Aug 5, 2015

TransLink boss salary of $319,244+? Peanuts


Lately, there has been quite a fuss about how much the top people at TransLink get paid to provide road and transit services in BC’s lower mainland.

The Huffington Post describes the salary for a potential new Chief Executive Officer as “eye popping.” The job advertisement describes “a salary of $319,244 plus an annual bonus up to 30% of base salary.”

However, whoever shows up as the new CEO, they will be far from the highest paid executive delivering work for TransLink. In fact, compared to some of the salaries paid to deliver road and transit services here, the new CEO’s potential salary is peanuts.

The Canada Line Skytrain is run on contract for TransLink by a public private partnership operated by InTransit BC. One of the major partners in InTransit BC is SNC Lavalin whose President in 2014 is reported to have earned total compensation of $4.9 million, down from the $5.6 million the President and CEO earned a year earlier according to a management information circular.

Cubic Transportation Systems, a US based technology company working on defence and transportation projects, got paid $27.6 million in 2013 to work on TransLink’s Compass Card and faregates. According to proxy information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission the Cubic President and Chief Executive Officer got paid $2.4 million in 2014.

TransLink’s biggest contract in 2013 was for another public private partnership for the Golden Ears Bridge. The Golden Crossing General Partnership was paid $61.6 million. Bilfinger Berger BOT, a subsidiary of the German firm is one of the lead companies in this project. Bilfinger reports:

The interim appointment of Herbert Bodner as Chairman of the Executive Board until May 31, 2015 makes a remuneration arrangement that is geared toward long-term business success appear inexpedient. Mr. Bodner will instead receive a fixed monthly payment of €225 thousand

Potentially added to this is an additional 20 per cent as a bonus. On a Canadian dollar basis this comes to a potential payday of nearly $4 million.

There is no doubt that pay for the people who direct public services is of interest to the public and a valid case for debate. But isn’t it interesting that the debate never seems to happen when we talk about the executives of private corporations who get paid ten times as much to deliver public services?