TransLink Digs An Even bigger Hole For Itself

One has to laugh and cry at the same time. Right on the heels of the discovery that when the Compass Card regime comes into being not allowing bus transfers on the SkyTrain and Canada Line light-metro systems, TransLink’s top bureaucrats are getting pay hikes. This, at the time when TransLink is crying poverty and demanding new taxes to pay for more extravagances.

TransLink salaries growing, despite cash-strapped systemCanadian Taxpayers Federation outraged

Anita Bathe August 15, 2013

BURNABY (NEWS1130) ai??i?? The number of people making six figures at TransLink has gone up, despite the fact that the corporation is strapped for cash.

According to its 2012 salary disclosure report, the four top executives at TransLink were all given raises last year.

Here are the numbers from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation:

CEO Ian Jarvis went from $382,954 in 2011 to $394,730 in 2012. Add in pension contributions and benefits, and that totaled $438,700.

COO Doug Kelsey went from $329,936 to $336,729. With pension and benefits, that totalled $377,054

CFO Cathy McLay went from $285,481 to $294,877. With pension and benefits, that totalled $330,753.

Executive VP Bob Paddon went from $244,699 to $273,889. With pension and benefits, that totalled $307,857.

The number of staff members making $100,000 or more went up by 14.6 per cent.

ai???These executives should be leading by example,ai??? says Jordan Bateman with the CTF. ai???Instead of looking for efficiencies from bus drivers and squeezing down breaks and making schedules very difficult to maintain, they should be starting by cutting their own pay. Thatai??i??s a lot of money to be spending whenAi?? youai??i??re crying cash poor like TransLink

Bateman says TransLink claims it canai??i??t operate on $1.3-billion a year in taxes, fares and tolls, and heai??i??s outraged.

He argues the total bill for staff making less than $75,000 a year stayed consistent at $15.4 million last year, but the cost for staff making more than $75,000 jumped 18 per cent, from $33.5 million to $39.5 million.

Right now, Metro Vancouver mayors and the province are at a stand-still in trying to find a way to come up with funding to pay for the system moving forward.

A referendum is being held on the issue sometime next year.

Despite the the smoothing talking TransLink executives on the radio, trying to flim-flam their way out of the growing fare card/wage debacle, the public is now showing signs that it has had enough. What is sad, is that the likes of Paddon, Kelsey, and Jarvis just can’t even comprehend the degree of public disdain there is for TransLink and its bureaucrats and even if the Premier doesn’t want to do it, it maybe politically expedient for her to “clean house”, lest another GST public revolt is in the offing.

It was a mistake to put career bureaucrats, mostly accountants, in charge of TransLink, instead of bona fide transit experts and when TransLink did snare a real transit expert, Tom Prendergast’s in 2009, he soon fled back to the USA when he saw how dysfunctional TransLink was!

The Premier must act fast to rectify the situation, as TransLink is now a complete laughing stock and when the public start laughing at crown corporations, they start laughing at the politicians who run them. And when the public start laughing out loud at politicians, their time in power shrinks considerably.

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