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Network Rail should adopt 'John Lewis' equal bonus system

30 April 2013

NR should scrap its six figure bonuses for top bosses and bring in John Lewis style equal bonuses for all staff instead, a senior rail industry figure said today.

The call by Lord Tony Berkeley, a senior public member at the taxpayer funded firm, was backed by the TSSA rail union.

"I think it is time to take a leaf out of of the John Lewis model and pay all staff, from top to bottom, the same percentage bonus," said Lord Berekeley, writing in the latest issue of Railway magazine.

NR bosses have annual bonuses of between 30 and 60 per cent of salary plus a long term bonus system which can mean an additional 100 per cent on top of that over three years.

In the past year, bonuses of £1.5 million have been paid on top of salaries which range from £460,000 up to £598,000 for chief executive Sir David Higgins.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said: "Tony Berkeley is quite right that a taxpayer funded firm should not be paying out enormous bonuses at what is effectively a public sector monopoly firm.

"The present double bonus scheme means that well rewarded executives can double their huge salaries at the public expense during an age of austerity.

"They are playing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and passengers are picking up the bill with annual above inflation fare increases year in and year out."

The vast majority of staff at NR earn an annual bonus of between £500 and £1500. Last year John Lewis awarded all staff an average 17% bonus.

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