Civil servants still unimpressed with pay

| 19/07/2021 | 127 Comments
Cayman News Service
Government Administration Building, Elgin Ave

(CNS): The 2020 civil service survey has revealed that of the 83% of government workers who took part, only 42% are satisfied with their pay. Despite the cost of living allowance rolled out in January last year, there was only a 7% increase in public servants who said they were happy with their pay and benefits. But although the majority feel underpaid and the civil service as a whole has just gone through one of the most challenging years in history with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey showed that 89% were proud to be civil servants.

The survey results are outlined in the Portfolio of the Civil Service’s annual report, which was tabled in Parliament this week.

One of around 30 annual and financial reports that government departments have been sitting on that have now been made public, the PoCS report revealed that there are more than 4,000 people working in the civil service and 3,428 of them took part in the Employee Engagement Survey, which was conducted in the last quarter of 2020. While many of the categories that government employees were questioned about showed improvements, the pay and reward question still had the most negative response.

“Addressing this area remains a priority for the CIG and, in 2021, PoCS intends to conclude the review of our pay strategy and will make recommendations for change, for consideration by the Deputy Governor,” PoCS Chief Officer Gloria McField-Nixon said in the report.

Over the year the portfolio also supported changes to the Personnel Regulations, including an increase in the annual leave entitlement for staff on the lowest grades R, GAA and GBB, to bring those employees in line with staff on the next tier.

“This was done to ensure that all Civil Servants receive a minimum annual leave entitlement of 18 working days per annum and the change impacted approximately 298 employees, of which 80% were Caymanian,” the chief officer noted.

A review of rewards and remuneration started in early 2020 but it was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some progress was made at the end of the year when the leave benefits were addressed, which has seen some of the lowest paid government workers get an additional six days paid annual leave.

Cabinet has also approved a new salary scale for the top earners, implemented on 1 January this year, which introduced changes to salary Grades A through D to reduce overlap within those grades and ensure that “remuneration remains competitive and reflects the gravity of responsibilities for roles, particularly those at the most senior levels”, the report stated. A review of the remaining salary grades is ongoing.

The survey also asked the civil service how well they thought the Cayman Islands Government handled the COVID-19 crisis locally. 89% of respondents felt the CIG managed the response well. 90% said they had the necessary communication with their manager and peers to successfully work remotely and had contributed to getting the country through, while 86% reported having the necessary tools to work remotely.

96% of those who took part also said they were interested in their work. While there was an increase in favourability about how government workers felt about management and their direct bosses, only 56% said they were happy about leadership and managing change.

See the POCS annual report in the CNS Library.

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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (127)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think they should just vote themselves a raise. That is what The MPs did.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s the Civil “SERVICE”. you all start servicing the community properly and then you’ll get a raise

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil servants DO NOT WORK HARD like the old ones did. Facts are facts. True are true. They are paid good for the little work they do in these times. Even answering the phones are too hard for most of them to do.Plus all the free overseas medical, plenty vacation
      and sick days that we old hard workers didnt get. We Even still have to pay for half of our dentures.So these day civic servants got it made good . Facts are facts. THEY got 7 % cost of living raise. We old retired ones got only 1 % cost of living raise.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Servants get paid now? Things sure have changed since back in my day.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can tell you one thing that matters most. Caymanians (let’s just say 80% of them) live ABOVE their means.

    Learn to live WITHIN your means and that sweet sweet salary might allow you to save a few pennies.

    I work in the private sector and almost ALL of the lower paid level (positions that do not require further education then HS) live paycheck to paycheck. I know this for a FACT.
    Further, this is a lil factoid is something that I noticed among most Caymanians since I stepped foot here in the mid-90’s.

    Living within your means is the first step to success at any level. I learned this when working at a fast food place in high school and carried on like that the rest of my life.

    Change my mind!

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny, I noticed that as well. Their cars are amazing but can’t pay the kids school fees…

      Cars are a huge status symbol here. Take a drive though the poorest neighborhoods… But I’m guessing this is a world wide thing? I genuinely do not know.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Civil servants still unimpressed with pay? Ironic. They still can’t come close to how unimpressed the public is with the quality of customer service provided by civil servants.

  6. Anonymous says:

    somebody should look into the performance of WORC and questions why it’s taking them nearly a year to review a simple form!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Time for a minimum civil servant pay wage. 60.00 per hour minimum a good starting point?

    Seriously, who can afford to buy a house, a new car, own a boat, take 4 weeks vacation AND _have_ to show up to work everyday? Since Covid, no civil servant should ever have to go to work again

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