Bonus pay reform excludes TransLink, Ferries officials

New provincial rules aim to rein in executive payments.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn became B.C.'s poster boy for executive bonus reform in 2009 when his total pay topped $1 million.

A provincial reform limiting bonus payments for Crown corporation executives won’t apply at TransLink or BC Ferries.

The move replaces the current bonus systems at Crown agencies with a hold back of up to 20 per cent of executives’ pay, which is released if targets are met.

The province also announced a pay freeze for current Crown executives and said said new senior executives will be hired at salaries 10 per cent lower than their predecessors.

Incentive pay – publicly unpopular but considered an effective tool in encouraging performance – became a flashpoint in 2009 when it was revealed former Ferries CEO David Hahn’s bonuses and benefits doubled his pay to more than $1 million.

Bonuses to TransLink executives were paid out earlier this year but are under a board-ordered review for future years and are also being examined as part of a provincial audit of the transportation authority.

Neither agencies are technically Crown corporations and are therefore exempt from the provincial rules.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation spokesman Jordan Bateman called it a “poke in the eye” for taxpayers that TransLink and BC Ferries are untouched.

“Those are the organizations most of us are most concerned with,” he said. “You think of David Hahn – the million-dollar man. You think of TransLink giving themselves bonuses the same week they’re raising gas taxes.”

Bateman said the two bodies should have a “moral obligation” to voluntarily mirror the new rules.

As for other Crowns corporations, Bateman said much depends on whether the actual criteria set for holdback bonuses are easy or difficult to meet.

“It’s a positive step forward, but maybe a half step,” he said, noting 99 per cent of BC Hydro employees were able to meet their past targets for incentive pay.

“The idea that every person in the public service should always get a bonus for hitting targets was ridiculous.”

The new policy also says executives should earn no more than 85 per cent of the CEO’s salary.

The province also intends to phase out incentive pay for other non-executive staff, although it admits it can’t do so in cases where such payments have been negotiated into union contracts, as is the case at ICBC.

Travel will be reimbursed using the same policy as government executives and vehicle allowances where required for business will be the only perk allowed, with any others being phased out.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said the changes will reduce payouts, cut costs and set an increased tone of restraint.

The holdbacks are similar to the bonus system for cabinet ministers and deputy ministers.

The government review of Crown corporation executive pay and bonuses was announced earlier this year.

Total executive compensation in B.C. fell 5.4 per cent in 2011.

That reflected a paring of senior management ranks, as average compensation per executive was unchanged.

TransLink paid 22 executives $325,000 in incentive pay last year – its CEO can earn up to 20 per cent extra and 15 per cent for other executives.

A previous finance ministry review of TransLink in 2009 recommended keeping the bonus system but giving the Mayors Council final approval of payouts – a change the province never adopted.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: Gun enthusiasts fill Chilliwack venue for antique show

Collectors, proud owners and vendors took part in the event that approaches half a century in age

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read