Let them eat cake or: How I learned to love a good old fashioned shit sandwich

“On the compensation front, executive salaries are being frozen at 2008 levels for 2009-2010. Potential bonus payouts for executives in 2009-2010 will be reduced by 50 percent. This means that the compensation for each of our eighty or so top managers will on average be reduced by 10 to 20 percent next year. I thought that you should know that management cares, and cares enough about CBC/Radio-Canada that it needed to send a clear signal that we will do our part.”

CBC CEO, Hubert Lacroix

It’s the cluelessness of this statement that shocks.

At a time when as many as 1200 CBC staffers could lose their jobs, and face unemployment in a market already flooded with media refugees, this comment has a whiff of “Let them eat cake.”

I’m sure Lacroix is not a callous individual, but how could he possibly imagine this wouldn’t beg the question, “how’s about not taking any bonus, and being satisfied with your salary, like everybody else?” Especially in light of the raging AIG bonus scandal. Do these guys even read their own news service?

While this doesn’t come close to the banditry of that scam, it does come across as being disassociated from the fact that we’re entering a massive recession, and Canadians are already suspicious of the corp’s executives after the revelation of questionable spending last fall. Once again, CBC comes across as being out to a very expensive lunch.

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 7:21 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I love and believe in the CBC. But I am so ashamed of our managers.

    Hubert, I expected more from you.

    The appropriate bonus right now is no bonus. You shouldn’t need anyone to tell you that.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 6:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I agree Jerome – total cluelessness. This is like a big joke or something. I’m just waiting for someone to yell “gotcha”.

    “Potential bonus payouts for executives in 2009-2010 will be reduced by 50 percent. This means that the compensation for each of our eighty or so top managers will on average be reduced by 10 to 20 percent next year.”

    Hello?? Is there anybody in there??

    How about “NO” bonus payouts since people are losing their jobs.

    How about putting some dollar figures on the 10 to 20 percent reduction in salaries. How will they ever afford their lavish lifestyles.

    Shame!!!!

  3. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Bonus payouts?? I had no idea that a publicly-funded organization even had bonus payouts!! So, let me see if I have this correct – taxpayers’ money is used for bonus payouts for high level executives at the public broadcaster. Is it just me, or does this sound totally wrong?? Also, what do these high level executives do that warrants a bonus?? These clowns get expense accounts and a bonus – Geesh….is this a joke?? I understand those types of scenearios at private companies, but not at the public broadcaster. No wonder the public is not on the side of the CBC anymore….who can blame them. I think the public and the everyday workers at the CBC should join forces and go up against the mold that runs the place.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Bytowner, Shirley you jest? I can’t fathom the logic of your statement at all. And I’ve been cursed with having to put up with both of them over the years.

    Lesser of two evils…maybe, only maybe.

  5. Bytowner
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Replacing Stursberg with Mansbridge could work some useful wonders. Of course, we’d need a change of government first, wouldn’t we?

  6. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The problem is less the size of the packages, but how many of them are going out. There are more managers than reporters at the CBC.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Math looks good to me.

    Just think, for that Money we could actually hire people that really do care…It’s not like there is a dearth of Broadcast Managers on the market right now.

    It’s the

    ” I thought that you should know that management cares, and cares enough about CBC/Radio-Canada that it needed to send a clear signal that we will do our part.”

    That really burns me. The clear signal has indeed been sent, it’s just that it’s carrying the truth, not their spin on it.

  8. Jerome
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 12:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    How’s about CMG propose we invent the 3 day weekend? Or at least the 2.5 day weekend?

    In a heartbeat, I would work 4 hours less per week. That should represent a 10% cut in pay. I can live with that, and basically still do my job, AND I get to spend more time with my family. I’m sure most people could say the same thing.

    This would save our jobs, AND allow the corporation to keep its workforce.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 11:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I feel your anger.

    Clearly, we’re not being led by the appropriate individuals and we’re entering a critical stage in the history of the CBC. It hasn’t been this poor since the summer of 2005 and we all know what happened that year…

    So folks, here’s the challenge:

    Stop the name calling and come up with an equitable plan to save jobs and money for 2009/10.

    Use as much imagination as you can muster and don’t be afraid to look elsewhere for ideas you think are progressive and fair.

    Out of crisis comes invention.

    LeonT

  10. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 11:28 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yup…first things first. Let’s make sure we decide what we are going to do about management bonuses…
    Pathetic.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 11:20 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is what happens when you have someone like Stursberg making the decisions. What really scares me is that Hubert thinks he can rely on these guys to make the situation better. They are the same rocket scientists that are reponsible for all that has passed.
    I d not see a shred of vision,management skills,people skills,no new ideas,no forward thinking,…
    Come on Hubert,we need a much higher level of management than these guys are capable of!!
    Especially now….

  12. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 11:19 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Megan, that does indeed seem to be what he’s saying.

    Now, The Sun did an ATI request that revealed that senior management got $964,860 in bonuses for the 12 of them. that breaks out to $80,405 each, if you split it evenly.

    So going by this math, the average salary for these guys is $104,526 with a take home of $184,931 with this bonus.

    This year it will be reduced to $147,945.

  13. Megan
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 9:52 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    OK, I’m trying to do the math, and I admit that I’m a words person, not a numbers person.

    A frozen salary, plus a 50% cut in the bonus, is a 20% cut in overall compensation.

    So the salary plus the bonus = 100% of total compensation. The salary plus 1/2 of the bonus is 80% of total compensation (that’s the 20% cut in compensation).

    Salary = x, bonus = y.

    x + y = 100
    x + 1/2y = 80

    It looks to me like x (salary) = 60 and y (bonus) = 40. Salary is 60% of total compensation, and the bonus is 40% of total compensation. And 40 is 2/3 of 60.

    Is Hubert saying that top managers get bonuses that are equal to 2/3 of their annual salaries? Please tell me this is not correct. My math is wrong, right?

  14. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 8:55 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Well, I’m pissed. But I’m already laid-off. Start trolling the job boards, people. It’s scary out there.


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