Latest Rail News

04.07.12

Network Rail bonus plans attacked by Labour

The Labour Party and the TSSA union have condemned new bonus and incentive schemes being considered for senior Network Rail executives.

A letter from Network Rail’s remuneration committee suggests a new long-term incentive scheme that could see bosses sharing £1.7m in 2014 alongside annual bonuses, as well as ‘golden handcuff’ payments of £300,000 to try to keep executives in place, according to the Guardian.  

The new scheme would raise base salary, introduce these ‘performance-related retention payments’, and is designed as a “proactive bulwark against approaches from a still very active international market” the letter says.  

Network Rail says no decisions have been taken but that it believes in performance-rated pay: not rewards for failure.

Maria Eagle MP, shadow transport secretary, told the Guardian: “Passengers facing annual fare rises of up to 11% will be staggered that our rail industry could be so out of touch and doesn't recognise how times have changed. Additional payments on top of salaries should be for exceptional performance, not the rule, and the bonus culture that has existed for too long in too many companies must come to an end.

“It’s clear that the taxpayer funded Network Rail has learnt nothing from the public outcry the last time they attempted to get away with approving massive bonus payments to senior managers.

“For Network Rail’s remuneration committee to rename bonuses as retention payments and tell the AGM that bosses will quit if they don't get these payouts is a completely unacceptable way to put pressure on the body that exists to hold the company to account.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the transport workers union, the TSSA, said: “These people must be living on Planet Zog if they do not understand the public’s outrage over unjustified bonuses.”

The annual meeting is on July 19. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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