TransLink bonuses boosted executive pay amid vows of salary freezes

All seven of TransLink’s senior executives enjoyed increases to their pay packages in 2013, despite a public pledge to freeze salaries.

All seven of TransLink’s senior executives enjoyed increases to their pay packages in 2013, despite a public pledge to freeze salaries.

The executive compensation table, on the last page of the 74-page Statement of Financial Information, shows CEO Ian Jarvis’s total compensation, including pension and benefits, for 2013 was $468,015. That was up from the $438,700 package in 2012. Jarvis’s base 2013 salary was $319,244.

CFO Cathy McLay saw the biggest jump of the seven top executives. Her pay packet last year was $383,905, up from $330,753. Doug Kelsey, moved from COO to general manager of SkyTrain and West Coast Express in August, saw only a marginal bump in his total pay from $377,054 in 2012 to $377,702 in 2013. His base salary was $298,924.

At TransLink’s annual general meeting in May, chair Marcela Szel said incentive programs were eliminated and salaries were frozen at 2012 levels. In a Sept. 2 news release, TransLink claimed take-home-pay would decrease in 2014 for those directly reporting to Jarvis and the presidents of the company’s two operating subsidiaries. Jarvis received a $40,300 bonus under an annual incentive program and a $43,400 first installment of a contractually mandated long-term bonus program.

“The CEO’s performance was assessed at the end of the three-year period, and per the contract, the three payments would be staggered over three years, starting in 2013,” said the TransLink statement.

TransLink and its subsidiaries paid $100,000 or more to 434 people in 2013, up from 393 in 2012. Fifty-six of the 154 Transit Police officers were paid $100,000 or more.

Meanwhile, the $61.591 million paid to Golden Crossing General Partnership was the largest paid for a private supplier of goods and services in 2013. The company is the Bilfinger Berger BOT Inc.-led operator of the Golden Ears Bridge. That was more than double the $27.6 million paid to Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., the lead contractor in the Compass card and faregates installation, which is a year late and has ballooned from $171.3 million to $194 million. Other major payments in 2013 were to Graham Construction and Engineering $13.68 million and Magil Construction Pacific $10.8 million.

The TransLink financial report was published Aug. 29, the Friday before the Labour Day weekend though it had been signed by Szel and Jarvis on June 30.

In June, TransLink’s Mayors’ Council unveiled a $7.5 billion, 30-year omnibus plan to improve transit infrastructure, including new rapid transit lines in Vancouver and Surrey.  Transport Minister Todd Stone immediately ruled out reallocating the carbon tax to TransLink. The date of a transit funding referendum promised by the BC Liberals during the 2013 election has not been announced. It was supposed to happen during this November’s civic elections, but municipalities and TransLink successfully lobbied for a delay.