Montreal’s public transit corporation is defending its decision to give 10 per cent raises to some top executives in 2012.
Alan Brière, executive director of human resources with the Société de transport de Montréal, told CBC’s Daybreak that managers received an average raise of 5.6 per cent.
However, he confirmed that a few executives did see their salaries jump by more than 10 per cent.
The Montreal Gazette revealed Thursday morning that seven managers received more than 10 per cent increases after it obtained the data through an access-to-information filing.
The newspaper reported that salaries of the STM's 40 highest-paid employees could range between $120,000 and $300,000.
"2012 was a big year for the STM … We won 16 prizes … We renewed all labour agreements with unionized employees, almost all," said Brière.
Karl Moore, a professor at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management, said the raises may seem high, but they're at par with other provinces.
"Tens of thousands of people in Ontario government make over $100,000 a year. So when I look at that kind of information in Ontario, I think these are probably reasonable numbers," he said.
"Given, it's hard to judge from outside how well they've done -- we believe that the board of directors and CEO would have a much better sense than we would that they've done well. I'd probably be generally supportive of this," Moore continued.
The Montreal metro experienced more than 1,000 unplanned stopagges in 2012. At least half of those were caused by passengers.
He said raises reflect how well managers perform.
"We don't give salary raises for nothing," he said.
While 2011 and 2012 were good years for the STM, Brière admitted that 2013 has not been as successful.
"This winter was tough," he said.
Montrealers were hit by multiple city-wide metro shutdowns this spring. Several of the interruptions were blamed on computer problems.
Brière said this year's problems could mean managers will receive smaller salary increases, or possibly none at all.