Monday 24 June 2019

RTE to publish fees paid to its Top 10 most highly paid presenters and launch a review of gender equality

Miriam O'Callaghan on Prime Time/ RTE One
Miriam O'Callaghan on Prime Time/ RTE One
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

RTE has confirmed it will bring forward the publication of fees paid to its top 10 most highly-paid presenters.

The latest figures, released last year, relate to fees paid in 2014 and the State broadcaster was not due to publish the fees for 2015 until next year.

However, it is expected that the fees for 2015 will now be published early next month.  The fees for 2016 are not expected to be included.

The announcement comes days after the BBC was forced to release details of salaries over £150,000 as part of negotiations with the Government for its new royal charter.

The figures revealed a gender pay gap with female stars being paid significantly less than male talent for similar work and prompted 40 female stars to write to the BBC's Director General regarding the issue.

It has now been revealed that RTE Six One News presenter Bryan Dobson earns between €60,000 to €80,000 per year more than his female co-anchor Sharon Ni Bheolain.

Speaking to The Sunday Independent, Ni Bheolain said that the pay gap illustrated in the 2014 figures "has since narrowed" but added, "In return for a pay rise, I have also undertaken extra duties. I believe that I am well remunerated, but for the record, my pay is still considerably less than that of Bryan's."

In 2014 Dobson was listed among RTE's top 10 earners with an annual salary of €195,816.

Speaking on the News at One on RTE Radio 1, Chair of the NUJ Bernie Ni Fhlatharta said that the union has "had serious concerns for a number of years particularly with reference to gender equality" within RTE.

"We're not looking for salaries to be diminished," she said, "We just want equality across the board.  The gender divide is not just about pay, it's also about work practices that can inhibit the career development of women in the organisation."

RTÉ today also confirmed that a review of role and gender equality across the organisation will take place, with details to be announced soon.

In a statement, RTE added that "RTÉ complies with all obligations under legislation," and, "As an equal opportunities employer with a close-to 50/50 gender split across the organisation, RTÉ takes its obligations very seriously."

Of the top ten earners of 2014, just two were women; Marian Finucane and Miriam O'Callaghan.

While RTE will shortly publish the salaries of its top 10 earners, Communication Minister Denis Naughten wants the State broadcaster to go further and to annually publish the salaries of broadcasters who earn more than €100,000 a year.

The figures released last year showed that the state broadcaster's 10 highest paid stars earned more than €2.6m between them during 2014.

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