Masters, mutual, insurance and credits: the salaries in kind of the TMB dome

Posted by Thomas Clay

The top management of Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona charged an average of 10,000 euros per year in social benefits. Overall, the public railway company spent between 2007 and 2016 more than two million euros in granting social benefits to managers. Among the fixed payments, the objectives and “Social Benefits” charged an average of 133,700 euros.

This is exclusive information that adds new details about the salaries of executives and complements the one published this Sunday by La Vanguardia in which it was revealed that TMB’s top management sheltered three ‘two hundred thousand’ executives during the crisis.

The more than 20 management positions have a salary composed of a fixed amount, which represents 85% of the total; the bonuses for the achievement of objectives – personal, department and strategic company -, 7%; and the social benefits, which reach 8% of the compensation. The education of children in public and private centers from nursery to post-graduate studies, life and accident insurance, own training, credit with the company, and mutual health are some of the benefits that managers can choose to reach an assigned maximum that ranges between 5,000 and 14,000 euros, according to the contract of each position.

This benefit plan has been in operation since 1992 and forms part of the compensation of personnel outside the agreement. It is also willing to pay social expenses not covered by the administration, such as the payment of orthodontics, prosthetics, psychological therapies, occupational workshops and special education schools, among others. Each worker chooses, according to his personal and family situation, those options that suit him best.

This salary in kind, in addition, has an ‘anti-loss ‘ system. In case the money ‘bag’ does not run out or you do not want to spend, the remaining amount is accumulated until it is reinstated at once to the worker, similar to a capitalization plan. This occurs when the worker leaves the company in retirement, whether to retire, leave voluntarily or even be fired.

Training, credits, and mutual health

Therefore it is impossible to know, for example, in which centers both managers and their children were trained. La Vanguardia has been able to find out, however, is that the training costs stipulated in this social benefits plan include any type of regulated education delivered in public and private centers -universities and official academies- in form, face-to-face, distance or mixed. The only essential requirement is that the worker obtains a degree of academic validity or professional specialization that can revert to a better performance of their duties in the workplace within TMB. Also included are language courses, including those that do not involve obtaining an academic degree.

Likewise, it is also not possible to know the interest rate and the specific conditions that apply to the credits granted by the public company to its workers, both those under the agreement and those outside. It is not an agreement with any entity bank but of a loan made by TMB with its own funds under preferential conditions, which it has not detailed. It begins to amortize the same month of its concession, through the payroll. For managers, the differential between the interest rate of TMB and that which would be obtained in the free market is computed at the end of the year as part of the ‘social benefits’.

It is also a mystery who have chosen to take advantage of the private health mutual offered by TMB. A mutual health company linked to the German company DKV, according to the CUP in February the amount that the leadership received for social benefits and their conditions was unknown. La Vanguardia has had access to the data thanks to a request for public information processed through the Transparency Law. A year later and after an authentic bureaucratic gymkhana, TMB has delivered much of the requested information.

Despite the fact that offering them after the deadline and without the required breakdown, they have allowed the real wages and the variety of ‘social benefits’ in kind that the twenty or so members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Commission throughout the crisis and that still today. Of the four new signings and two promotions made so far in the mandate, only two executives – CEO Enric CaƱas and Marketing Executive Director Joaquim Balsera – have stopped receiving this type of deferred compensation. From a third party, the deputy to CEO Pau Noy, TMB has not offered a breakdown of his annual salary.