Flanders wants to limit its top public managers

  • Flemish public institution managers will not be able to earn more than the Flemish minister president.
  • He earns more than Di Rupo who in turn earns more than Hollande.

The salary limit for Flemish public institution managers would be the amount earned by the Flemish CD&V minister president, Kris Peeters (hospitals, housing organizations, De Lijn public transport line). According to De Standaard and Het Niewsblad, a decree to this effect is under study in the Flemish region. The managers targeted by this decree would no longer be able to receive more than €242,000 gross annually, plus a 20% variable base, or a total of €290,000. A severance bonus would still be possible under contract. The decision excludes all recourse to any management companies that would bill under the name of the service provider.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Hospital-based physicians at Ghent University would not be affected by this limit. If market pressures demand, (in other words, if we really want to hire a particular person) the Flemish government could go around this decree after, of course, having tried a standard approach.

This measure recalls, in spirit as well as in numbers, the salary framework that the Walloon and French community set last December for managers and upper management of publicly funded organizations (OIP). The Walloon ministers were a little bit more generous. The ceiling was set at a base salary of €245,000. To this, several benefits and bonuses can be added (insurance or year-end bonus, for example).

The reference to the highest paid political official as the ceiling for public institutions might seem logical. It should be noted, however, that sometimes with €242,000 gross per annum, the Flemish minister president earns more than the federal prime minister Elio Di Rupo whose gross salary is “only” about €210,000. That is still more than the French republic’s president’s gross salary of about €180,000.



CEO salaries on their way

This is the week that the restricted council of ministers (kern) must agree on the maximum that public enterprise leaders can earn (bpost, SNCB, Belgocontrol…). Jean-Pascal Labille, the minister of public enterprises, will be studying the issue. In view of the present salary disparity (€2 million for the head of Belgacom, €1 million for the head of bpost, around €400,000 for the heads of the railway subsidiaries), several potential ceilings have already been mentioned, from €230,000 to over €800,000.

In this case, the highest salary in the enterprise would be a multiple (of 15, 20?) of the enterprise’s employees’ median salary. We should know more next week.


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