Friday 23 June 2017

RTE chief's pay cut is only half that of stars'

He plans bigger reduction for top earners

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE cut in basic pay taken by RTE chief Noel Curran is about half what he wants the station's top stars to accept.

Mr Curran volunteered to take a €250,000 basic salary when he took up the role of RTE director general in February -- a drop of 16.1pc from the €298,000 figure in 2008.

Mr Curran has pledged to cut the wages of the top earners at the station -- the lowest of which earned €218,656 in 2008 -- by 30pc by 2013.

A spokesman for the broadcaster said the director general's pay had been substantially cut since 2008, and stressed performance-related bonuses had also not been paid out since that year.

"The office of RTE's director-general has taken the lead in the reductions in semi-state CEO pay since the beginning of the recession, both in early and repeated pay cuts in that post and in the cancellation of all bonus entitlement from 2007 onwards.

"The voluntary reduction in total remuneration has been significant."

The state broadcaster said a performance-related payment of up to a quarter of the director general's basic salary, paid up to 2008, has also been removed.

In 2008, then director general Cathal Goan received a bonus of €46,000, bringing his pay packet to €344,000, excluding pension and other benefits.

If taken into consideration, this would mean Mr Curran has accepted a 27pc cut in his remuneration.

The salary of the director general has been slashed three times -- from €298,000 in 2008 to €276,000 in 2009, and €261,000 last year.

Bonus

In 2006, a bonus of €44,000 was paid to Mr Goan on top of his €268,000 basic pay, and in 2007 when the wage was €283,000 Mr Goan was paid a bonus of €108,000.

In 2008 when the salary increased to €298,000, Mr Goan received a bonus of €46,000.

No further bonuses have been paid.

Top stars at the station have already taken a voluntary pay cut of about 10pc.

Latest figures available from 2008 show Pat Kenny to be the station's top earner, with a pay packet worth €950,976.

The late Gerry Ryan earned €629,865 followed by Marian Finucane on €570,000; Ryan Tubridy on €533,333; Joe Duffy on €408,889; Eamon Dunphy on €328,051; Miriam O'Callaghan on €301,667; Derek Mooney on €286,809; George Hamilton on €219,833 and Sean O'Rourke on €218,656.

Both O'Rourke and Mooney are RTE employees, while the remainders are contractors.

An RTE source said that the director general's pay level was one of the lower salaries in the commercial semi-state sector, with the pay ceiling set by the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector and not the state broadcaster.

It was also stressed that by the time the cuts in presenter fees were implemented, the cuts in the director general's salary would have been in place for several years.

Irish Independent

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