Saturday 22 October 2016

Majority of union and lobby group bosses refuse to disclose salaries

Secrecy surrounds packages of medical union bosses

Shane Phelan, Mark O'Regan, Katherine Donnelly, Eilish O'Regan

Published 24/11/2015 | 02:30

More than half of the country's major unions and representative bodies have refused to publicly disclose the pay of their senior executives.

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As the fallout over the massive package earned by former IFA general secretary Pat Smith continues, organisations representing nurses, hospital consultants, lawyers, employers, publicans and rank and file gardaí have all refused to clarify what their bosses earn.

Their stance means remunerations for top officials - such as Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) boss Liam Doran, IBEC's Danny McCoy and Law Society director Ken Murphy - remains hidden from public view.

Just 14 out of 34 leading bodies surveyed by the Irish Independent were happy to divulge the salary or pay scales of their top executives.

And the salaries disclosed were a fraction of the almost €1m in pay, pension contributions and director's fees earned by Mr Smith at the IFA in 2013 and 2014. In comparison, John Enright, general secretary of the country's second largest farming organisation, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), said he earned less than €100,000-a-year.

It also emerged the combined annual earnings of the 11 full-time staff at the ICMSA is less than Mr Smith's €535,000 remuneration package for 2013.

Of the organisations who responded to the survey, the Impact trade union offered the highest salary. Its general secretary, Shay Cody, is entitled to €152,000 a year. However, the union said he waived an undisclosed portion of this.

All of the main teaching organisations were happy to disclose either salaries or pay scales. TUI general secretary John MacGabhann earns between €127,796 and €146,191; INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan is paid between €119,381 and €136,276; while ASTI general secretary Pat King is on a salary of €134,000.

Irish Federation of University Teachers general secretary Mike Jennings is on a salary of between €78,321 and €103,261.

In stark contrast, there was a blanket refusal from the representative bodies of medical professionals to disclose the pay of top executives. The INMO and the Irish Hospital Consultants Association would not say what its bosses, Liam Doran and Martin Varley, were paid.

Similarly, the Irish Pharmacy Union opted to keep the package of its general secretary, Darragh O'Loughlin, under wraps.

The position of chief executive at the Irish Medical Organisation is vacant since the departure of George McNeice in 2012 on a controversial pension package worth €9.7m, and the body said it had yet to decide what salary will be offered for the position in future.

Both the Vintners Federation of Ireland the Licensed Vintners Federation failed to provide details of the packages of their top executives, Padraig Cribben and Donall O'Keeffe.

IBEC said it did not disclose details of staff pay, when asked about the package of its chief executive Danny McCoy.

The Construction Industry Federation would not disclose the salary of its director general Tom Parlon, while the Irish Bank Officials Association did not provide any details on the salary of its chief executive, Larry Broderick.

The Small Firms Association, Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association and Retail Grocery Dairy and Allied Trades Association all declined to disclose the packages of their top executives.

PDFORRA general secretary Gerry Rooney, who represents members of the Defence Forces, told the Irish Independent his package was worth €98,000 and a company car. However, the Garda Representative Association said while the package of its general secretary, PJ Stone, was disclosed to members at annual conferences, it was not disclosed to the public. Most of the major unions disclosed their executive salaries, with SIPTU general president Jack O'Connor earning €108,384 last year. ICTU general secretary Patricia King earns €119,381 a year. A spokesman said she did not have a company car.

Irish Independent

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