The prices of rail tickets continue to rise. For some working Brits who rely on the rail network to get back and forth between work every day, this increase is really cutting into their hard-earned cash. However, just because the prices of tickets are going up does not mean that Network Rail is hurting for money. In fact, the directors at Network Rail have each received a big £50,000 annual bonus.
This huge annual bonus comes after the rail operator said that it would scrap all future bonuses like this. It also comes just after the government called for Network Rail to give out zero bonuses as a result of growing rail concerns. Despite all of these factors, the directors still lined their pockets with Brits’ hard-earned cash.
Network Rail said that this award was only 12.5 percent of the salary that the directors make and just a quarter of the maximum that they could have possibly received. Network Rail said that the bonus went out to just five directors; two of these directors left the company to work on the HS2 train project.
Of course, Network Rail did not stop there in trying to defend itself. It said that the bonuses accurately reflect the mixed results that the company has been seeing. This is why the directors only received a quarter of the bonus that they are able to receive. That being said, Network Rail still wanted the bonus to recognize the well-managed recovery that was seen during the extreme winter weather. This is something that would not have been possible if it was not for the directors that Network Rail has on staff.
Despite Network Rail’s reasoning, unions are already accusing the rail operator’s bosses of having no morals after they gave themselves bonuses in front of the families who have lost loved ones at level-crossings during the past year. At least four out of the five directors who received the bonuses are still in line for getting a long-term bonus later on this year. This is a bonus that will dwarf the size of this recent bonus.
The leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, Manuel Cortes, said that this new bonus shows that Network Rail has no morals. It makes its own rules and gives directors more money while the families who have lost loved ones suffer.
The five directors who find themselves in the hot seat right now are David Higgins, Patrick Butcher, Simon Kirby, Robin Gisby and Paul Plummer. Right now, Plummer is the strategy director for the new HS2 railway. Kirby is an ex-managing director for Network Rail and is now the chief executive of the HS2 railway.