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Network Rail Bosses Display "Contempt" For Bereaved Families Over Bonuses

27 May 2014

Network Rail bosses were accused today of "breathtaking contempt" towards bereaved families of the victims of level crossing fatalities by awarding themselves 12.5% annual bonus payments.

The £50,000 bonuses will be on top of a 40% long term bonus to be agreed next month giving bosses a combined bonus of 52.5% for last year, worth over £200,000 each to five executives at the taxpayer funded firm.


It comes two months after the Commons Transport Select Committee called for zero bonuses to be paid this year because of the company's "callous disregard" towards the families whose loved ones have died on unsafe level crossings over the past nine years. Last week, the Government endorsed that view, calling the executives behaviour "appalling".


"The decision to award an annual bonus for the past year simply beggars belief," said Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union which led the campaign to establish the Commons enquiry into level crossing deaths.


"It displays breathtaking contempt, not only towards Ministers and an influential Commons committee that held NR to account, but, more importantly, towards the families of all those who have lost their loved ones through NR's negligence down the years.


"Louise Ellman rightly focused on the inhumanity shown by NR towards those families. That inhumanity is once again on display. Already handsomely rewarded, with pay packages between £500,000 and £700,000, these executives are now putting cash ahead of real contrition for their past behaviour."


He also added:"These unjustified bonuses were agreed on Wednesday at a public members meeting in London and cynically delayed until today so NR could "bury the bad news" with the UKIP victory in the local elections. The cynicism of their PR is almost beyond belief."


The executives who will benefit from the bonus payouts are David Higgins, former chief exec, Patrick Butcher, finance, Robin Gisby, operations, Simon Kirby, infrastructure, and Paul Plummer, strategy. Last month Butcher, Kirby and Gisby were all given £300,000 "golden handcuff" retention bonuses.

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