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Home BUSINESSMinister against board member’s remuneration hike
Wed, 28 Jan, 2015 03:16:27 AM
FTimes-STT Report, Jan 28
The Minister responsible for state ownership steering Sirpa Paatero spoke on the plans of Fortum and Neste Oil for increasing board members fees in parliament on Tuesday. Photo Lehtikuva.
The minister responsible for state ownership steering, Sirpa Paatero, has called on for shelving plans to increase remuneration to Fortum and Neste Oil board members.
The minister said the increase would not be fair in a situation in which wage moderation is expected of normal income earners, and they fear for their job security. 
The shareholders’ nomination boards of the two companies have announced proposals which would see a significant increase in the annual remunerations paid to the board members including the chair and the vice chair.
The justification attributed to the proposed increases was that the current remunerations have fallen behind.
The minister said the remunerations had been assessed from the companies’ viewpoint. However, politically responsible decision-makers should consider the matter from a wider perceptive.
Eero Heliövaara, director general of the Government Ownership Steering Department, said, based on these views, the shareholders’ nomination boards of Fortum and Neste Oil do not have to pull out the proposals.
Heliövaara said the proposals were forwarded after a long deliberation and that the matter was discussed with Sirpa Paatero.
Heliövaara is also the chair of the shareholders’ nomination boards of both the companies.
Heliövaara said it is not very common for a minister to intervene after a proposal has already been made by the shareholders’ nomination board.
Furthermore, Heliövaara pointed out that hike in remunerations has not been proposed in recent years.
Heliövaara reiterated that the matter had been discussed with Paatero in advance.
“Yes we have discussed the matter and certainly both parties identified that from the companies’ point of view this would at some point be the way to go,” said Paatero.
State companies, according to the director general, should not have substantially lower remunerations than other companies.
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