Anger at transport managers' pay

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The Independent Online

Unions reacted with anger today after new figures showed the number of managers at Transport for London earning more than £100,000 a year has risen by a third to 163 in Boris Johnson's first year as mayor.

The number of managers earning over £50,000 a year jumped from 1,954 to 4,204, with much of the increases caused by failed Tube maintenance giant Metronet and £16 billion cross-London project Crossrail transferring to TfL.

TfL stressed the pay of senior staff had been frozen for this year and bonuses reduced, but union officials were angered by the news, which emerged as talks were held to resolve a row over jobs and pay.

Gerry Doherty, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said: "The mayor is creating a rich ruling elite at TfL which is completely out of touch with millions of ordinary Londoners and how they live their lives.

"Last week we revealed he was paying consultants £2,700 a day and now we learn that 163 top managers are earning more than £100,000 a year, and yet he wants us to accept over 2,000 redundancies among rank and file staff."

TfL said most of the increase in the number of staff earning more than £50,000, excluding the former Metronet and Crossrail organisations, was due to last year's pay increase of 4.1%, the last year of a three-year deal agreed in 2006 with the previous mayor.

It was also the result of one-off awards made to a number of staff for their work on rescuing Metronet, which has saved London's fare and taxpayers £2.5 billion, TfL maintained.

The mayor said: "In these tough economic times, it is right to freeze the salaries of TfL's senior management and reduce bonus levels. It is also right that TfL has the calibre of people needed to deliver a huge work programme, including upgrading the Tube and building Crossrail, while at the same time improving day-to-day services for customers.

"As the collapse of Metronet demonstrated so vividly, any failure to do so would ultimately cost London's fare and taxpayers dearly.

"TfL must also demonstrate that it is delivering value for fare and taxpayers' money. Supported by a much more professional TfL board, I will be relentless in ensuring that this is the case in the years ahead."

Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: "TfL has delivered improved services for our customers over the last year, but there is so much more to be done. With a budget this year alone of £9.2 billion, we have an enormous amount of work to do which must be delivered on time and at or below budget.

"We also continue to seek efficiencies across the organisation. It is vital we have an experienced and capable management team to deliver that."