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TCIG Public Service Salaries to be Reviewed

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#TurksandCaicos, May 19, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce that a contract has recently been signed with Ernst and Young (Kingston, Jamaica) to undertake a wholistic review of Public Service salaries in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A total of Six (6) bids were received through open tender for this work, with Ernst and Young having been selected as the preferred bidder.

The review includes developing the following objectives and execution of deliverables:

Objectives

  • The Pay and Grading Policy, including criteria for allowances
  • Job Description Template and Guidelines for Completion
  • Job Evaluation Committee Terms of Reference
  • Grade Level Standards for Job Evaluation and Grading
  • Grade levels for jobs
  • Grades, Pay Points and Pay Rates
  • Compensation Market Survey

Deliverables

  • Deliverable 1 – Execution Plan:This shall detail the approach to meeting the objectives of the project/initiative, including initial scoping, assumptions, work plan, methodology, literature review, timelines and a stakeholder engagement plan.
  • Deliverable 2 – Full Draft Report of the Proposed Pay and Grading System: This shall clearly and concisely present a full draft of the proposed Pay and Grading System with Strategic Considerations for review.
  • Deliverable 3 – Final Report – Proposed TCI Public Service Pay and Grading System: This shall present the final and agreed Report, taking into account feedback from the Draft Report Briefing session as well as comments and feedback from key stakeholders.

A initial envelope of 2.5 million has been budgeted in the 2023/2024 Budget in order to facilitate the first phase of the implementation of the anticipated recommendations in December 2023, with additional funds being budgeted as necessary.

Acting Governor and Head of the Public Service Her Excellency Anya Williams in commenting on the Public Service Pay and Grading Review stated:

“The Public Service plays a vital role in ensuring that the objectives of the government are met, that approved policies are implemented and that services are carried out on behalf of the government for the benefit of its residents and visitors.

The last comprehensive Public Service Pay and Grading Review in the Turks and Caicos Islands was undertaken in 2012 and was implemented in 2014.

Since then the Public Service received a 2.5% across the board salary increase in 2016 and a 4% across the board salary increase in 2022, along with a 6% fully funded investment by the Government in 2022 in the new TCIG Pension and Gratuity Program.

As the demands and expectations of the Public Service continues to expand, alongside increased costs of living due to inflation and other factors, it is important that Public Service salaries are comprehensively reviewed to ensure that staff are appropriately compensated for the work that they do.

My office looks forward to working with Ernst and Young on this key initiative.

A kickoff meeting was held on April 21, 2023 ahead of the official commencement of the contract on April 24, 2023 to finalize the schedule of works. Subsequently, follow up meetings are held once a week, every Monday.

On island works are expected to commence on May 15, 2023, when the consultants are expected to travel to the islands to not only collect additional data, but to also meet in person with key agencies such as the Civil Service Association, Police, Education, Health and other sectors.

The work is expected to be carried out over the course of the next 6 months, with the final report and recommendations expected to be completed in November 2023, followed by the first phase of implementation depending on the recommendations in December 2023.

As we work to continue to improve not only service delivery, but also the salary and working conditions of staff across government, my office is grateful to the Government for the financial support provided and looks forward to delivering on this key initiative for the benefit of the Public Service of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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Caribbean News

Haiti to hold elections in 2025

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti#Elections,February 29th, 2024 – The President of Haiti Ariel Henry has agreed to hold General elections by Mid-2025, August 31st, as announced by The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Philip Davis on Wednesday February 28th, 2024,  at the end of the 4 day 46th Caricom heads of Government meeting. To help Haiti prepare for elections, Davis says an assessment team comprised of international partners will be formed

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Saunders “surprised” by move to Backbench; promises to address the nation this week

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 28, 2023 – Surprise was one of the main emotions rolling off of  E. Jay Sauders, All Island Elected Member, when he spoke to Magnetic Media Tuesday afternoon. The brief phone interview came only minutes after he confirmed to the media around 3 p.m. that he had been removed from his post as Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Washington Misick, TCI Premier. 

“I am a bit surprised– I sit here at the pleasure of the Premier, the Premier acted in a certain way and it is his right to decide who he wants and doesn’t want in his cabinet and that’s the position that he took.”

The biggest question now is who will replace Saunders as the Premier’s right hand man, Magnetic Media spoke to a high-profile source around 3:30 pm who told us: “The Premier hasn’t made a decision in that regard as yet so there’s nothing yet to announce.” 

It’s likely, the source told us, that the Premier will take on the Ministry of Finance himself, having had experience with that ministry in the past. 

Sure enough minutes after that conversation a press release came from the Office of the Premier announcing that he is the new Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade; the statement also bid Saunders goodbye.

I wish to thank Honourable Saunders for his service these past three years as my Deputy and for his stewardship in the ministries he served,” Misick said.

It comes as no surprise to residents however and a firestorm of comments followed the announcement,

“This is so wrong!!!” said one resident. 

It was a sentiment fielded by Magnetic Media over a dozen times.

“He is running this country and this party with his silly feelings.  And with Washy age, he need to relax himself.”

Another predicted, “This will hurt the PNP in the next election for sure, plus with the current conflict of interest matter pending with Washy and the Integrity Commission, this was not the best move at this time for him to be both Premier and Minister of Finance.”

The booting is the second high-profile shuffle in the Washington Misick-led PNP Administration following the removal of Akierra Missick, Elected Member for Leeward from her post as Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development in 2023. 

That shakeup went totally without explanation, similarly, no explanation has come from the Premier’s office this time either, but it follows a leadership challenge at the party’s national convention just days prior. 

Saunders had attempted to go against Misick for the head of the PNP party but could not get enough votes to push the challenge through. 

As a former CEO of DigicelTCI, E. Saunders initially served as the Health and Human Services minister as the country clawed its way back to health after a brutal Coronavirus Pandemic.  He was then appointed, by Misick, to the ministry for Finance, Investment and Trade, setting and achieving lofty goals including the achievement of a $400 million yearly revenue two years into his tenure and the removal of the Turks and Caicos from the EU Blacklist of non-compliant tax jurisdictions. 

Now with one year left before a new general election is called, Saunders, in his own words, will join the rest of the backbench of politicians. 

Also feeling the “stick” is reported to be Jas Walkin, the man Washington Misick appointed to lead his winning general election campaign in 2021.  Walkin had put his name forward for party leader but hurriedly withdrew it. Reports of a suspension have been shared via social media with residents expressing disdain at the possibility.

The consensus from many, they’re not surprised and also not happy about the removal of Jas. 

For now, Saunders is focused on moving, 

“Depending on how quickly I can get through the packing up of my office, I’ll do a Public Address tomorrow, but no later than Wednesday,” he promised. 

The demotion also means a significant pay cut for Saunders from the Deputy Premier’s $175,000 base salary and $60,000 in allowances to the $97,000 base salary and $10,200 in allowances which is paid out to Members of the House of Assembly, where he will continue to serve as an All Island Elected member.

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Caribbean News

Kyle Speaks as Party Chairman

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, February, 27th, 2024 – After a challenge to the party’s leadership and resulting public chatter, Kyle Knowles,  Progressive National Party Chairman is calling for the PNP to ‘stand together in support of the ‘duly elected premier and leader,’ emphasizing that ‘the  re-election reflects the confidence and trust placed in him by the members of the party.’ The challenge was issued by E Jay Saunders, current Deputy Party Leader over the weekend, Knowles maintains there was unity, civility, and passionate debates during the National Congress. It comes on the cusp of a general election where the winning party will have for the first time 5 years in office.

#PNP

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