Civil servants double jobbing as Tote cashiers
CIVIL servants are double jobbing as Tote cashiers at horseracing meetings across the country, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
Public-sector workers are taking time off work so they can earn an extra €100 a day working as cashiers for Tote Ireland, a subsidiary of Horseracing Ireland (HRI), at popular race meetings.
With the Galway Races beginning this week it is likely that civil servants will take holidays or work up flexi-time so they can man the Tote hatches at the seven-day race meeting.
Horseracing Ireland (HRI) said that up to 50 employees, or 10 per cent of its part-time staff, are civil servants who work for various departments and whose salaries are protected under the terms of the Croke Park agreement.
Tote employees can earn €62.80 for a five-hour day, while on premium days, such as weekends and bank holidays, they earn €94.20.
Horseracing Ireland said they do not target civil servants when looking for race-meeting workers but do try to hire people who live close to tracks to save on cost.
A HRI spokeswoman said: "We advertise from time to time primarily on our website and retain a panel of employees. We do not approach individual departments. Most of the teams are drawn from the local areas which has a cost-saving impact on subsistence rates."
The HRI also pointed out that 46 per cent of their workforce at race meetings were students.
The once booming Irish horseracing industry has been one of the many casualties of the collapse of the country's economy and Tote Ireland has also seen its income drop drastically.
The pooled betting service took in more than €6m in 2008 but as the equine industry hit the buffers over the past four years income dropped to €3.7m in 2011.
Tote betting is similar to the Lotto, all the stakes on a race are pooled and after costs are deducted the remainder of the pot is divided among the winners.