Salary and bonus cuts planned for next TransLink CEO

Image via Buchanan-Hermit/commonswiki
Image via Buchanan-Hermit/commonswiki

New salary chosen by Mayors’ Council and independent consultant

By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor

The next CEO of TransLink and successor to Ian Jarvis may have not been chosen yet, but the salary has.

A salary range between $325,092 and $406,364 for the next CEO has been approved by the Mayors’ Council and an independent consultant. The new salary, expected to fall in the centre of that range, was devised by analysing other CEO salaries across BC, such as the executive salaries of the BC Ferries, BC Hydro, and Port Metro Vancouver’s CEOs. In addition to the salary cut, bonuses and vehicle allowances have been eliminated.

These cuts will affect not only the new CEO, but other TransLink executive employees, who will also not be receiving vehicle allowances.

The TransLink board cited that these cuts are being made as an effort to regain public trust, as public distrust was made clear with the overwhelming defeat of the transit plebiscite earlier this year.

“We believe that by eliminating bonuses and car allowances, and cutting the number of senior positons at TransLink, we have addressed those concerns,” said Barry Forbes, a board member of TransLink, in a statement reported by CTV.

The salary cuts will save TransLink over $100,000 in CEO pay alone. Former TransLink CEO Jarvis received a $435,015 salary in 2014, including $97,671 in bonuses and $18,100 in vehicle allowances. Some cuts were made in the last two years and over the interim CEO spans of Doug Allen and Cathy McLay, which has allowed TransLink to save $2 million.

Negotiations over the new CEO salary did not go entirely smoothly. Wayne Baldwin, the mayor of White Rock, argued to the Surrey Leader that the adjusted salary is still too high, and should instead be capped at $365,000.

Baldwin said to the Surrey Leader: “I thought some of the comparators they used were too rich and not appropriate.”

However, Baldwin explained that it had taken some time to get to the number that the Mayors’ Council did, with the consultant originally suggesting a higher salary.

The new salary gained the approval of BC Community Minister Peter Fassbender, who called it “a reasonable salary range,” via the Surrey Leader.

Since a new salary has been generally agreed upon, it’s expected that Fassbender will soon suggest continuing the search for the next CEO. The hiring process was paused during the summer, after Fassbender suggested a review of the salary prior to the hiring.