Central Bank managers are paid secret 'bonuses'
A select number of managers in the Central Bank are being paid secret "bonuses".
The main trade union for Central Bank staff is taking legal advice over the confidential payments of more than €20,000 each.
Unite says the payments breach emergency laws cutting pay and banning bonuses in the public sector.
Those getting the "bonuses" have to sign a contract promising to keep "the fact and the amount of the payment confidential", the union said, quoting from a copy of contracts it obtained.
The payments are described as "retention" pay to certain senior staff to stop them leaving, according to a letter sent to the Central Bank by the union.
Unite's regional officer Colm Quinlan wrote: "Following the pay cuts suffered by our members, they will be appalled that the Bank has engaged in these actions without their knowledge."
Asked for a comment, Mr Quinlan said: "Given the role a bonus culture played in our banking crisis, it is extraordinary the Central Bank - charged with oversight of the country's banking system - now appears to be part of that culture."
A spokeswoman for the Central Bank claimed just 30 people got the retention payments.
It insisted that they were retention payments worth an average of 21pc of salary. "These are retention payments and not bonuses," she said.
She said the Central Bank had been and remained covered by the emergency legislation cutting pay in the public sector.