Hard Work by ICBC Union Members Contribute to a Successful Crown Corp for BC

April 13, 2011

This news release was sent to media outlets today, including CKNW. 

Burnaby, BC – The union representing workers at ICBC is defending the performance-based bonuses paid to their members. The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (MoveUP) explained the compensation was brought in by the Corporation over a decade ago, and is earned only when ICBC hits its corporate targets. However, the individual compensation paid union members is a pittance in comparison to ICBC’s executive payouts.

“ICBC and its employees have done a great job in making sure that the insurance corporation maintains a healthy level of profit while they continue to provide a high level of service to British Columbians,” said David Black, Vice President of MoveUP.
Performance targets were chosen as one method to achieve the best possible service and price for ICBC customers. Performance based compensation is a common occurrence in private sector companies.
“It’s a Catch-22,” Black remarked. “Some people want us to be paid based on performance, but then when we consistently meet the corporate performance targets and are paid accordingly, those people are the first to complain. But what is going unscrutinized are the massive, hyperbolic payouts to ICBC executives.” 
ICBC executive bonuses are well above and beyond the percentage that unionized members at ICBC make.  In 2009 President and CEO Jon Schubert received a $115,500 bonus – over one third of his yearly salary. That year, ICBC’s five top ranking executives made over $500,000 in bonuses. This number does not include the managerial payments.
Black pointed out not only are the individual bonuses paid to unionized workers small compared to the executive board, but even collectively that money is a drop in the bucket when compared to the $500 million dollars the BC Government took from ICBC.
Massive profits to the public insurer should mean lower premiums, better benefits, and decent pay for the ICBC’s employees. MoveUP called on the government to stop taxing BC drivers by stealth, and to return ICBC’s profits to BC drivers in the form of reduced premiums and increased benefits.
MoveUP members at ICBC are still being told that they are covered by the government wage freeze, despite helping ICBC to some of its most successful financial years ever.
“It’s easy to make targets of the workers who make ICBC such a success for the people of BC,” said Black, “but the reality is that ICBC’s success is dependent on the people who do the work every day.”