CIG dragging out basic pay review

| 29/07/2019 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin answers questions about minimum wage in the LA

(CNS): Low paid workers facing the pinch with the ever-increasing cost of living in Cayman appear to be facing a long wait over a possible increase in the $6 national minimum wage, as government appears to be dragging its feet. The premier confirmed that his ministry was going to reconvene the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee to review the current basic pay across the Cayman Islands but he refused to give a time line for how long it would take.

Answering a parliamentary question Thursday from MLA Kenneth Bryan (GTC) about the review and the potential for a reasonable increase, Premier Alden McLaughlin took credit for establishing the minimum wage in the first place but said it was not for his government to arbitrarily say what the revised figure should be and he was unable to say when it will happen.

He said the committee would “be reestablished to investigate and inquire into all matters related and make appropriate recommendations relating to minimum rates of wage, identify reforms to improve the process and investigate if the minimum wage is still effective”.

McLaughlin said the minimum wage committee was engaging the UN’s International Labour Organization as consultants for a wider review of the labour market and government policies.

McLaughlin didn’t say when the committee would be established but the review was “still in the early stages”. However, he told Bryan that there was a process and he could not just click his fingers and come up with a rate that sounds right. He said the impact on the overall economy had to be examined and that it was a technical exercise, as he reminded the LA how the business community had fought against a minimum wage for years and recalled the fears expressed that it would negatively impact the economy.

He said the fears turned out to be unfounded, and given the current situation he expected that the committee would come to the position that the minimum wage would need to increase, but it was not for government to say what that figure should be.

But Alva Suckoo (NEW) pointed out that the advisory committee had from the beginning said the recommended $6 per hour was very conservative. He asked whether, given the problem of inflation, it would be a good idea to set a timetable to meet with the government’s budget preparations. But the premier said that would be impossible.

However, one issue that even the business community is now concerned about is the cost of housing and accommodation. Based on a 40-hour week, minimum wage earners, after pension and health contributions, are earning less than $1,000 per month, which means the low paid have very little chance of securing affordable accommodation without cramming themselves into crowded apartments.

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  1. broke caymanian says:

    I am a Caymanian working for $6 per hour, I have two kids at home need a nanny with a salary like this how can I pay a nanny? there should be something more specific for helpers, nanny ect on work permit leave them at $6.00/hour and raise the Caymanian/ residents minimum wages to $10 – $15.00 an hour. Make more sense to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple – do not put yourself in such a situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is your husband/father or your children? He should be supporting them. You and a male made those children.

    • Anonymous says:

      This may make Cayman unemployment worse. Why would someone pay $15/hr when the job can be done for $6/hr ?

  2. 9:30 says:

    Let us be real here now. Minimum wage should be looked at in detail, someone from another country working as nanny/helper is required as well to be making the same minimum wage as some lets say a Caymanian is employed in a store like Kirk Marker, fosters and so this Caymanian has a family kids going to school, and everything else, light water, now they have to pay the same minimum wage to Nanny/Helper how does that work can some explain to me.
    waiting on a reply.

    • Anonymous says:

      Minimum wage is to ensure the worker only can afford the minimum essential living needs. It is never meant to support a family. Everyone needs to take some responsibility. Before having a child, you should ensure you have the means to support that child. This means ensuring you are working for a salary that supports the child you plan to bring into this world. Having sex and therefore a child is a choice you made. Be responsible and only do so after considering the cost and ensuring you can afford to. If you cannot afford a child, wear a condom. It is less than minimum wage per hour.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do understand that having a nanny is considered a luxury? If you cannot afford a nanny you need to take care of your children yourself. Many people around the world raise there children without the help of a nanny.

  3. Anonymous says:

    tackle the cost of living first….

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why we are seeing such a negative headline Why not say .”Government to look into minimum wage increase”?

    • Anonymous says:

      To 9.46pm It’s headlines like these that raises eyebrows and skepticism towards CNS.

  5. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Agree with the premise, but not your unfortunate term “koolie-wranglers”. Nobody — work permit or not — deserves that kind of disrespect.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed! But the only lobby that counters “living-wages” in Cayman, wielding inhuman disrespect, are those masters who wish to cap and control minimum wage…all of whom you’ll find are Caymanian.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You can all sit and post about a minimum wage, but if you don’t want to pay for the increase in cost for the services and goods as a result I suggest you all keep quite. To many times do I bid work at reasonable rates and told I can get a xxx to do it for half.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the PPM are going to exist as a political party after the next general election they need to get busy solving the issues that are of the greatest importance to the people of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, do you mean us, the original people of the Cayman Islands or the now majority by wealth imported people of the Cayman Islands.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The government isn’t here for the people of this country. They are lining their pockets and forgetting about the people that they should be helping. Also they always help the rich and forget the poor. They are into the politricks.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To really help residents of Cayman and stimulate economy, we need some basic rules of engagement for bank’s fees, mortgage/credit card and loan rates. Some with excellent credit and debt coverage are paying nearly 18% on loan balances in a period of historically low global interest rates. We need to tighten the credit spreads we are giving these thieves.

  10. Anonymous says:

    how about control inflation instead of increasing the minimum wage?

    • Anonymous says:

      2:38 pm, agree 100%, very good idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      why so my employees can live better than I do in Jamaica, Honduras and the Philippines…..

      Increasing the minimum wage is only benefitting our countries.

      Not Cayman as 99.9% of the people who make $6 spend every dime they make home.

      I would like to retire one day too!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    When will people that have 0 clue on how basic economics work realize they should let those that do, make policy? For example, People who are not doctors SHOULD NOT OPERATE ON PEOPLE.

    How’s this for an idea….. SINCE the solution is as SIMPLE as just raising the minimum wage (as if that operated in a f*cking vacuum!), then how about we just put an import tax on ALL FOOD of 1000%, then take that money to pay for a 50.00 an hour minimum wage increase?

    I bet you all of a sudden the economics morons will have something against this approach. Why because now all of a sudden THEY have to pay for it _in the immediate term_.

    • A. Bodden says:

      You are a pompous ass, 2:01 pm. That’s O.K. of course, since you have freedom of speech………. and so do I.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Instead of insults and diatribes, why don’t you outline a workable plan (in your opinion). Hey, it could happen right here. That’s the way ideas are transformed into actions. I think everyone here followed what you said. If you’re as smart as we hope you are, I think you could work up a strategic plan that would benefit everyone.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What else is new? Nobody drags their feet like this bunch.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and they do it under the cloak of “process,” “consultation” and “good governance” in hopes that people don’t notice they’re really accomplishing very little.

    • Anonymous says:

      What going to happen to old folks, they can hardly pay6 $ per hour now for helpers that they need badly, plus giving them one meal for those that don’t live in. Plenty old folks will suffer if they raise the minimium wages.They just can’t afford to pay more.

    • Anonymous says:

      1.43 I prefer it that way..slow and steady.

  13. Anonymous says:

    While they go slow on any changes they continue to deprive Caymanian school leavers of entry level jobs and worsen the mass importation of poverty. The ghettoization of the jewel of the Caribbean and destruction of our future gathers apace. Well done Alden. You took one look at the mess created by Mac, and actually made it worse!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Leading by non-leading. Cayman Islands leading the way

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hope the review of all Civil Servants will also be done now because quite a few have not had a pay raise in over 10 years. The on and off COL does not cut it. And we now know officially ( although we always suspected this) where we are in the world rankings for cost of living.

    • Anonymous says:

      All civil service got a raise last year,they will say no raise, it was just a cost of
      living adjustment, well if it was not a raise in pay, then give me the difference in pay they got.

      • Anonymous says:

        It was NOT a raise in terms of what qualifies a raise. Once a raise is given, it cannot be taken back as that will be a breach of the employees contract. On the other other hand, a COL can be taken back at short notice. Don’t forget that a COL was given previously and then retracted some time after.

      • Anonymous says:

        I work at a bank for 6 years, I’ve yet to receive one COL increase.

    • Anonymous says:

      how about we implement some of the recommendations of the miller shaw and e&y reports first?.?

  16. Anonymous says:

    AHA….i said once the minimum wage was implemented it was only a matter of time (less than 5 years) and it’s been increased AGAIN. When are politicians going to learn. We have how many countries to look at as examples. Never implement a minimum wage. It just increases inflation.
    You increase minimum wage which is your biggest sector in any economy. There is more money to spend. That means business’s will increase their product costs. For two reasons. One, it costs more to employ the employee’s and second, more money means more money grab by business.

    This is why in an economic down turn, no business raises the costs of goods but keeps them low. Or no one buys their goods.

    Guess whats gonna happen when they increase minimum wage again. Yup, cost of inflation will just get higher, faster.

    Good job, you took a perfectly good working model. “people work for what they are wiling to work for” and forced employers to pay more. And increased the costs of everything. Or does anyone think it’s coincidence that the cost of living has skyrocketed in the last 7 years. hmmmmmm.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We need $15.00 per hour minimum pay, 20 days sick leave pay per year, 1 year maternity leave paid per year, 1 month minimum paid vacation and time & half pay after 8 hours worked; plus the employer should pay all pension & health insurance. Benefits for all!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure why not! Why not make it 50.00 an hour?

      You obviously don’t understand how basic economics work do you?

      • Anonymous says:

        12:34 pm, you are not too bright, i think you got some one to write that for you, do you have any common sense ? If you have, please use it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Replying to both uneducated writers above.

        A minimum wage can be raised up to a reasonable LIVING wage.
        All the money these people make will flow back in the economy the same month.
        Therefor it has NO effect on the economy.

        The problem is in the situation where money leaves the country, that hurts the economy. But until a LIVING wage has not been reached, no money will leave the country.

        A 6$ an hour wage has minimum effect on products or services provided.

        In simple terms for the anonymous 1:54pm :reply: If you raise the minimum wage for a person working in the supermarket, that person will only buy more groceries, therefor no negative impact on the economy.
        On a personal note, I assume you have a well paid boring job, since you have the time to scroll CNS at work time, to get through the day.
        You probably also tailgate drivers in front of you, because you feel so miserable.
        Single or unhappily married.
        And you are definitely Caymanian.

        Try to show some compassion for your fellow humans, who are not that fortunate like you.

        Looking forward to your reply.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nope. After his basic and very basic needs are cared for every dollar gets sent out of the country to his homeland where they live like kings and laugh at us caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot about five mental health days off, three months paid paternity leave, five days bereavement leave for extended family and three more public holidays (August, September and October are brutal months!). In August, I think we need a Decision Day holiday to celebrate the fact that Cayman decided to split from Jamaica in August 1962, Labour Day to celebrate our hard work in September and a National Child Pride Day to celebrate the fact that we’re “Proud of dem” in October. And we need rain days off, too, for when it’s raining outside. I know people who already take many of these days off, so we might as well make it official!

    • Stef says:

      LOL…I think we would all like to live in your world!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean Canada. Which they are struggling btw. The way they increase their govt funding is by inviting immigrants to the country to live with money they bring in but won’t hire them because they don’t have Canadian experience. So these immigrants have to go through many expensive govt agencies or companies to obtain equivalencies of their experience and degrees. But yet the best they can do is get entry level jobs and never move up, taxi or service jobs, or open their own business because no Canadian company will ever hire them. All while using the money they brought into the country. That is what is propping up their economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      @12.34p you’ll need to return to Utopia (where you’re from) they are offering all that and a bag of chips.

    • Anonymous says:

      why not a million dollars an hour. Now everyone is rich!. If you think that’s far fetched. So is ANY minimum wage. All minimum wage will do is go up and up. The fact of the matter. How you keep your economy from crashing. It’s really simple. REMOVE minimum wage. You aren’t forcing ANYONE to work for peanuts. Most minimum wage earners are not Caymanian. So if it’s to low, they won’t come here. eventually the employer will have to raise his wages as he see’s fit, to attract employees. Government should have never implemented a minimum wage. All a minimum wage is going to do, is eventually force everything to just cost more. It sucks that there are people that live off low wages. But if everyone was a doctor. Who’s serving your food at a restaurant. oh right, there would be no restaurants, or basic services ect. Everyone has a place, some are well off, some are not. But just like someone who has terminal cancer. You feel bad for them, but you can’t “fix” it. It is just the way it is. It is up to the person to change their lot in life. And if they do not have the mental faculties to change. Or the will or drive or all of the above. Then they are just going to have to be satisfied with where they are in life. Government shouldn’t be helping them by spiraling the entire country into massive inflation to do so!

    • Anonymous says:

      And two annual visits by the Easter bunny, and Santa Claus on top of it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Do the maths. $6 an hour is well below the poverty line and an outrage than any employer would pay such a pittance. It should as a minimum be linked to inflation and be subject to audit.

  19. Mark Nicoll says:

    What else will the government do to help Caymanians move out of poverty? What about providing needed supports to single parents such as early childhood education?

    • Anonymous says:

      FYI 12.31 They already provide this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why these people are single parents, if they can’t take care of their own child/children, use some kind of birth control, come on now people have some pride.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sure, but this will increase the attractiveness of coming here for slave labor to send off money to where they came from.

    Moratorium on work permits when..?? because every single permit will be granted while our young Caymanians compete with foreign millionaires for housing and foreign low wage workers for entry level experience.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The 7 deadly sins of the minimum wage.

    The minimum ware will:

    1- Never be enough to live a prosperous life
    2- Never be enough to sustain a family
    3- (Yet) Will always rise whilst: Never satisfy 1 and 2 no matter how much you raise it
    4- Always increase the cost of living
    5- Always create more unemployment, especially at the lower end of the employment spectrum who fall into the minimum wage bracket
    6- Always be used as a political football
    7- will always f*ck over the people it’s supposed to help.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your right about all 7, but you never asked why those things happen if the minimum wage increases.

      The rich never want to loose, so they will do whatever it takes to stay rish. Including Cut jobs and increase prices while the government sits there and do nothing.

      So if the government is not prepared to control that, then you’re right. It makes no since to increase. It will only make matters worse.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting for you to look at some countries with a human minimum wage and check the average happiness of these nations:
      Denmark, Swede, Norway, Netherlands etc etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Norway: Unlike us, Norway has oil and the money is being saved as a pension fund for the elderly. Norway has abundant sea life, big masses of land compared to people so plenty agriculture. Cayman has nothing to export.

        Denmark:High tax levels and no legal minimum wage according to wikipedia. Leading food producer.

        Sweden:high quality steel, paper and automobiles. High taxes

        Nederlands: second largest exporter of agricultural goods in the world after the United States and has one of the most advanced food industries on the planet

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh you mean, denmark who has recently starting sending immigrants back because their economy is crashing. Sweden, now the rape capital of the world for 5 years running. So bad, they have police no go zones, in civilian areas. Norway, who just this year, has put a halt to immigration. And the nether lands is so costly to live, it makes cayman housing look cheap in comparison. Better clear the fog from those rose tinted glasses you are wearing

      • Anonymous says:

        All the places that have a high cost of living and high taxes with larger populations that are not transient. You are comparing apples and oranges.

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