Monday 18 December 2017

Archdiocese accused of 'not acting ethically' in pay row

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

The Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin has been accused of not acting "morally and ethically" after refusing to restore the salaries of staff whose pay was cut against their wishes.

The accusation was made by a SIPTU official, whose union is supporting a bid by three workers to have pay cuts overturned.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin signed off on salary cuts of between 5pc and 8.7pc for around 50 staff at the archdiocese's central services office in January 2012, as part of a bid to make savings of €500,000.

However, three staff members refused to sign letters giving their permission to have their wages reduced. Two remain employees of the archdiocese, but another has left.

All three last year won a rights commissioner case, which found the archdiocese had been wrong to reduce their wages. However, the rights commissioner also ruled that the archdiocese did not have to repay the staff because of its precarious financial position.

This was appealed to the Employment Appeals Tribunal and a hearing was held last week. However, the tribunal has indicated that the appeal will fail due to a number of technicalities.

"We are awaiting the outcome of this, but I think what was done by the archdiocese was wrong," said Adrian Kane, the SIPTU official representing the workers.

"I think it is unfortunate that they would hide behind legalistic argument rather than doing theright thing to do, which would be to reverse the pay cut."

The archdiocese was not in a position to comment yesterday.

Irish Independent

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