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Sunday 31 August 2014

Bid to reduce Amnesty chief's salary by €64,000 defeated

Published 13/04/2014 | 09:30

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A MOTION to reduce the salary of its executive director Colm O'Gorman by more than €60,000 has been defeated.

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Delegates were asked if they believed Mr O'Gorman's pay of €99,089-a-year should be cut to the average wage of staff, which is €35,000.

The proposal was tabled by Amnesty member Kieran O'Sullivan - who insisted that "extraordinary action" is needed to restore the public's goodwill towards the voluntary sector – and Martin O’Sullivan.

However, the proposal only managed to attract the support of the two men who tabled it.

When contacted last week, Mr O'Gorman, Amnesty's executive director in Ireland, told the Irish Independent he is not involved in setting his own salary.

Remuneration below executive level is decided by Amnesty's senior management but his own pay is decided by the board, of which he is not a member, he added.

"It's not appropriate that I would be involved in debates or discussions about my own salary. It needs to be decided by the board of the organisation, not by me," Mr O'Gorman said.

"As a membership organisation, Amnesty International encourages and supports members bringing motions on a whole range of issues to the annual conference. A few years ago, we had a motion that overnight expenses should be limited to €25 a night," he added.

Mr O'Gorman, a father of two, said the board is made up of Amnesty members who stand for election, adding: "I think what is of absolute importance when it comes to pay is transparency."

The 47-year-old said it is appropriate that decisions on salaries are "made independently of the people who salaries are affected".

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