Rail bosses on six-figure deals for short week
Scotland’s taxpayer-funded rail executives are taking home six-figure salaries for working as few as three days a week, as well as receiving expenses to travel by car, it has emerged.
Salary figures published for the first time under public sector transparency rules reveal that Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, is earning more than £330,000 a year – twice as much as the prime minister.
Mr Hynes’ salary is paid by the UK government as he is directly employed by Network Rail, the UK infrastructure body. He reportedly earned £225,000 when he was managing director of ScotRail under Abellio, the last operator which is owned by the Dutch government.
The salaries of ScotRail and its new publicly owned parent company Scottish Rail Holdings are paid by Scottish ministers.
Chris Gibb, chief executive of Scottish Rail Holdings, earns £120,000 and David Lowrie, finance director, is paid £108,000. Both are contracted to work three days a week.
Joanne Maguire, ScotRail’s chief operating officer, earns more than £180,000. The former vice-principal at the University of West of Scotland had no previous experience in the rail industry before securing the role.
James Griffin, interim finance director, is paid more than £170,000 and David Lister, safety, sustainability and asset director, earns more than £150,000. David Simpson, service delivery director, earns over £135,000 and Lesley Kane, commercial director, is paid over £130,000.
Mr Lister, Simpson and Ms Kane also receive a £7,500 car allowance. ScotRail would not explain why executives at a train operator need company funded cars.
Marie-Therese Weighton, interim HR director, and David Ross, interim communications director, earn more than £115,000.
Aslef, the union representing drivers, has recommended that its members accept a 5% pay deal after negotiations with management, but the ballot’s results have yet to be declared.
Mick Hogg, regional organiser for Scotland at the RMT transport union, branded the executive pay “obscene” after ScotRail and Network Rail offered his members below inflation pay offers in recent weeks.
“A lot of our members are annoyed by the size of these pay packets and feel they far outweigh what they bring to the table and what they have offered our members,” Hogg said.
“In my opinion, they deliberately postponed publishing these figures as part of a ploy over negotiations. Our members have been portrayed as greedy rail workers looking for a fast buck but it is as clear as day as to who the greedy are and it’s the executive teams running Scotland’s rail network.”
A spokesman for Transport Scotland, said: “This transparency is welcome and will be a key feature of how ScotRail will be run as a publicly owned and controlled operator. Ministers have been assured that these salaries are commensurate with market rates for senior leaders at organisations on this size and scale.
“We would expect everyone working in Scotland’s Railway to be paid at least the Scottish Living Wage and have made clear the Scottish government’s expectations that fair work is embedded in ScotRail’s culture and working practices.”