NDP calls to axe ferry brass bonuses 0
The BC NDP is demanding changes to the Coastal Ferry Act to eliminate executive bonuses and require BC Ferries to freeze wages in co-ordination with other public sectors.
Liberal Transportation Minister Todd Stone expressed his disappointment last week when it was revealed top ferry brass received large increases to incentive bonuses, and in CEO Michael Corrigan's case a $27,000 raise.
Stone said in a statement Thursday he intended to speak with BC Ferries’ board of directors to “outline government’s expectations” for executives at Crown corporations.
“While BC Ferries isn’t a Crown corporation, they do receive provincial government funding and we would expect them to follow suit,” he said.
“We need to ensure taxpayers and ferry users are getting good value for their dollars.”
BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix, however, wants the provincial act amended to make Stone’s expectations law.
According to the party, Crown corporations don’t receive bonuses for achieving targets after restraints were legislated in 2012. Instead, salaries are held back and released if goals are met.
Additionally, Crown corporations were required to freeze their wages last year, but the ferry corporation was exempt because of its quasi-government status.
According to BC Ferries’ compensation documents, “long-term incentive plans” — which had three members of the executive team take home more than $400,000 each in 2012, in addition to six-digit salaries — were eliminated in 2012 by the board.
But the execs still received “annual incentive plans,” which totaled $325,140 for vice-presidents Robert Clarke, Glen Schwartz and CEO Corrigan for the fiscal year ending in March.
The ferry act currently requires executive compensation at BC Ferries to be “consistent” with remuneration in Canadian organizations of similar size, though that number can’t be greater than what provincial public sectors are paying.
The BC NDP wants an additional rule to say the corporation won’t be allowed to approve compensation that doesn’t “abide by rules Crown corporations were following on wage freezes and revoking bonuses.”