Sunday 20 January 2019

RTE staff to get €1,000 pay rise despite losses

More than 600 RTE staff will get wage increases worth more than €1,000 a year each -- despite the broadcaster's €30m deficit this year.

An internal industrial relations tribunal at the national broadcaster ruled that increments that were suspended at the start of the year, worth an estimated €800,000 annually, be reinstated. They will be backdated to last January.

The staff who will be entitled to the pay rises include journalists, researchers, producers, camera operators and stage hands.

Most of the 2,000-plus workers in RTE will not be entitled to the rises as many have either already reached the top end of their pay scales, or are employed as contractors.

The pay of the station's stars cannot be interfered with because they are self-employed and they are therefore also exempt from the €250,000 cap on public service salaries. Major stars at the station took a voluntary 10pc pay cut in 2009.

The latest available figures show that TV and radio host Pat Kenny was paid €951,000 in 2008, while the late Gerry Ryan was the second-highest-paid star on €630,000. Radio host Marian Finucane earned €570,000 in 2008, Ryan Tubridy earned €533,000, Liveline host Joe Duffy got €409,000 and sports broadcaster Eamon Dunphy received €328,000. Primetime presenter Miriam O'Callaghan received €302,000.

However, unions argued that lower-paid staff on wages around €40,000 to €50,000 fared worst from the suspension of increments. Unions had agreed to the suspension of increments for a 12-month period between 2009 and 2010 under a deal done with management, which included a pay cut for staff.

The increments were reinstated in June last year, but management suspended them again last January and unions asked the tribunal to intervene.

Unions and management have less than a month to decide whether to accept the ruling.


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