Monday 22 January 2018

HSE told it didn't ask right questions to find out salary of Rehab boss

Angela Kerins, Chief Executive, Rehab Group
Angela Kerins, Chief Executive, Rehab Group

Shane Phelan and Eilish O'Regan

THE row over the pay of Rehab Group boss Angela Kerins took a new twist after the charity insisted the HSE had not asked the right question if its intention was to learn her salary level.

Rehab Group has said a request from the HSE for details of the pay packets of executives did not specifically refer to its boss Angela Kerins.

Earlier this week, a senior HSE official said the charity did not provide details of how much Ms Kerins was paid when it responded to a req- uest for information.

The HSE request was sent to Rehab Care and the National Learning Network, two subsidiary companies in the Rehab Group.

A spokesman for Rehab said the HSE request related solely to executives working for those companies and that it did not apply to Ms Kerins, who is the overall boss of the group.

"We have received no specific request for her salary and have snubbed no inquiry," the spokesman said.

A HSE spokesman told the Irish Independent that it had requested salary information for senior staff at so-called Section 39 charities it has contractual relationships with.

"These include Rehab Care and the National Learning Network. Rehab interpreted this as not including senior executives at the parent company, Rehab Group, which Angela Kerins is head of," the spokesman said.

The comments came as political pressure continued to mount on Ms Kerins to clarify her salary levels. The charity boss's last known salary was €234,000 in 2011. She has consistently refused to answer questions about it since then.

An attempt by Dr Reilly to learn her salary three years ago was firmly rebuffed. In a letter to the minister, Rehab Group chairman Brian Kerr said: "The remuneration of the group chief executive is not a matter in which you have a role."

But in recent days, political pressure on the issue has reached unprecedented levels.

Two government ministers, Dr Reilly and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, added their voices to comments from Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore earlier this week, who both urged Ms Kerins to be transparent about her earnings.

Mr Bruton said Rehab's board should bring forward a meeting scheduled for February 17, where they are scheduled to consider whether they make her pay package public.

Dr Reilly said all charities in receipt of substantial public funding needed to be "open and transparent about their pay policy, including their chief executive".

Deirdre Garvey, chief executive of The Wheel, an umbrella body representing almost 900 community, voluntary and charitable organisations, also said the board needed to bring matters to a speedier conclusion.

Irish Independent

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