UPDATED: Translink executives earn more, but agency can explain

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

With all attention on the education dispute, Translink released its salary disclosure documents for last year on Friday, just before the long weekend.

This is what Translink board of directors chair Marcella Szel said at the agency’s AGM last year: “We have eliminated the executive incentive program. It no longer exists. This year 2013 we froze executive salaries at 2012 levels.”

But Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says every single Translink executive saw their pay go up in 2013.

“I would like to see an apology from Translink on that. I would like to see real action from Translink on these salaries. We have a CFO who went from $330,000 a year to $383,000 a year. I mean, that raise is more than most people make in a whole year.”

Translink CEO Ian Jarvis led the way with his pay jumping to just over $422,000 last year including $83,000 in bonuses.

In response, Translink spokesperson Colleen Brennan says she hopes people look at the big picture, that employees are being fairly compensated.

Brennan says that money was owed to them from incentive programs cancelled at the end of 2012.

“It’s a little bit confusing, I know. We’re dealing with past issues, so zero bonuses earned in 2013. Now, in January 1st, 2014, there was absolutely zero increase, so they’re actually going to see a reduction in take home pay.”

Brennan says the salaries of most executives will be reduced by as much as $40,000, but Jarvis is still entitled to a bonus, which could see his total compensation of $468,000 climb.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says Translink is still not fully complying with the government’s freeze on bonuses and salaries for senior executives rolled out in 2012.

But he says because it’s an independent body, he can’t order Translink to obey those rules.

“Translink is not part of the public service or a Crown corporation, so, and the compensation is set by the board of directors at Translink, but nevertheless we can certainly all do our part to strongly encourage Translink to ensure that it’s making sound budgetary choices.”

Stone says he called chairpersonSzel recently to reinforce his message the agency needs to do more to rein in pay for the top brass.

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