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Rail Bosses In New Multi Million Pound Bonus Storm

3 July 2012

Network Rail bosses have agreed a new six figure annual bonus scheme which will see them paid up to 60% on top of their salaries, the TSSA rail union revealed today.

Less than six months after Transport Secretary Justine Greening stopped an even more generous scheme, the rail bosses provoked a new bonus row by urging its public members to back a new scheme plus bonus payments on top of that of £2.6 million.

In a letter leaked to the union, it is asking its public members to back:
1. A new annual bonus scheme which will see chief executive David Higgins and five other directors paid between an extra 30% to 60% on top of their current salaries which range between £360,000 and £560,000.
2. Golden handcuff payments of £300,000 each to three of those directors to stop them being poached by rival firms.*
3. A £1.7 million long term bonus to five directors in 2014 under a previous scheme which was scrapped after the Transport Secretary effectively torpedoed it at the taxpayer funded firm in February.**
"These people must be living on Planet Zog if they do not understand the public's outrage over unjustified bonuses," said TSSA leader Manuel Cortes after releasing the leaked letter setting out the new bonus payments.

"Where have they been for the past three years while the public and politicians have all repeatedly said they have clearly had enough of fat cat bonuses?

"NR is in all but name a public company receiving £4 billion a year in direct subsidy. Passengers want to see that money go in to producing a better and cheaper railway, not into the wallets of directors who are already handsomely rewarded as it is."

The new annual bonus scheme is being outlined today at a public members meeting in London. They were urged by bosses to votein favour of all the bonus payments at NR's AGM in Glasgow on July 19.

In his leaked letter, Steve Russell, remuneration committee chairman, warns members that to oppose his latest bonus plans "would be to invite losses" among the six full time executive directors.

Mr Cortes dismissed that argument as "specious and tendentious given the fact he is talking about taxpayers money.

"Whatever happened to the idea of public service in Britain?" he said. "David Higgins already earns four times more than the Prime Minister.

"I would have thought that was more than enough. These people just don't get it, do they?".


* The three directors to be paid "golden handcuffs" of £300,000 are Robin Gisby, operations director, Simon Kirby, infrastructure director and Patrick Butcher, finance director.
** They are among five directors to share the £1.7 million long term bonus payments which will see each receive, in 2014, on top of their annual salary and annual bonus:
Kirby, £330,000;
Butcher, £350,000;
Peter Henderson, asset management director, £440,000, and
Paul Plummer, strategy director, £310,000.


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