Thursday, February 26, 2015

Translink Referendum Shuffle Daemonizing...Who Said Irony Is Dead.




You know...

And if you are actually looking for Norm Farrell's most excellent post that Jason Kenney II was attempting to point his Twittmachine followers towards, you can find it....Here.
And as for JK II's previous efforts to turf up massive a massive public expenditures on privatized transportation infrastructure that is expressly designed to keep as many people off our buses as possible....Well, stay tuned for that...



spartikus said...

Unfortunately, to this observer, Norm's piece on CEO pay is problematic.

1. His sample size is 3 or 4 other CEOs at best. To be useful, it should be sector wide. It should probably include the private sector too. It's been criticized elsewhere for not including other CEOs from the same metro area. For example Greater Toronto has 9 CEOs & associated boards whereas Greater Vancouver is served by one.

2. The examples he does use are cherry-picked in that he picks only those that are [seemingly] paid lower while ignoring those that are paid equivalent. See Utah Transit, as an example.

3. He does not provide the full picture from his examples. For example, he cites NY's CEO pay as lower, thus favourable. But he fails to mention other pertinent information from NY's system, well, like this:

One out of every seven employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) made
more than $100,000 in 2013

That's 10,482 individuals.

*Interesting factoid - MTA's chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast was CEO of Translink and bailed for NY. Kinda makes you wonder why he would bail if Translink's pay was so extravagant.

4. There's no mention of performance of these lower paid CEOs or systems. Again, here's NY encountering funding problems on a scale that dwarves Translink:

5. There is no comparison to similar sized organizations in the private sector.

Finally, the matter of CEO pay is ultimately a red herring. Even if they all worked for free, the money saved would not fund even a fraction of the needed growth in service to match our growing needs.

The growth of CEO pay in the public & private sectors over the last few decades is a serious issue, but it's not one that is unique to Translink or the BC govt. It's society-wide. Voting no on this is sending a message on the backs of transit users to a Premier who could care less.

The plebiscite is the wrong vote to address such issues.

motorcycleguy said...

"Even if they all worked for free, the money saved would not fund even a fraction of the needed growth in service to match our growing needs".

In my mind, the point is so much that their wages are a significant portion of the overall picture....but that at that level of pay we should have no problems whatsoever...this is indicative of the lack of value per (our) dollars for not only bureaucrats, but the systems they are purchasing. I would like to know if Prendergast bailed because he was told to purchase services and equipment from SNC Lavalin, Bombardier and whoever developed the Compass Card....instead of from companies and/or systems that offered more value ...pure speculation of course. The CEO's are there to save many times their wages by way of expertise and competence. Maybe he thought he was being cut off at the knees? As for a lot of employees making more than 100K.....for sure....who else is smart enough to diagnose and repair the complex system that SkyTrain is?

Lew said...


Here is a quote from an article today in The Tyee that might answer your question about Prendergast:

{North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton, the former chair of the Metro Vancouver Mayors' Transit Committee, traces TransLink's management problems back to the hiring of Tom Prendergast as CEO in 2008. He arrived with strong credentials and strong views about light rail, but lasted less than a year and a half.
Supposedly, Prendergast left because his previous employer, the New York City transit system, wanted him back to run the whole thing. But Walton says he was told Prendergast had been frustrated by provincial government meddling: Whatever he and his management team decided, it could be tossed out by a phone call from Victoria.
"That's a fair assessment," Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan told The Tyee, adding that most officials who were around back then would agree. "The provincial government still sees transit as a political football," he said -- a metaphor West Vancouver Mayor Smith also uses in his "vote no" statement.
Meanwhile, Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs told The Tyee that Prendergast and the TransLink board of the time both got into serious trouble with Victoria officials by advancing a transit plan that did not include the Evergreen Line to Coquitlam as SkyTrain.
"Prendergast and others had questioned the need for Skytrain, given low anticipated ridership," Meggs said. "Victoria wanted a SkyTrain extension. Exit Prendergast."}

It seems that Prendergast came from New York, and returned to his former employer there either because of the rat’s nest he encountered here, or because he wore out his welcome.

The link you provide about his current problems is very interesting given the parallels and makes one think of frying pans and fires.

Despite your view that CEO salary is a red herring, did you find in your research any CEO of a transit system anywhere that is paid more than Translink pays?

I agree with the first six words of your final sentence.