'I am down €70k at a time when I really need it' - Former FAI employee in protest against John Delaney and Board
A former FAI employee, who lost out on nearly €70k through wages and pension cuts, is staging a protest against the FAI and John Delaney ahead of Ireland's Under-17 European Championship clash against Belgium this evening.
Former Development Officer in Fingal Mick Pender spent 14 years working for the Association but departed earlier this year after a long, drawn out row over wages and pension cuts that ended up in the Labour Court, with staff receiving partial restoration.
Development Officers were cut up to 15 per cent since 2012 with the FAI promising full pay restoration after 18 months. However, full pay was not restored and the matter ended up in the Labour Court after a failed intermediary process.
"I am down 70 grand at a time when I really need it," Pender told Independent.ie. "I went to collect my pension when I left and they hadn't paid their contribution in seven years.
"That's why I am protesting outside the Under-17 match. It's me and my family that suffered while others were getting €3k-a-month for rent. That money would have been far more important to myself or others who had their salary cut from €43k to €35k.
"I will be outside the entrance where all the UEFA officials and FAI blazers will be for their prawn sandwiches."
An email to FAI staff on July 31, 2012 and signed by John Delaney, stated that "there will be a temporary 10% salary reduction across the organisation and a temporary suspension of pension contributions".
"These measures are intended to apply for 18 months coming into effect from the 1st September."
A follow up mail 18 months later, also signed by Mr Delaney, read: "We are committed to restoring the salary reductions and pension contributions this year to those that were affected when the measures were introduced in 2012, however it is unlikely to happen in March.
"I fully appreciate your commitment and effort for the Association during the past 18 months since the pay cut measures were put in place and we are close to where we need to be but we can only achieve this if we all pull together in the same direction."
An article in today's Irish Sun claims that Mr Delaney signed a loyalty deal worth more than €2million in 2014. The package reportedly brought his overall salary to €700k a year, with a deferred payment due should he still be an employee of the FAI in 2021.
"Our promises were not worth the paper they were written, neither should Delaney's," added Pender.
"I will have a placard around me tonight with a statement to the board about the waste of football family money including this reported €2million for Delaney.
"On the other side I will highlight everything that was taken from me, from wages top pension contributions to mileage."