arborist position in the caribbean

tim brown

New Member
Arborist position, Utilities Maintenance & Construction (U.M.C.) Grand Cayman

We are a company in the Cayman Islands, providing vegetation management solutions to the islands electricity distribution company.
We would be interested to hear from anyone with experience of working in the utility arborist/vegetation management industry, with experience and certification in the operation of chainsaws, chippers, bucket trucks etc.

We currently run two crews, using Altec bucket trucks and Altec chippers, the new positions for the arborists would be to work in these existing crews, made up of local staff, and assist with the tree cutting, pruning and removal as required by the utility company, each team currently has a linesman who clears vegetation from the 'live zone', the arborist would take over thereafter, sharing their knowledge and experience with the current teams, and looking to improve the overall standard of the service we provide.

We are keen to introduce a professional arborist to join the crews, with correct pruning techniques, and a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards achieving the company's goals.

Experience of similar trees, vegetation and working in a warm, ( often very hot) climate would be beneficial.

We do all the cutting from either the bucket truck, or the ground, they do not do any tree climbing here!

Length of contracts are flexible, a temporary work permit covers workers upto 6 months, which is the length of probation also, after such time, permanent positions could be available.
Pay would be around CI$15 per hour.

Please feel free to email me at tim@umc.ky with any questions.

Tim Brown

U.M.C.
PO Box 30149
Grand Cayman
KY1 1201
Cayman Islands
 

ward

Well-Known Member
[QUOTE="tim brown, post: 522971, member: 12636"
We currently run two crews, using Altec bucket trucks and Altec chippers, the new positions for the arborists would be to work in these existing crews, made up of local staff, and assist with the tree cutting, pruning and removal as required by the utility company, each team currently has a linesman who clears vegetation from the 'live zone', the arborist would take over thereafter, sharing their knowledge and experience with the current teams, and looking to improve the overall standard of the service we provide. [/QUOTE]


Sounds like you want a crew leader who will do all the pruning around electrical lines whilst educating the local crews on all manner of good arboricultural practices.Could you elaborate on how far CI$15/hr would go in that local economy?
 

tim brown

New Member
[QUOTE="tim brown, post: 522971, member: 12636"
We currently run two crews, using Altec bucket trucks and Altec chippers, the new positions for the arborists would be to work in these existing crews, made up of local staff, and assist with the tree cutting, pruning and removal as required by the utility company, each team currently has a linesman who clears vegetation from the 'live zone', the arborist would take over thereafter, sharing their knowledge and experience with the current teams, and looking to improve the overall standard of the service we provide.

Sounds like you want a crew leader who will do all the pruning around electrical lines whilst educating the local crews on all manner of good arboricultural practices.Could you elaborate on how far CI$15/hr would go in that local economy?[/QUOTE]

Hi Ward, it works out at about $2600.00 a month, wages are paid every two weeks, the plus side is no tax deducted, the down side is groceries etc are all shipped in, so prices in the stores can be more expensive than living on the mainland.
Rental properties are considerably higher if you want the beach view, more reasonable in other places.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
I remember a post looking for a trainer for this company, that fell through, so now an employee and trainer in one for wages that do not appear to reward a candidate with the qualifications!
 

ward

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you want a crew leader who will do all the pruning around electrical lines whilst educating the local crews on all manner of good arboricultural practices.Could you elaborate on how far CI$15/hr would go in that local economy?
Hi Ward, it works out at about $2600.00 a month, wages are paid every two weeks, the plus side is no tax deducted, the down side is groceries etc are all shipped in, so prices in the stores can be more expensive than living on the mainland.
Rental properties are considerably higher if you want the beach view, more reasonable in other places.[/QUOTE]

If they are a US Citizen, they are required to pay federal income tax on their earnings even if they worked abroad. With all due respect, that CI$15/hr should be CI$35 an hour. You might get a taker. You are setting yourself up to get people who are either not qualified or they are on the run from the law. But maybe that's part of the plan?
 
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tim brown

New Member
I remember a post looking for a trainer for this company, that fell through, so now an employee and trainer in one for wages that do not appear to reward a candidate with the qualifications![/QUOTE
Hi Ward, it works out at about $2600.00 a month, wages are paid every two weeks, the plus side is no tax deducted, the down side is groceries etc are all shipped in, so prices in the stores can be more expensive than living on the mainland.
Rental properties are considerably higher if you want the beach view, more reasonable in other places.
If they are a US Citizen, they are required to pay federal income tax on their earnings even if they worked abroad.[/QUOTE]

I believe that is the case, unless you are on the island for the majority of the year, 300 days plus, it's not something i am familiar with though, as I am a U.K. citizen.

$15 cayman dollars equates to $17.86 us dollars currently.
 

tim brown

New Member
I remember a post looking for a trainer for this company, that fell through, so now an employee and trainer in one for wages that do not appear to reward a candidate with the qualifications!
hi mrtree, you are correct sir, originally I was asked to see if any qualified instructors would be interested in working down here, but I discussed this with my employers and suggested that a qualified trainer would not be looking for full time work in one crew, so I am now tasked with trying to source certified arborists, who may wish to work in the caribbean.
 

treewill

Active Member
Jeez you guys, I hate to break it to you but wages in other countries vary wildly from those in the USA. Some are higher, some are lower. It's what the labor market and local economy can bear. I've taken sometimes very large pay cuts over the years to work in other countries and have no regrets.

I doubt someone with all the necessary qualifications is gonna go for this gig strictly for the pay, but that's sorta the point; where you choose to work and how you spend your day are about more than the paycheck you get every two weeks. This could be a great move for the right person.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Will, it is blasphemy in this society to even think let alone suggest that there are people who might be motivated by experiences as much or more than money...
Yeah, but go to the Caribbean for low pay to do line clearance, and not actually climb a tree? I respect the OP's professional bearing, but that's about it. Tim, rates for arborists In my region are $100/hr +/- $30, billed, so perhaps you're looking at +/- $33/hr. for someone working under your company, and more if they want to eat well, it sounds.

Why not rotate in consulting arborists on a regular basis? You could pay them more and get different perspectives. I would do that.
 

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
I replied to the original post a few months ago that was looking for a trainer. It went far enough that I basically had one foot on the plane and then a last minute personal issue came up that prevented me from taking advantage of this great opportunity.

Tim and the entire company down there were very professional to deal with and I think they would be a great organization to work for. I would have been taking a pay cut to do it and didn't think twice about the money because it's the fucking Cayman Islands! If you're looking for a change of scenery and an adventure this is a great opportunity. If you're just in it for the money you should look elsewhere.
 

ward

Well-Known Member
Working around power lines even in a tropical power lines is serious work. Training people to work on powerlines in a tropical environment is serious work. To do this for so little money seems to be more than mere adventure, more like crazy. This is not canopy research work or eco tours. And, yes, I think people shouldn't do this work for little money and a casual kind of work arrangement. Too much is on the line.
 

tim brown

New Member
all very good points from everyone, when I was employed in the U.K. as a utility arborist, we were climbing, pruning, dismantling trees in wind, rain, snow, occasional sunshine, and seeing the same pay as a shelf stacker in a supermarket, it sounds like the U.S. actually honour the work involved in what is required by anyone willing to take on the job!
You are not ever going to see $35 dollars for cutting bush here in the caribbean, and after Hurricane Ivan levelled the island back in 2004, all the trees and vegetation that has grown back, is nothing like mature trees with huge wide old growth canopies, technically the tree work here is easy, the mindset and work ethic of the local workforce is often to be desired, and my employers would like to improve on that, for the benefit of the company and the customer.
If you can handle beach life, eye candy, and the heat, it might be worth a thought!
 

Oroboros

Well-Known Member
The Cayman Islands are a tax haven. Correct? So one could expect the wonderful social environmment of mega rich assholes avoiding taxes. And bankers who doesn't love chatting with bankers in the ole grocery store lineup.
 
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ward

Well-Known Member
The Cayman Islands are a tax haven. Correct? So one could expect the wonderful social environmment of mega rich assholes avoiding taxes. And bankers who doesn't love chatting with bankers in the ole grocery store lineup.
I guess you can take pride in the fact that you are part of the process of providing cheap power to the mega rich assholes. It probably wouldn't feel that good, however, the day after one of your locals gets arc welded to his flip flops as he is pole sawing banana leaves away from the high power transmission lines. The rich asshole might turn around and tell you to stop staring at him.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Again, the OP seems like a very well-mannered guy, but there is a potential disconnect between his manners and the offer being made by his company. I hope we can all professionally say "no/yes", state our values, and retain respect for the people. I don't think arborists deserve being solicited on these terms, but I appreciate the manners. I don't think Tim deserves any crap, but his company sure does. These are very astute observations about the appearances of the lack of a dispersal of wealth in that particular society, and in his company's relationship with employees. My company supports the local labor coalition living wage campaign by starting employees at the local living wage and giving them a raise within weeks of starting. I wonder if baseline labor with the OP's company is a living wage. That would tell me a lot about the nature of the company and whether they were worth working with.
 
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