THE RMT union has slammed ScotRail for the "obscene" salaries paid to the rail operator's executives.

It has been revealed that the most senior official is earning between £175,000 and £180,000.

The figures have been published as ScotRail has had to reveal leadership pay for the first time in order to bring it into line with other non-departmental bodies.

Transport Scotland said the salaries were “commensurate with market rates” but RMT alleges that the recently nationalised rail operator delayed publishing the figures until negotiations with striking workers were over.

But ScotRail claim that the figures reflect the salaries required to attract people capable of leading the rail operator.

Scotrail’s chief operating officer, Joanne Maguire, is paid between £17500, and £180,000 in her post. She is the former vice-principal of the University of West of Scotland but the RMT has called her lack of experience in the rail industry into question since her appointment was announced in December.

The operator’s interim finance director, James Griffin, earns between £170,000 and £175,000 while the safety, sustainability and asset director, David Lister is paid between £150,000 and £155,000. Lister is also given £7500 in car allowance.

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ScotRail also confirmed that David Simpson, their service delivery director, is paid between £135,000 and £140,000 while their commercial director, Lesley Kane, is paid between £130,000 and £135,000. Both Kane and Simpson also receive additional car payment.

Interim HR director Marie-Therese Weighton and interim communications director David Ross are both paid between £115,000 and £120,000.

After taking the rail operator into public ownership in April, The Scottish Government set up a separate organisation called Scottish Rail Holding (SRH) to oversee ScotRail.

SRH employs two people in its senior team, chief executive officer Chris Gibb and finance director David Lowrie. Both Gibb, who is paid £120,000 and Lowrie, who earns £108,000, are part-time and contracted to work three days a week.

Alex Hynes, the joint managing director of ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland, is the highest paid executive in Scotland’s railway industry, earning up to £335,000 a year, which is paid by Network Rail.

In recent weeks, Scotland’s railways have been seriously disrupted by industrial action taken by the Aslef and RMT unions over pay and conditions.

ScotRail introduced a temporary timetable in May that cut around 700 daily services after drivers refused to work on rest days.

However, RMT and Aslef have both recently agreed to halt their industrial action after accepting a 5% pay increase as well as a freeze on compulsory redundancies for five years.

And last month ScotRail was forced to cancel 90% of its services during three days of strikes by RMT members in a dispute with Network Rail.

Following the publication of the pay of senior executives, Mick Hogg, the RMT’s regional organiser for Scotland, labelled the sums as “obscene”.

He said: “A lot of our members are annoyed by the size of these pay packets and feel they far outweigh what they bring to the table and what they have offered our members. In my opinion, they deliberately postponed publishing these figures as part of a ploy over negotiations.

“Our members have been portrayed as greedy rail workers looking for a fast buck, but it’s clear as day as to who the greedy are and it’s the executive teams running Scotland’s rail network.”

As part of a transparency initiative, Scottish non-departmental public bodies and public corporations have had to disclose senior leadership pay since 2010.

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Gibb said: “The senior team across ScotRail and Scottish Rail Holdings do an important job in leading our 5100-strong team as we recover from the pandemic.

“Pay needs to be set at fair market rates to attract and retain the best talent to do that job. We recognise that, as part of the public sector, we must ensure pay is fair and provides value for taxpayers.

“We will continue to work with government to ensure this happens.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “This transparency is welcome and will be a key feature of how ScotRail will be run as a publicly-owned and controlled operator.

“Ministers have been assured these salaries are commensurate with market rates for senior leaders at organisations on this size and scale.

“We would expect everyone working in Scotland’s Railway to be paid at least the Scottish living wage and have made clear the Scottish Government’s expectations that fair work is embedded in ScotRail’s culture and working practices.”