With Executive Pay, Bosses and Boards Need Sensitivity Training

by Evil HR Lady on May 6, 2014

Some CEOs have all the luck–but should they also have all the money?

Saint Louis-based carpenter Scott Bujnak led his own quiet protest against executive pay recently. He quit his job of 18 years.

As a maintenance man for St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bujnak specialized in saving money his company money by finding ingenious ways to fix things. Then he found out how much the CEO of Lee Enterprises, the paper’s parent company, makes. Mary Junck recently received a whopping $700,000 bonus. Immediately, he realized his efforts at saving $50 here and $25 there were all for what purpose? To give the big boss a big bonus. So, he quit.

Folk hero or dumb as a rock?

To keep reading, click here: With Executive Pay, Bosses and Boards Need Sensitivity Training

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Stew May 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm

“If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”

While this might sound like the exception to the rule……its actually the rule. Most employees are not stupid, in fact if they get screwed (I bet Scott had been asking for a pay rise for years), and the management don’t……….all the employee’s energies will drain faster than pulling the plug in the sink.

If you are lucky they will quit, and show you how they were the important gear in the operation. Your bonuses will vaporize without them.

If you are unlucky, they will turn into a negative sponge – sucking the energy out of your whole company.

But if you are smart – you will make sure you oil the important gears every now and then, rather than fill your pockets.

It’s the big bosses operation – if they fail to oil the gears, they will soon find themselves with a rusted contraption.

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Northern HR May 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Very nicely put:)

And instead of making this manager the only one to get a bonus (if that is how it happened), could she maybe have been happy with a 3 or 400,000 bonus and the remaining amount could have been awarded to the other staff?

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Evil HR Lady May 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I totally agree with you. I have no idea what the raise situation was on the lower levels, but if you neglect your employees that do the work, you’ll lose them, and then where will you be?

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Treyia May 10, 2014 at 5:31 am

Lee had gone about five years without giving raises as of a couple of years ago. There have been staff reductions pretty often right before or after a bonus has been announced.

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LTMG May 7, 2014 at 6:10 am

Did Bujnak document the savings he implemented, then periodically review these with his boss? If so, then shame on his employer. If not, then he is responsible for his own situation.

In my experience, demonstrating to the boss one’s ongoing value and contribution to the company results in higher salary increases, promotions, and other considerations.

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Evil HR Lady May 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

This is another excellent point. It’s quite possible that his boss and especially his boss’s boss had NO CLUE what he did on a day to day basis. You really have to learn to toot your own horn!

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Rin May 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I think my issue is that they gave the CEO $1.2 million for saving money. Aren’t they just wasting the money they just saved? Why not put $1 million back into the company, and then they wouldn’t have to refinance every year. I’d be annoyed if my company were doing this, too.

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Evil HR Lady May 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm

That’s the complicated thing about executive pay. It’s quite possible that her leadership saved the company $10 million, so the $1.2 million is a reasonable bonus, because another CEO wouldn’t have done that. We can’t sit back in the cheap seats and see all that goes on behind the scenes.

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Treyia May 10, 2014 at 5:32 am
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