October 27, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Mysterious pay cut and rise


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Colin WilsonwebColin Wilson

When all the salaries for Members of the Legislative Assembly should have been cut to set an example to all of us in these times of austerity only one was.

The poor House Speaker, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who has to keep order and listen to the mainly boringly long- winded speeches from the members there, was the sole loser.

She drew the short straw and doesn’t understand why. Nor will she tell us by how much her pay has been cut.

The Speaker’s salary was at the very top – a whopping $171,672 per annum, which included a car and maintenance allowance each month of $200. That equates to $14,506 per month, even when the LA doesn’t even meet.

Now I don’t feel quite so sorry for her.

However, there is even worse news for Madame Speaker.

Her fellow Cayman Brac and Little Cayman (Sister Islands) representative, Moses Kirkconnell, now the Deputy Premier, had his pay increased by exactly the same amount of money, O’Connor-Connolly’s was slashed.

He did beat the Speaker in the Sister Islands elections and the person past the post first should receive the greater of the spoils, shouldn’t he?

No not when it comes to the LA members. It’s the job before the horse.

Madame Speaker says she doesn’t begrudge her fellow Bracker’s increase ….  No -actually she said, “I am not questioning the increase in the deputy premier’s salary.”

Then she questions why her job got a salary chop by exactly the same amount his was raised.

“I don’t mind dropping my salary,” she said. That’s good. I applaud her. But she wants to know why. Especially as she was quick to point out, both the seniority of the role and her own experience as a long serving legislator, a former speaker, minister, deputy premier and latterly premier.

Whoever said life was fair?

So, we have a mystery.

Madame Speaker is not asking for a raise, just an explanation and the courtesy of a response to the letter she wrote to the governor.

She wonders if gender discrimination is the reason?

That is a strange observation. Wasn’t the previous speaker – a woman? And the speaker before her wasn’t she a woman? Wasn’t O’Connor-Connolly as a former speaker, a woman? Yes they were all women. Mary Lawrence, the previous Madame Speaker received the top salary. So what has gender got to do with this pay cut O’Connor-Connolly is querying?

The mysterious cut in pay is now in the hands of the Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson. He has assured the Speaker he will find out why.

Maybe we will all be the wiser, too.









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