The good folk at FUG (Waiheke Ferry Users Group) have been keeping a watchful eye on Auckland Transport’s annual reports. I featured the last FUG review of AT salaries in my blog AT salaries over $200k rise by 69% in April. It showed rapidly escalating and over-the-top pay increases and increased staff numbers. The latest report from FUG shows more of the same.
Auckland Transport (AT) continues to have a great old time at ratepayers' expense. Their annual report is now out. Staff numbers went up by 8% in the last year alone -- 38% in the last three years. The wages and salaries bill went from $107m to $124m, an increase of 16%.
Not only is this outfit employing more and more people, it is also rewarding them better. The number of those on salaries of over $100,000 went up from 325 to 395 in the last year, an increase of 22%.
The Board appointed to oversee AT didn't do too badly either. We paid them $506,000 for their governance efforts. Chairman Lester Levy was rewarded with directors' fees of $106,600. Councillors Christine Fletcher and Mike Lee each got $53,300, on top of their Council salaries. The biggest winner, however, was a Dr Warburton, Chief Executive, who took home a cool base salary north of $660,000.
I am told, anecdotally, that private transport planning firms in Auckland cannot retain staff because of the attractive salaries offered by AT, and who can blame them. The CCOs are under fire because, under the governance structure of the supercity, there is virtually no accountability to ratepayers who pay the salaries of these fat cats. They can simply award themselves whatever salaries they like.
AT is building an empire in the central city at ratepayers’ expense, yet across the region roads are not being maintained and local transport projects get cancelled. It is not in the city centre that the population is growing yet virtually all funding is being channelled there to the detriment of the majority of Aucklanders. It has got to the point that AT stands accused of corruption by FUG.
Sadly for ratepayers we can only expect more of the same until we get a fiscally prudent Council that is prepared to attack the culture of waste and profligacy in the organisation. Meanwhile, as FUG says, the party goes on.