#Providenciales, June 29, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – Certainly many has seen a video currently on social media which essentially is a shortened version of a point of view expressed by Drexwell Seymour in greater detail several weeks ago. Since we are talking pensions, I now ask what has happened to Civil Servants’ pension and gratuity? What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Hundreds of civil servants saw their benefits striped from them April 1st, 2012 when the Pensions Ordinance was amended. Stick a pin on that date as we will revisit it shortly. While this current administration has condemned the works of previous PNP administrations, it is quite convenient their acceptance of the politicians’ pension policy.
If anything, one has to wonder why the British Interim Government would strip civil servants of many benefits, including a 10% salary cut, yet would not modify the Legislator’s Allowances Ordinance i.e. Politicians Pensions? Was it to buy future Politicians silence on the issue when it was brought to the consultative forum and advisory council? Did those that almost qualified with one term under their belts think to themselves, boy if I speak up for civil servants on this issue, I might jeopardize by ability to get pension at 50 years old. As the outgoing Vice President of the Civil Service Association, I don’t recall the current Premier putting up much of a fight when the bill was tabled in the consultative forum.
So again, what has happened to Civil Servants’ pension and gratuity? There are a few ways you can deal with this situation: The first option, being to reinstate the system that was operated pre-amendment to the pension’s ordinance. This was promised on page 54 of the PDM 2016 Manifesto “the Change Document” which quotes “a PDM Government will seek to reinstate gratuities for post 1992 staff and the introduction of Pensions for the Civil Service.” When will this take place?; The second option, implement the gratuity and pension scheme proposed the Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing led Administration that is still on the book and can be actioned immediately;
Or a third option and my preference, reinstatement the ability for employees hired pre 1992 to convert 25% of their pension as gratuity, and implement a service wide performance based rewards program which will pay out bonuses in 2-3 year intervals as was fought for by the Civil Service Association during the Interim Administration. To pay for it, I would freeze all gratuities for new or renewed contracts and redistribute those savings within the program. The goal is equity for all civil servants, not the imbalance that currently exists between contract workers and TCI Workers.
Hopefully, this issue does not go the way 100% Service Charge has gone thus far.
P.S. The Honorable Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Charles Washington “Washy” Misick, has faithfully served the Turks and Caicos Islands for over 25 years. A wise man isn’t bamboozled by distraction. So please, no more distractions, just deliver!
Stay Blessed TCI.