HEALTH Service Executive (HSE) chief Tony O'Brien is likely to suffer a cut rather than a rise in salary once the remuneration for his post is reviewed, the Irish Independent has learned.
Mr O'Brien is on a salary of €195,000 after being appointed as deputy chief executive and director general designate of the HSE late last summer.
His appointment followed the stepping down of former chief executive Cathal Magee and preceded the proposed legislation that will change the way the organisation is run, abolishing the board and creating a new post of director general.
However, until legislation that will shake up the top tier of the HSE – and create the post of director general – is passed, the rate for the job has not been set.
A spokesman for the Department of Health confirmed yesterday that it had asked that the salary of the new post be reviewed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform once the legislation is in place.
He said: "The arrangements that will apply then will be agreed with the involvement of the department."
Those arrangements will be "affected by the outcome of the Croke Park negotiations which will result in a downward pressure on public-sector pay and that applies at all levels". This is expected to see Mr O'Brien's salary fall to around €170,000.
It recently emerged that Mr O'Brien will not have to repay salary top-ups that he received from 2006 after taking on extra responsibilities.