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Friday 17 November 2017

Amnesty cuts six jobs as income hit by falling donations

Fergus Black

THE country's largest human rights organisation, Amnesty International Ireland, is to let six of its workers go.

It has blamed a fall in income and the "worsening economic climate".

Amnesty, which celebrates its 50th birthday next year, said four full-time and two part-time workers would be made redundant but the remaining staff of about 30 would not be asked to take a pay cut.

Explaining the need to cut jobs, the charity said that seeking to achieve savings through salary reductions would not be effective or appropriate.

It was decided that in order to "ensure the financial sustainability" of the organisation and to maintain the most effective use of resources, it was necessary to significantly reduce staff costs in some areas.

The organisation said it had recorded losses in 2008 and 2009 and expected another loss this year.

Individual "major giving" to the charity from wealthy individuals had also been seriously hit, falling from €374,000 in 2008 to €203,000 last year, with only half that amount expected in 2010.

Income from all other areas had also fallen, with direct mail appeals dropping from €420,000 to €194,000 in 2009.

Amnesty's executive director Colm O'Gorman described the last two years as "very difficult".

At all stages the organisation had consulted with unions and staff to ensure they were informed of developments and had the opportunity to contribute.

Commenting on Mr O'Gorman's salary -- reported to be more than €80,000 -- Amnesty said that while he received a 2.5pc increase under the national partnership agreement in 2008 and a 1pc increase last year in response to the Government income levy, he had neither received nor sought any further salary increase and had waived all increases he was entitled to under his contract because of the organisation's financial situation.

Irish Independent

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