No premiums for the employees of Hydro-Québec in 2020

Pas de primes pour les employés d’Hydro-Québec en 2020

Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
Last year, Hydro-Québec had achieved a net profit of 2.92 billion, which was higher than the trigger financial set at $ 2.7 billion.

The amount of the premiums paid by Hydro-Québec, its employees and its senior executives will reach 27.9 million for 2019, but they will not be entitled to the same treatment next year as the pandemic COVID-19 will deprive the Crown corporation hundreds of millions of dollars.

While everything indicates that it will be difficult to generate a net profit of 2.9 billion — the amount a qualified trigger financial — this year, Hydro-Quebec announced Friday that there will be no incentive compensation paid at the end of the current year, an estimated $ 28 million.

“There is also a concern of solidarity to say that by 2020, it is normal that we should suspend incentive compensation,” explained a spokesperson for the Crown corporation, Louis-Olivier Batty, during a phone interview. The uncertainty surrounding the recovery of the economy led to the new president and chief executive officer, Sophie Brochu, reported, Monday, that the health crisis would have an impact of “several hundred million” in profits. She did not, however, unveiled a forecast for the dividend that could be paid.

The suspension of the premiums is added to the salary freeze for senior management, a measure that had been announced at the beginning of the pandemic.

Last year, Hydro-Québec had achieved a net profit of 2.92 billion, which was higher than the trigger financial set at $ 2.7 billion. The premium of 27.9 million, which will be paid on July 16, however, are lower than those of 29.3 million granted to 2018. On the approximately 3100 employees eligible for incentive compensation, the lion’s share goes to the 1900’s executives, who will share $ 21 million. The rest will be distributed to other professionals, and among the non-unionized staff.

Bonus for the old p. d.-g.

Although he left his duties to go lead Bombardier, the former president and ceo Eric Martel will be entitled to approximately 233 300 $ since it has worked for Hydro-Québec during the entire year. This will be added to her base salary that was approximately 580 000 $.

“The context of the pandemic began in march, while the incentive fee will be paid for 2019, a period where we exceeded the objective expected “, said Mr. Batty asked about the possibility of not paying the premiums next month because of the current context.

Luc Bernier, a professor at the University of Ottawa and holder of the Jarislowsky chair on management in the public sector, has estimated that it would have been difficult not to pay the $ 27.9-million, while the goals have been achieved. During a telephone interview, the expert was of the view that the decision taken by Hydro-Quebec was to send the signal that the Crown corporation is not “above” the turbulence. “In the current context, with the deficit in Quebec city [approximately $ 15 billion], it is a way of saying that they, too, will push to the wheel,” he said.

The approach of Hydro-Québec has certainly put some pressure on the other two major commercial Crown corporations — the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and Loto-Québec. Since its financial year starts on 1 April, and not at the beginning of the calendar year, as is the case for Hydro-Québec, the SAQ has made it known that it was still too early to say if she will be able to achieve its targets, and whether this could have an impact on incentive compensation. Loto-Québec had not provided details on its approach surrounding the incentive compensation to 2020 Friday afternoon.

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