Salary grabs and who gets the shaft

| 17/02/2021 | 54 Comments

Alric Lindsay writes: It is not unusual for salary grabs to take place close to election dates. But to blatantly do so while poor people are suffering takes things to another level. This is particularly the case during COVID-19.  Specifically, I would like to point out two salary grabs, who may get left behind and who will foot the bill.

MPs Severance

Supplement No. 2 published with Legislation Gazette No. 87 dated 1st December, 2020 contains the Legislative Assembly (Management) Law, 2020. Concealed at the back are the words that “each Member of the Legislative Assembly who does not stand for re-election or, having stood for re-election, is not elected at the next election, shall be entitled to a severance payment equal to three months of the salary paid to that member… as at the date of that election”.

This is of no shock to our members of Parliament as they have now secured themselves a salary for an additional three months if they do not stand for re-election or if they stand and do not get re-elected. To illustrate, if ten MPs do not get re-elected, that could mean that we, the people, will pay $100,000 per month for three months to persons who voters decided that they no longer desire for the job. That’s $300,000 that we could have used to assist unemployed Caymanian tourism and other workers. 

This is also in the midst of what is being reported as a deficit. How does one have the conscience to award oneself a salary in the height of COVID-19 and a high deficit? Well, it is easy, the people will pay for it. And it doesn’t matter that the payments could have been designed to “reimburse” losing parties for election expenses incurred during the campaign period. Maybe it is something that the Elections Boss should look into. Hmmm.

Civil service gets the shaft

If you are a civil servant looking at this and your salary falls within grades A to D, you might not even bat an eye at the MP severance pay. Why? Because, according to the Cayman Islands Extraordinary Gazette No.1/2021 published on the 6 January 2021, the top brass within the civil service, including magistrates, district commissioners, attorney general and certain heads of department received salary increases.

For example, a person with salary grade A on point 1 of the scale moved from an annual salary of $183,504 in the year 2020 to $212,796 effective in 2021. Just think about this for a second. The highest salary earners in the civil service got a bump to assist them during this difficult period, but civil servants falling within salary grades E to R (maintenance officers, nature tour guides, adult literacy facilitators and budget analysts) are stuck with the same salary. Doesn’t this seem odd to you? Why award the highest paid when the lowest paid are suffering? 

Timing Is Everything

Now, it is important that you pay attention to the next couple of lines (and remember we have a deficit).

The foregoing changes took place near Christmas and New Year when most of us were not paying attention.

Elections are nearby and now, after reading this article, the government may decide to award lower salaried civil servants a percentage increase in salaries. 

Pay attention.

If I am correct, a large voting block of innocent, hardworking lower-earning civil servants will think that, if they get a salary increase near election, they will have struck gold for a while. But after election, if the same political actors get in, then the ongoing deficit and fiscal common sense will dictate that something must be done to curb expenditure. Do you know who will get hit first or whose salaries will get frozen? You guessed it, the lower salaried civil servants. What a mess!

Now, if the same actors decide after election to scale back all civil service salaries because of the deficit, budget constraints, COVID-19 or “jus’ cos’ they just feel like it”, those earning salary grades A to D may simply get their January 2021 salary “increases” pushed back to their previously high salary. In this scenario, the majority of our civil service workers who are earning the lowest salaries will get the shaft.

History repeats itself

If you think this story sounds familiar, take a look at what occurred after the 2009 elections. As reported by Cayman News Service in 2010, a decision was made by government to “roll back the most recent salary increases across the board” (see here). The question you now have to ask yourself is whether you want more of the same. If not, you will know what to do on election day if the same game starts to play out.

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Comments (54)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CBC senior management increasing their already inflated salaries secretly is just another unlawful and despicable act knowing the situation that is occurring with this islands finances. I certainly do not believe Roy’s Rosey projections.nor his Fuzzy maths especially during election times.Some needs to fired Mr Franz ???

  2. Anonymous says:

    Barbara, this man is running against you in GTS. What say you about the aliegations.?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    What about that differential spread between the A grade salary and the bottom grade that the Hay Management Group who have advised us is desirable and equitable in our salary scale for the last 40 years? That has been destroyed in this latest covert gift to our most highly paid civil servants. I wonder if the Auditor General will comment on how it has been done? Oops, she is one of those who gets a massive raise. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes….who shall guard the guards?

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    • Sue Winspear, Auditor General says:

      I can categorically state that I have not got a recent pay raise. Happy for this to be fact checked. Can’t speak for others of course.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you Ms Winspear. That makes the situation even more bizarre if you are on Salary Grade C and were ignored. That would compound the messy optics that this whole situation has given rise to.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The article did not mention the Auditor General, but rather generalize by stating a select few. It did however states the Attorney General.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have been stuck at level 3 on my scale for the last 8 years … My CHEIF OFFICER says the CIG policy is not to move people along the scale unless we get new qualifications … but THEY GET SALARY INCREASES …#$%^&** !!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      3:31.will you refuse an increase when your turn comes

      If not stop the sour grapes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Makes sense that new qualifications/skills should be acquired to merit a pay increase, let’s start with spelling lessons and then maybe your Chief Officer will take note.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Remember teachers got an increase, assistant teachers did not. They do a LOT of work, often more than teachers, and make a couple thousand less a month easy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        8:57 pm I need more information about the teacher salary because apparently teachers are not being paid based on qualifications. Well no one knows the criteria anyway and I guess that’s why Assistants didn’t get a raise 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, my only comment is this:

    Grade A – Deputy Governor

    Grade B – Attorney General / Financial Secretary

    Grade C – Auditor General / Chief Officer/Cabinet Secretary/District Commisisoner/ UK Representative

    Grade D – Ombudsman/ Commissioner of Police/Director of Planning/ Accountant General/Director of Education Servies/Director of Tourism

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  6. Anonymous says:

    ???? Where have you all been? CNS published this when it was approved:

    https://caymannewsservice.com/2021/01/losing-mps-to-get-pay-off-in-new-package/comment-page-1/

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, so? We ALL read that. Was there something we could have done to stop it?
      NO! Does that mean we agree with it? NO! Does that mean we could have prevented it?
      NO!!!
      So now all we can do it bitch about it.
      If you have another suggestion on how to change it, please do let us know.

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      • Anonymous says:

        2:05 pm Did you or any of us bitch about it to our representatives? Did we write to them or WhatsApp them to let them know who teed-off we are about it? I bet not. That is the problem here, we love to bitch but never do it where it matters.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Alaric if you get elected this time and not elected the following term you tell the Parliament that you will donate yours. Private sector when laying off persons usually give them 3 months or if the institution closes the same applies. It usually takes that time or longer to get another job. For politicians it is much longer and most time never. No matter how good or how not so good they are all lumped in the same boat. As I said be sure you refuse your 3 months package.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Seems like he has a lot of catching up to do!

  7. Anonymous says:

    That is problem Nº 1: the people DO NOT pay attention. They think “I have too many problems to pay attention to what the politicians do”. EXCEPT: we pay for everything they do-even if we are unemployed, homeless or about to be thanks to the bank repossessing our home. We pay whether our children’s school shoes still fit or not. Whether they need asthma medicine or not. That is why democracy and accountability is OUR business. The people business. We do not take time to read the bills that politicians bring to Parliament. We let them run amok! So let’s stop blaming them for taking advantage of us, their absentee bosses. We are not doing our job. They are our employees and we are letting them do what they please, as they please, when they please.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    That severance package makes my blown away head spin. If it weren’t so forking greedy and ridiculous it would be laughable. Who woted that in? Did they all have to agree on that?
    Cayman you have NO say in what your elected leaders do. I guess you must realize that but choose to sit on your hands. I mean, WB keeps electing that ignoramus back in so….

    I eagerly await to see if the newly elected will come in and remove that greedy severance package, AKA more trough feeding..

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  9. Anonymous says:

    This sneaky salary uplift for the already well paid top echelon civil servants should be displayed and discussed more openly than in this article by Mr Lindsay stuck away in the “election” section. Credit to him for noticing it as it is buried in a Gazette on the back pages without comment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A circular was sent today by DG as damage control. All of a sudden the hidden increases were explained. Pull my other leg DG.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Shady

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      • Anonymous says:

        1:54. Really?

        You mean the hidden increases that was published in January and reported by CNS.

        Who tried to hide it.

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      • Proudcivilservant says:

        1:54 you mean the Administrative Circular that the DG sends out every year in Feb the date of his appointment as the best DG ever.

        You didn’t complain when the DG got you a 14% increase.

        Hold fire your raise coming.

        Leave our DG alone.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    We need to burn out these politicians they are sinking our islands globalists foreigners first. Our children have no future here

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  11. Anonymous says:

    These MLA’s have no shame. All need to go

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  12. Sad reader says:

    Franz Manderson! Explain how Chief Officers who quite frankly do nothing all day except delegate work get those increases and everyone else is left behind?? What have they done? Where are the metrics? Social fabric of this country is being ripped apart, WORC is a mess, schools are failing our kids and our tourism is now non existent. You talk about WORLD CLASS but make mockery of the WORKING CLASS ! You all are beyond selfish and self centered. You want to do something right? Give back your lofty increases and earmark for those who are struggling to pay their next bill. Sandy – Marl Road , hope you reading this. Don’t let me post names and email addresses of our “star” Chief Officer performers now… I’m saddened by the state of our civil service… don’t forget the lower paid employees whose back y’all step on.

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  13. My suggestion: let’s built a wall is shame right next to the wall of fame, and across from the parliament, we could higher our local artists to create some good caricatures of all this parliamentarians we have to be ashamed for!

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    • Anonymous says:

      This was voted on and agreed by all included that mouth champion from East End. Shameful!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      But the scale was published with full transparency. Clearly there was no cover up.

      We need to understand that we if we don’t offer an attractive salary to our senior officials and our MP’S we will get what we pay for.

      Civil servants are the backbone of this country and deserve every pay rise they receive.

      How can this be a bad thing.

      We have given teachers huge salary increases.

      I don’t see the problem here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The scale was published without an explanation that there were these massive increases to a few people at the top. 99% of readers would not even notice it and in any case how many folk read “extraordinary gazettes”?! “Full transparency” my ass.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I say the exact opposite. We should lower the salary to the point that only Caymanians that are NOT looking for/need a free $100K for 4 years would be incentivized to run. Drain the swamp.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians get a pay raise and we complain. Only in Cayman.

      Alric do your research Judges are not on this pay scale.

      We didn’t complain when Teachers got a huge salary increase. But we complain now that an election is coming.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Alric what’s with the scaremongering? What deficit? Is this your way of trying to win the civil service vote?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    As a Civil Servant, shall we strike quietly by reporting to work but not work as a protest to this BS.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Is a fact that good office staff are cleaning toilets and doing landscaping for government offices in some places, and public holiday pay is suspended, as the bosses cut back on expenses.
    This is illegal immoral and some boss from the top them deserves to go. They all know about it is happening. The same abuse staff suffering with reduced hours and propina.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    That’s a 15% pay increase!

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  18. SMH says:

    The PPM Unity government really take the piss and all deserve the severance packages they negotiated for themselves. Disgraceful attitudes and leadership. SMH

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  19. Anonymous says:

    If they had increased the salaries in the Act that would have been too loud and clear. So they did it on the sly and hid it away in an Extraordinary Gazette. Omg.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Well said Alric. These clowns just need to go

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    • Anonymous says:

      The lack of conscience. We are being told that government policy has to be followed and that salary increases are not permitted at this time. But POLA secretly increases the salaries of those with the highest salaries. I am so tired of the corruption. Those same HODs who refused salary increases were getting increases. You cannot make this up. Civil servants I hope you see this. Thank you Sir. We did not notice.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Where is the Civil Service Association in all of this? Did they/do they have anything to say about this outrageous sly salary increase to the privileged few? To those who hath shall it be given, from those who hath not shall it be taken.

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