- No law was broken but confidence was lost.
- Borodich considers investment in people normal.
- Isamaa recommends nomination committee.
The supervisory board of Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS (Tallinn Public Transport Company – TLT) terminated the employment of Deniss Borodich, chairman of the management board, and Otto Popel, member of the management board, due to loss of confidence.
The reason for the dismissal was the high training, travel and other expenses of both men, which Eesti Ekspress wrote about. The company paid for their studies at foreign universities, which in Borodich’s case amounted to about 35,000 euros over two years, paid the related travel and accommodation expenses, and also provided a generous daily allowance.
The contracts of members of the management board with both Borodich and Popel provided for the payment of training costs, but did not set a ceiling for the costs, so that everything was legally correct.
The employer should not pay for postgraduate study
«An employment contract may contain various benefits, including compensation for training. This is normal practice. But what is not normal practice and regarding which the regulation was unfortunately not detailed enough is that the possibility of reimbursing training is used to pay for postgraduate studies. It is actually possible according to the law, but I think it can be used in a private company. But in the public sector, in this case the city of Tallinn, there are restrictions that this compensation can amount to one month’s salary,» said Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart.
He added that in this case it is a matter of confidence and that TLT managers have lost confidence due to excessive training costs and their contracts will therefore be terminated. By noon yesterday, the company’s supervisory board had already made a decision to that effect.
Borodich found that he had not broken any rule and that the company had profited many times over from the money spent on his education. «Yes, I acted correctly. Do I regret making such a decision to improve myself? No regrets, on the contrary, it was a very correct decision, which was also beneficial for the company,» Borodich told Kuku Radio.
Isamaa calls for a nomination committee
«I think that advanced training plays a major role in every modern company. People are investing, and we have done so at different levels in TLT. In my opinion, this investment is also reflected in the development of the company. To be completely honest, if we look at how TLT has changed from a past century company into a completely modern enterprise in three and a half years, then I think that this is the work of the management board,» he stated.
The opposition Isamaa faction intended to submit at the city council sitting a bill instructing the city government to form a nomination committee, which would select candidates from among experts for the Tallinn companies’ supervisory boards and would make proposals regarding the remuneration of the supervisory and management board members.
«Such corruption in the administration of the city government is a rather endemic phenomenon. Borodich was given this place in return for defecting from the Reform Party and supporting the Tallinn city council’s ruling party. Now we found out what his real salary was,» said Urmas Reinsalu, the leader of Isamaa faction in the council. According to the politician, it is also a question of the other party of the agreement, which secured its power by remunerating Borodich. «In my opinion, Kalle Klandorf, who signed Borodich’s employment contract, is at least as much responsible here. I hope that the council’s auditing committee will bring some clarity, hear those involved and reach a position,» he added.
Kristen Michal, chairman of the Reform Party faction in the city council, found that the selection process in quotation marks which made Borodich the CEO of the TLT took place in 2018 in accordance with the best recruitment traditions of the Center Party.
«Just like flowers and butterflies magically meet in the nature, Deniss met Kalle Klandorf and other decision-makers. Their hands met and since Deniss brought along the vote of an opposition party’s council member, i.e. the vote needed to secure the Center Party’s majority, they found each other,» Michal wrote in social media.
He referred to the fact that Borodich, a member of the Reform Party at the time, was elected to the city council at the previous local election. Once he became the head of TLT, he left the Reform Party and the opposition decided already then that the ruling Center Party secured its meager majority in the city council through his appointment.