ScotRail reveals six-figure salaries for senior executives

ScotRail, a newly nationalized railroad, has published its first salary list.

ScotRail reveals six-figure salaries for senior executives

ScotRail, a newly nationalized railroad, has published its first salary list.

To bring it in line with other public non-departmental bodies, the operator must disclose the pay of its leadership.

Although politicians had called previously for full disclosure, it took ScotRail three more months to publish the information.

Transport Scotland stated that the salaries were "commensurate to market rates".

RMT Union stated that it believed the operator intentionally delayed publishing senior staff's salaries while negotiations were ongoing over industrial action.

ScotRail stated that its pay reflects the need to attract and keep people with the necessary skills to run the operation.

BBC Scotland has revealed that Joanne Maguire, chief operating officer of ScotRail, earns between PS175,000 to PS180,000.

Ms Maguire was previously vice principal at University of West of Scotland, but the RMT union criticized her lack of experience in rail industry when she assumed her new role last December.

James Griffin, interim finance director, is paid between PS170,000 to PS175,000, while David Lister, safety, sustainability, and asset director, is paid between PS150,000 and PS155,000.

As part of his car allowance, Mr Lister also receives PS7.500.

Operator also confirmed that David Simpson, the service delivery director, earns between PS135,000 to PS140,000 while Lesley Kane, the commercial director is paid between PS130,000 to PS135,000. Both receive the additional car payment.

Marie-Therese Weighton, interim HR director, and David Ross, interim communications director are paid between PS115,000-PS120,000.

After ScotRail was made public, the Scottish government created a separate organization called Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH).

It also published the salaries for its executives.

SRH employs two senior executives, Chris Gibb, chief executive officer, and David Lowrie as finance director.

Both Mr Gibb (who is paid PS120,000) and Mr Lowrie (who earns PS108,000) are part-time workers and contracted to work three days per week.

Alex Hynes is Scotland's Railway's managing director, and is therefore the highest-paid executive in Scotland.

It is composed of approximately 150 rail groups that are charged with improving Scotland's railway network.

As a joint managing director for ScotRail Scotland and Network Rail Scotland, Mr Hynes can earn up to PS335,000 which is paid by Network Rail.

According to reports, Mr Hynes was paid PS255,000 per year when he was first appointed to ScotRail's 2017 leadership.

After a turbulent period in Scotland's railway history, the figures were published.

Services have been disrupted by action of the RMT and Aslef unions regarding pay and conditions.

ScotRail implemented a temporary schedule in May to cut 700 daily services, after drivers refused work on rest days.

After agreeing to a 5% pay rise for their members and a five-year freeze on compulsory redundancies, both the RMT as Aslef have now agreed not to engage in industrial action.

Last month, ScotRail had to cancel 90% of its trains due to three days of strike action by RMT union members in a dispute with Network Rail.

Mick Hogg, RMT's Scottish regional organiser, dismissed details about the highest-earning employees as "obscene" after they were published.

He stated that many of his members were annoyed at the size of the pay packets. They feel that they outweigh the value they bring to the table as well as the benefits they offer our members.

"I believe they deliberately delayed publishing these figures in order to sabotage negotiations.

"Our members were portrayed as greedy rail workers seeking a quick buck.

"But it is as clear as day who the greedy people are, and that's the executive team running Scotland's railway network."

As part of a transparency drive, all non-departmental public Scottish bodies (NDPBs), and public corporations have to disclose the pay of senior leaders since 2010.

Chris Gibb, SRH chief Executive and ScotRail Chairman, stated: "The ScotRail senior team and Scottish Rail Holdings do a great job leading our 5,100 strong team as we recover after the pandemic.

To attract and retain the best talent for this job, pay must be fair.

"We recognize that as part of public sector, we have to ensure that the pay is fair for taxpayers.

"We will continue working with the government to make sure this happens."

Transport Scotland stated that the publication of salaries was done following the operator's transition into public ownership.

A spokesperson said that transparency was welcome and would be a key feature in how ScotRail will operate as a publicly-owned, controlled operator.

"Ministers were assured that these salaries were comparable to market rates for senior executives at organizations of this size and scope.

"We expect all employees of Scotland's Railways to be paid at minimum the Scottish Living Wage. We have also made it clear that the expectations of the Scottish government are that ScotRail's culture is fair and practices are fair."

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