Sunday 19 November 2017

FAI staff want a cut of Euro success to restore pay

FAI chief John Delaney Photo: Sportsfile
FAI chief John Delaney Photo: Sportsfile

Anne-Marie Walsh

FAI workers want a cut of the €11m windfall that the football association is set to earn following Ireland's Euro 2016 success.

Workers at the sports body are demanding the full restoration of a 10pc pay cut they took four years ago when ticket sales were down and the cost of borrowing for the revamp of the Lansdowne Road stadium was on the rise.

Now they have revealed that they have received what they see as a "paltry" 3pc of the pay cut back this month - but want the other 7pc restored.

The workforce of 169, including CEO John Delaney, took a pay cut, while their pension contributions were also halted in 2012. Mr Delaney's salary fell from €400,000 to €360,000, while the average pay cut for administrative and coaching staff reduced their wages from between €30,000 and €40,000 to between €27,000 and €36,000, according to Siptu.

The union said staff want their pay restored as the FAI's fortunes have turned around and it is set to get an estimated €11m from Uefa after the Boys in Green progressed to the final 16. It also recently secured a €10m debt write-down on its Aviva Stadium debt from businessman Denis O'Brien, who has also confirmed his continued backing of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane's salaries.

Siptu said management had promised that the cuts would only last 18 months when they were introduced.

However, an email from the FAI board this month, seen by the Irish Independent, confirmed it would contribute a maximum of 3pc of salary to the pension scheme. Siptu said staff also got a 3pc pay increase, retrospective to January 1 this year, but the union said it "doesn't go near" addressing workers' concerns.

"I'm sure Martin O'Neill won't accept a 3pc increase," said sector organiser Denis Hynes.

Separately, a €200m plan to bring the Garda force up to date is set to be hit by a campaign of industrial action by more than 10,500 rank and file members in protest at a pay freeze.

The Garda Representative Association has said it will not co-operate with the Garda Commissioner's recently launched Modernisation and Renewal plan, due to be rolled out over the coming months. It is accusing the Government of "unfairly punishing" its members and branded the pause on its members' wages as a "political decision" that was "an inflammatory escalation" of a dispute over a public sector pay deal.

Irish Independent

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