Wealthy state entity offers heads higher than Cabinet salaries
Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
The cash-rich state agency the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is paying most of its senior managers more than the salaries of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and the members of her Cabinet.
While Simpson Miller leads the pay packages for her Cabinet with just over $8 million and the lowest paid minister gets $5.7 million, each of the top-17 senior managers of the PAJ gets more. Much more.
Last year, the outgoing president and chief executive officer of the PAJ, Noel Hylton, was given a total net pay of just under $21.7 million.
That was broken down into a salary of $16.5 million and a gratuity or performance incentive of $4.1 million.
Hylton's de facto deputy, Winston Booth, the PAJ's senior vice-president of corporate planning and information services, was paid a total of just over $15 million, including performance incentives or gratuity.
In the meantime, the senior vice-president in charge of international marketing and client services, Rosalie Donaldson, was paid $13.3 million without performance incentives or gratuity.
The other top-14 senior executives of the PAJ were paid from a high of $13.3 million to a low of $9.4 million.
Hylton, who has served the PAJ for almost 40 years, recently announced that he is poised to retire from the entity, which has had its financial ups and downs but is now in reasonable state.
The PAJ's 2011-2012 annual report, which was recently tabled in Parliament, shows an operating surplus of $4.85 billion for the year, with a net profit of $686 million.
However, this year's net profit reflected a $1.58-billion reduction when compared to 2010-2011.
According to the PAJ, its operating expenses climbed to $8.83 billion last year mainly due to "increases in expenses such as salary and wages, fuel and electricity and equipment maintenance".
The annual report also noted that the slow pace of recovery of advanced economies and the financial crisis in the Eurozone negatively affected the containerised cargo market with reduced activities at the local ports, while cruise-passenger arrivals reached record highs.
For this year, the PAJ has projected a 7.4 per cent increase in container moves and a 5.3 per cent growth in cruise-passenger arrivals.
This should translate into a six per cent growth in revenue, Hylton told the Parliament in the annual report.
The PAJ, which falls under the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, is the country's principal maritime agency, with responsibility for the development of Jamaica's port and shipping industry.