09/02/2014 04:07 EDT | Updated 11/04/2014 05:59 EST

TransLink Bonuses, Executive Salaries Draw Criticism

Concerns are being raised once again about the amount TransLink executives are getting paid, following the the release of documents showing many got significant hikes last year.

Ian Jarvis, CEO of TransLink, received $83,700 in bonuses in 2013, making his total compensation for the year $468,015, a rise of almost seven per cent over 2012, according to salary disclosure documents released by the transit organization late Friday.

And Jarvis was not the only TransLink executive to find more in their pay cheques in 2013, with the head of SkyTrain, Fred Cummings, and bus company president, Hadyn Acheson, along with four other department heads, all making significantly more in compensation for the year.

Jordan Bateman, director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation B.C., told CBC News it was significant that the disclosure—usually made public in June or July—was released just before the holiday weekend on a day dominated by news of the B.C. teachers' strike.

He noted that Jarvis, "who already is paid far more than the CEO's of transit in Toronto, Montreal, Portland or Seattle," received a bonus "bang on the household income in Vancouver", and called for an apology explaining to taxpayers the reasons for the hike.

"More TransLink employees than ever before made six figures," Bateman said. "In 2012, 393 TransLink employees made six figures. Last year, in 2013, that jumped to 434."

Cuts on the way

In an emailed statement, TransLink said that changes to the way executives are compensated—including the removal of an incentive scheme—mean that they face a reduction in take home pay in 2014.

"Salary freezes on January 1, 2013 and the cancellation of an annual incentive program at the end of 2012 means that the CEO’s direct reports and the two subsidiary president/general managers will see cuts to their income in the 2014 fiscal year. These decreases range from approximately $20,000 to $40,000 per individual," the emailed statement said.

The news comes after a summer that saw commuter chaos after two consecutive system shutdowns.

In 2012, Premier Christy Clark criticized the lucrative bonus scheme at the company, saying that she thought it was inappropriate as residents struggled to deal with property tax rises.



Photo gallery SkyTrain Shutdown, July 21, 2014 See Gallery