Birmingham International Airport workers have been left seething after it was revealed that their chief executive was paid £386,000 last year.
Paul Kehoe topped up his salary with a huge package of bonuses – sparking anger from unions who are fighting a tide of cost-cutting and redundancies.
The sum was revealed in the company’s accounts for the 12-month period up to the end of March this year.
Prior to taking the chief executive role in summer 2008, Mr Kehoe negotiated an increase on the £200,000 salary which was advertised.
The airport insists that Mr Kehoe has not had a pay increase, meaning his healthier pay package has been topped up by bonuses.
This comes after the airport scrapped its round-the-clock paramedic care at the Elmdon site to save around £200,000 a year.
Unite members are furious that the chief executive enjoyed a pay rise against a backdrop of staff cuts, falling passenger numbers and the closure of the airport’s final salary pension scheme.
Deputy regional secretary John Partridge said: “It leaves a very sour taste in the mouth when you consider where costs have been cut elsewhere at the airport.
“We have got some discussions with management next week about the harmonisation of pay for security guards which represents a minute fraction of Mr Kehoe’s bonus and it’s something we will be bringing up. The accounts were in the public domain and have been brought to the attention of our members. It’s not surprising they feel aggrieved.”
Birmingham International Airport has been hit by a string of cost-cutting measures over the last year.
The 690-strong workforce was trimmed by 45 in 2009 and workers are facing a pay freeze. A consultation period for the closure of the airport’s final salary pension scheme was extended last month.
Workers could miss out to the tune of thousands of pounds a year but airport bosses say they cannot continue to subsidise a £26 million deficit from profits.
Most recently, management has come under fire for deciding to end a contract with West Midlands Ambulance Service to provide 24-hour cover by trained medics.
From November they will be replaced by staff who are trained in first aid – but won’t be qualified to administer drugs in the event of an emergency.
The accounts reveal that the airport’s highest-paid executive in the 12 months to March 2009 received £198,000.
However, Mr Kehoe was only in place for part of the year after he was selected for the role in July 2008.
An airport spokesman said: “We can confirm that Paul Kehoe has not had a pay increase since joining the company two years ago and that all of our directors’ salaries are based on experience and their contribution to the company, and indeed the region.
“All directors and staff had a good bonus last year.”
Meanwhile, the airport’s finance director Mark Hattersley has announced he is to quit his role.