Sunday 22 April 2018

'RTÉ to review salaries - but top talent has already suffered pain'

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny plays the bongos with the Afro-Eire group at the launch of RTÉ’s Cruinniú na Cásca at Dublin Castle last night. Photo: Tony Gavin
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny plays the bongos with the Afro-Eire group at the launch of RTÉ’s Cruinniú na Cásca at Dublin Castle last night. Photo: Tony Gavin
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTÉ director general Dee Forbes has indicated she would consider implementing salary sacrifices as part of the station's radical restructuring.

Ten of its top earners collectively earn between them more than €2.5m annually, representing about 1pc of RTÉ's total cost base.

The scale of the pay enjoyed by the "top talent" coloured the debate after RTÉ this week confirmed it was seeking to cut 200 or more jobs through voluntary redundancy.

However, Ms Forbes believes that stars have already shouldered the burden when it comes to salary cuts.

"We are in a process right now. We are looking at everything and, of course, everything will be reviewed - but I do think RTÉ has had its own fair share of pain," she told the Irish Independent.

"I think it's fair to say that RTÉ has taken its fair share of salary cuts and I think our top talent are on record where they've been reduced by over 40pc.

"Everybody in RTÉ took a pay-cut at the time of the recession."

Read more: RTÉ can save jobs by slashing pay of top presenters - and playing to its strengths

She also put to bed any further speculation surrounding the potential increase of the €160 annual TV licence fee and said that, in fact, she is seeking to have the manner that it's collected reformed.

"I said it would be great value at double. I didn't say for one minute that I was calling to double the licence fee because that's not practical," she said.

"What we are focusing on is getting the licence fee collection reformed, that's where we see the upsize so that's what we're focused on. That was a throwaway comment that got totally out of control."

Irish Independent

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