Rail chiefs to receive £300,000 bonuses

 

Rail bosses have approved almost £1 million of publicly-funded “golden carrot” payments as union members stood outside raging against the “great train robbery”.

Network Rail, the public company that manages rail infrastructure including stations and track, has approved "one-off, performance-related awards" of £300,000 each to three directors.

The payment is on top of their £360,000-plus salaries and was said to be awarded over fears they would be poached by other companies.

Network Rail members will also vote on millions of pounds-worth of future bonuses later this year, although the conditions and amounts have yet to be agreed.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) union stood outside the company's annual general meeting at Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel dressed as "fat controllers" and waving placards attacking the Network Rail "gravy train".

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has urged the company to make clear that "in the event of a catastrophic accident for which Network Rail was culpable, no bonuses would be paid".

Network Rail directors waived their bonuses for 2011/12 after they failed to meet performance targets, and the company has been warned it may be fined if targets are not met by 2013/14.

The firm's finance director Patrick Butcher, network operations managing director Robin Gisby and infrastructure projects managing director Simon Kirby received the additional £300,000 payments.

According to a Network Rail spokesman at the AGM: "These are retention bonuses. We know that all three of them have been approached by other companies to be poached, and we haven't got a bonus scheme in place.

"The board's and indeed the ORR's concern was that they could walk away right in the middle of us trying to deliver some rather big projects. So they said: if you stay here and deliver these things for us, we will give you these golden handcuffs.

"As long as they are still here in 2014 and their personal performance is at least as good, they will get the payment."

But the directors are still free to leave if they receive an offer that exceeds their salary and additional remuneration.

The arrangement would be better described as a "golden carrot" as it contains no contractual ties, according to the spokesman.

"To put this in context: if Network Rail was floated (on the stock market) it would be a FTSE100 company. The salaries of our executive directors would be in the bottom 25% of the FTSE250 average."

TSSA senior regional organiser Tom Kennedy attacked the directors' salaries and "the £18.5 million bonuses that Network Rail are proposing to pay to themselves over the next three years".

He said outside the Network Rail AGM: "Network Rail is publicly-funded. It gets £4 billion every year from the UK taxpayers, and the six senior directors of the company are all on salaries of between £330,000 and £500,000.

"They get a bonus each year of between 30% and 60% on top of their salaries, a long-term bonus that they get over three years and also golden handcuff arrangements.

"The UK taxpayer is funding astronomical salaries for people who are just doing their job."

If Network Rail did not pay "unnecessary and futile" bonuses, the money could be diverted to reduce fares or to improve rail infrastructure, he pointed out.

"The chair of the remuneration committee once said: we've got to be careful or we'll lose these people," said Mr Kennedy.

"But that is a specious argument. Network Rail has got about 38,000 employees, and if one of these directors stepped out of the way there would be any number of capable people willing to take their place at half the price."

At the AGM, Network Rail members voted 92.2% in favour of the retention payments.

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Geography Teacher urgently ...

SEN Teachers and Support Staff

£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...

SharePoint Engineer - Bishop's Stortford

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organ...

Planning Manager (Training, Learning and Development) - London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering