Thursday, 28 May 2009

Why Boris Johnson should cut (his own) public pay

Lots of righteous anger from Boris Johnson about the RMT's latest end-of-the-barrel pay demands.

Speaking about the planned two-day strike he said:

"The RMT leadership has failed to engage in any meaningful talks on pay, instead submitting a wildly unrealistic claim"

Telling the BBC that they

"should get a grip."

And take a one per cent rise.

Now I happen to agree with Boris here. We're in a recession and the last thing we should be doing is be giving out 5% pay rises.

So how exactly does he explain the following pay increases?

Mayor of London in 2007-8

£137,579

Mayor of London in 2009

£143,911

That's a 5 per cent increase. Or indeed this one:

Chief Executive of the GLA in 2007-8 

£183,000

Chief Executive of the GLA in 2009 

£205,000 

That's a 12 per cent increase.

Now it is Conservative Party policy that 'public sector fat cats' should not earn more than £190k a year.

So when I asked Boris why he had personally signed-off Leo Boland's huge pay rise I was at least expecting a reply.

Here's what he told me:

"I won't talk about individual salaries"

Sounds like Bob Crow isn't the only one to shun those 'meaningful talks on pay.'


Bank note image by Beau Bo D'or

10 comments:

RW said...

Why's Boris taking a pay rise at all? It's not like hes short of money what with his Telegraph column and expense claims.
Bob Crows still a twat though.

AdamB said...

-Update- Via Boris Watch I see that Boris has used his favourite negotiation tool to call the RMT "simply monstrous".

Strong on rhetoric as ever then.

Tom said...

Notable that the new LU chap, Howard Collins, is using TfL press releases to attack the RMT in fairly harsh terms, very unlike Tim O'Toole. Obviously Brother Crow couldn't possibly want a high-profile clash with an elitest Tory over the summer, could he? The portents aren't good, though, without an impartial MD bringing the sides together the result could well be more strike action and no chance of a no-strike agreement.

[what's also noteworthy is that the strike is over redundancies caused by the Metronet takeover, which suggests a) PPP resulted in overmanning and b) the RMT, having complained about the wastefulness of PPP for years can't now complain that the wastefulness is being addressed partly through job losses, as it always would have been.]

Appealing of Ealing said...

Tom said...

"Notable that the new LU chap, Howard Collins, is using TfL press releases to attack the RMT in fairly harsh terms..."

The RMT have used RMT press releases to attack Howard Collins in fairly harsh terms.

"The portents aren't good, though, without an impartial MD..."

Who is the MD anyway? Didn't think it was Collins. Anyway, whoever -- why should he, or she, be impartial?

"bringing the sides together the result could well be more strike action and no chance of a no-strike agreement."

There never was any chance of a no-strike agreement. Not with Livingstone, or Johnson or anybody. Comrade Crow would never accept it.

"[what's also noteworthy is that the strike is over redundancies caused by the Metronet takeover, which suggests a) PPP resulted in overmanning and b) the RMT, having complained about the wastefulness of PPP for years can't now complain that the wastefulness is being addressed partly through job losses, as it always would have been.]"

Agreed.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

You should refer Boris to the well known legal case of Pot versus Kettle.

Anonymous said...

He would also have had a role, with ministers, in signing off the pay packet of the new legacy chief executive (£195,000 + 20% PRP).

AdamB said...

Yes it would appear so.

Anonymous said...

Richard Parry (whoever he is) is London Underground's current interim MD.

The media kept harking on about how Tim O’Toole was leaving LU to be with his family. Well – he obviously wasn't in that much in a rush as he is now on the board of FirstGroup as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

He still would've been with LU and he would've found a way to settle the dispute if Boris hadn't been continually sticking his oar in. The cheek of Boris asking O'Toole where all the money is when Boris is the one spending half the budget on Crossrail and his hippy cycling regime.

Helen said...

"hippy cycling regime" - hippy or not, the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising campaign must be costing an absolute fortune. There seem to be multiple posters at every Tube station and I've seen huge hoardings in several places, most recently on the approach road to Southall railway station.

Promoting cycling is fine in itself but without the infrastructure to allow people of all ages to cycle safely it's futile.

Tom said...

Re: O'Toole - my reading is that his new job allows him to be in the States a lot more than being the hands-on MD he was in London, so it's not that big an issue. I do suspect that his decision to move wasn't hindered by the advent of Boris and an evident desire to be tougher on the unions for PR reasons even where this is self-evidently counterproductive.

Lest we forget, the dispute isn't over yet.