Civil service helps top up NAU budget

| 12/08/2020 | 48 Comments

(CNS): Government employees and elected officials have begun donating some of their salaries to the ‘CIG Cares’ initiative recently announced by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson. The first of the payroll charitable contributions will be going to the Needs Assessment Unit to cover food vouchers. The NAU is currently supporting more than 3,000 families and demand is increasing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Cabinet has already allocated additional funding to the NAU budget but around 69% of the supplementary funds have already been used up, officials said, with expectation that the needs of these families and elderly members of the community will continue to increase.

Manderson said that during the past four months the private sector had stepped up and donated many thousands of dollars to charities across the Islands. “The civil service is keen to be part of the solution. I am very proud that we have launched CIG Cares,” he said.

“I encourage government owned companies and statutory authorities to follow the civil service’s lead and support the vulnerable in our communities. The NAU food voucher programme addresses a very real and urgent need. We all have an opportunity to be part of the solution. I truly believe that not one person should go hungry in the Cayman Islands,” the head of the civil service said.

The programme is designed to encourage civil servants who retained their jobs, full salaries and benefits throughout the lockdown to share with those less fortunate in the community. They can opt in to the initiative via monthly payroll deductions, which began in July and will run until December, or through a one-time lump sum contribution or a combination of both. They can opt out at any time.

Initially, the funds raised will support the food voucher programme but after the first four months civil servants will have the ability to direct their donation to a registered local charity from a short-list nominated by the civil service.

Meanwhile, with the increase in demand for the NAU’s services, particularly from elderly Caymanians, the decision was made to help this unit directly. Chief Officer in the Ministry of Community Affairs Teresa Echenique said civil servants were fortunate not to have been impacted by pay cuts or job losses, but not everyone can say the same.

“We have seen a significant demand in requests for NAU services over the past months, so I am grateful to the deputy governor for leading the CIG Cares programme and to all civil servants who are generously supporting the essential work performed by the NAU,” she said.

Julie Faulknor-Grant, Compliance and Operational Manager, said the donations will be used to provide the most vulnerable clients with the opportunity to put food on the table for themselves and their families.

“I am strongly of the belief that no one should go without food, especially our most vulnerable clients such as our children, disabled and elderly members of our society. I strongly encourage all civil servants to support this selfless cause where they will not only be helping these families but will be leading by example,” she said.

Civil servants wanting to sign-up should use the COVID-19 Employee Donation Form here. A valid employee number will be needed to complete the form. Opting out at any time is permitted.

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Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think Jon JOn should sell his donkey and give the proceeds to NAU. Don’t think there would be much interest tho!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t the Civil Service just one big NAU client anyway?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the least they could do. The amount of them on required leave or extended sick leave WITH FULL PAY.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they have it so good, why don’t you join them? You are just a sorry little whiner that isn’t happy if you don’t have something to criticize. A loser!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s ridiculous that the government set it up so the civil servants would just be donating back to the government for the first 4 months. The government should pay for its programs on its own and donations should go to underfunded areas that government doesn’t help. Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is so true as the Government is not a charity and they already had so many persons getting the “free” money and didn’t qualify according to Austin but yet they want to giveaway more! Sounds like the usual election year giveaway under the guise of COVID-19 assistance. Sad…

    • Anonymous says:

      8:42 pm
      Their are people here on permits, who are working, making money through other sources and collecting vouchers from NAU. Time to drain our swamp. Government has too many dependents and no proper assessment.h

    • Anonymous says:

      9:43 am. Of course we wouldlike to join them. But we don’t have the connection that you had to get paid for doing very little work. Its who knows you that’s goes a long way in Cayman to get a job in the civil service. The C-virus was a God send for them to not work (like
      the Post Office workers) the P. O. Is still closed or is on reduced hours and all the stall are in full pay.and

  5. anon says:

    No indication of how many civil servants are contributing to the Cares Initiative. I wonder if it includes our absent on sick leave Speaker who according to the Compass is raking in some CI$250,000 pa in salary and “allowances” plus a full inflation proof pension which gives him over CI$300,000pa, all for sitting at home and watching TV.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to those civil servants who are contributing. We need all the help we can get with the massive current unemployment situation.

  7. anon says:

    Everyone in the private sector has always had to contribute $10 from their monthly medical insurance premiums to Govt for medical care for the indigent. Civil servants never have, as the never have paid any premiums for their medical coverage which is free.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon seriously!!! How can this be a bad thing. How much have you given back to the islands that allowed you to live and work in tranquility?

      Thank you civil servants you make me proud.

      • Anonymous says:

        When did a Civil Servant last enforce the Maintenance Law?

        • Anonymous says:

          Can you imagine how strong a position Cayman would be if the government consistently enforced the laws they are charged with implementing? The Maintenance Law, Immigration Law, Pensions Law, and Health Insurance law between them could readily save CIG over $200 million a year between them. Instead we are facing an economic crisis of a scale only made possible by our own ineptitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not really free. Many get get paid less money and if it wasn’t for the insurance benefit they couldn’t even afford to stay in the job. Trust me.

      – Wife of a hard working blue collar Civil Servant

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you 11:03 pm. I would’ve been long gone if it wasn’t for the benefits. The MLAs, Ministers and all politicians can contribute to this initiative. Why should civil servants work to support those who aren’t working minus the sick and shut ins?

  8. Anonymous says:

    D G put the postal workers back to work and open the Post offices again, they had 5 months vacation with full pay, its past due for them to start earning they wages. Get the mail going again, now it takes 10 days to get mail from Grand
    To the Brac, shame, shame

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why have our over paid politrickians not volunteered a option of their salaries?

    Why not? You will earn the respect of your constituents and maybe a few more.

    Shame on un onna if you don’t.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not a registered charity and quite possibly illegal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does not have to be a registered charity you jackass! It is just a voluntary donation program offered by the CIG to its employees. It’s not a stand alone vehicle with staff and a mission. Stop badmouthing the things people do and keep your stupidity to yourself. What have you done to support those in need?… Shite!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Jeez calm yourself. No need to overreact to someone that may not know as much as you.
        It is easy to kindly and calmly advise your vast knowledge without being such a bully (your angry comment is a bit like most would call a troll).

        Take a deep breath before posting.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ask that hotel in Beach Bay that govt just gave 25million free duty to make a donation also.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Seriously??? One of the newspapers online posted the MLA’s salaries… Alden balked at giving up any of his salary, whining that he was sorking harder than ever before. And now they’re asking the Civil Service to chip in??
    That’s rich.

  13. Anonymous says:

    3000 families? Is it fair to conclude that is around 9,000 people?

    So, are a third of Caymanians on welfare, making that nationality one of the least self sufficient in the free world – or are substantial numbers of foreign nationals receiving NAU support?

    Which is it?

    It is something to be very concerned about, in particular given the full economic effects of Covid are yet to take full effect in Cayman, and the pension monies and monthly government stipend for tourism workers are still available.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, I don’t think it’s fair to conclude that is 9,000 people.

      According to the Cayman Islands Older Persons Policy 2016, there are just about 6,000 elderly persons, of which 10% have an income lower than $10,000/year. So Cayman has 600 older persons likely supported by NAU as of the 2016 study. Elderly are more likely to be alone (especially the poor ones since 2 people usually means 2 pensions) and therefore their family unit is like to be 1.

      I suspect the next most common unit is mother and child.

      There may be around 6000 people receiving government assistance.

      Please also remember that the usual number of people receiving Poor Relief Vouchers (based on 2018 NAU statistics) is 1,100. The people currently on assistance is temporarily higher due to the coronavirus.

      One in four UK residents were receiving government assistance in the form of furlough payments due to the coronavirus. Cayman is not unique.

      • Anonymous says:

        These single mothers did NOT have the child/children themselves. Make harder laws for the fathers to help big time supporting their children. Women do not have children with dead beat men, that don’t have a brain in their head, only knows about from they waist.

      • Anonymous says:

        Being elderly and poor is (by itself) no grounds to require NAU assistance. We have a terrific law called the Maintenance Law that legally requires family members who have any money to take care of their Kin. That is even before things like child support are considered.

        Why would the NAU be making payments that are in a great many cases legally the obligation of others? Is it that our laws are not being enforced and the government feels it can just help itself to the public’s money to cover up its own failings?

        • Anonymous says:

          It all depends on who you are. I know parents with five to six children and maybe one helping if any. I know one case of a person making big money yet the government had to find a place for their relative to stay in. It was in the news some while back. I had to borrow money from the bank to help my family but someone who was making around $100,000 a year and could afford to help their family without putting themselves in debt, government helped them. Anyway, God will bless me in the end. I did the best I could for my parents without assistance from anyone.

          • Anonymous says:

            And you are to be commended for doing the right thing – which also happens to be a requirement of Cayman Law – even though it is seemingly never enforced and its application is haphazard and (you infer) it depends on who you are.

            In other countries that is called corruption and/or maladministration and misfeasance in public office.

            Come to think of it, I think that behavior would be called those things here as well.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes i know a custom officer and his wife works in an office. yet they gets benefits from from Government

      • Anonymous says:

        OK. So if we add 4,000 receiving $1,000/month from government, and another couple of thousand civil servants being paid to do nothing, where do you get to in your like for like comparison with the UK?

        And you haven’t touched on the issue of how many of the persons receiving NAU assistance were brought in to Cayman with a promise that they would never be a burden on the community and could an d would support themselves. Not saying they should not be helped, just asking what has gone wrong and where?

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t forget the Seaman’s pensions!

          • Anonymous says:

            9:45 am Don’t forget the Seamen supported these islands when it was nothing else here, and built the foundation to what Cayman is today

            • Anonymous says:

              And some of them are multi millionaire business people and yet we send them checks they don’t need every month, using money we don’t have.

              And some of them died 5 years ago leaving behind a 28 year old (often Spanish -speaking) widow who will be receiving the pension and other government assistance for the next 60 years.

              And we wonder why we are running out of money?

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