. He does care about international law which pretty much everyone has signed up for. You just want to give jobs to school leavers, no mention if they are qualified or capable or even want to do the job. You want to be fire chief? Go get trained, maybe go get some international experience and then come back a leader. Being born here, does not make you a leader.




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    • West Bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 10 :49 am , You must want CI to go to dog city real fast .. Make Bryan Premier, Alden is bad enough now , and don’t even think of Mack .




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      • Anonymous says:

        Boy we good at tearing down ,fourteen years ago God had us all on the seem level.the rich was desperate for water like the poor . I got a feeling we may face that again soon. Leave the young man alone,damn it ,he was duely elected like the rest. Find something to do ,get your work done or you all nay Sayers might not have a job soon ….I better hush .




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