SNCB chief is not opposed to salary cap

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The CEO of SNCB Holding, Jannie Haek is not opposed to the idea of a substantial reduction in his pay packet to 290,000 euros, according to Heet Laatste Nieuws. The newspaper’s story is based on an email Mr. Haek sent a year ago to the Minister for Public Enterprise at the time, Paul Magnette (PS), and he says he still stands by it today.

Haek says: “It is time to end the debate on wages (for the bosses of public companies) so that we can take care once more of what really matters: the work and content of the job to be done.”

Haek is one of the candidates on the shortlist for the top job at SNCB. Last week, the head of bpost, Johnny Thijs said he is willing to discuss a pay cut but not at 290,000 euros. The Minister of Public Enterprises Jean-Pascal Labille (PS) is determined to set this amount – equivalent to the salary of the Prime Minister – as a salary cap for executives of public companies. He is quoted as saying: “290,000 euros and not a centime more.” He added that the government is considering capping the salaries of top managers in public organizations based on 20 times the average wage within the company.

“Politicians are demanding enormous sacrifices from to the public. An employee working for bpost has a take-home salary of 1,300-1,400 euros per month, in the wind and the rain, while top managers earn more than Di Rupo (Prime Minister). “