TransLink is again being accused of paying its managers too much after the release of financial disclosures showing higher pay for top executives and more staff receiving in excess of $100,000.
The documents show 141 TransLink employees collected six-figure salaries in 2012, up nearly 15 per cent from the previous year.
CEO Ian Jarvis collected $394,730 in combined salary and bonuses, up three per cent. Pension contributions and other benefits pushed his total compensation to $438,700. His base salary for January 2012 was listed at $310,000, which TransLink says has not changed since 2011.
Three other senior executives – chief operating officer Doug Kelsey, chief financial officer Cathy McLay and executive vice-president Bob Paddon – also earned over $300,000 in overall compensation.
Kelsey was second highest with a $280,000 base salary. Bonuses, benefits and pension contributions pushed his compensation total to $377,000 in 2012.
Canadian Taxpayers Federation B.C. director Jordan Bateman said TransLink should roll back executive and management salaries as a first step to cut costs and avoid tax hikes for service expansion.
“We say not another nickel for TransLink,” he said. “Their leadership has completely lost touch with the people they are supposed to be serving.
“This tone-deaf fiscal mismanagement will come back to haunt them in next year’s TransLink referendum.”
Eight TransLink executives were paid bonuses totalling $215,000 in 2012 related to 2011 performance. The incentive pay amounts ranged from a low of $9,300 to a high of $57,350 for Jarvis.
Nearly 60 of the employees earning over $100,000 are Transit Police officers, which Bateman calls “overpaid fare checkers” who don’t work on enough serious crimes to justify their expense.
TransLink spokesperson Jiana Ling said Transit Police are critical to keeping the transit system safe and have helped reduce crime.
“We’re doing our best to reduce cost and be more efficient while maintaining service delivery standards,” Ling said, adding TransLink’s executive compensation structure has been reviewed and approved by the province.
“While we are not a Crown corporation, we operate prudently within government guidelines.”
The transportation authority has been through multiple internal and external reviews in recent years in an ongoing search for savings.
In the course of that, TransLink has slashed its upper management ranks by liminating a dozen vice-presidents or other senior executives.
Auditors, mayors and successive transportation ministers have concluded other expenses offer more potential savings than pay reforms, and that no amount of internal savings will free up the billions of dollars TransLink needs to build new rapid transit lines.
TransLink’s total payroll cost last year was $54.8 million.