Friday, August 27, 2021

Gordon Deegan

One hundred and seventeen staff members at RTÉ last year earned in excess of €100,000 in basic salary.

New figures published by RTÉ show that of the 117 staff members, 22 earned between €150,000 and €250,000. The remaining 95 earned between €100,000 and €150,000.

The figures do not include many of RTÉ’s top earners such as Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy and Ray D’Arcy as they are not RTÉ staff, but independent contractors and are paid through companies that they have established.

The 117 RTÉ staff members earning over €100,000 last year is a decline of five on the 122 in that earning bracket for 2019.

Last year, a further 176 staff members earned between €80,000 and €100,000, and the new figures show that average pay at RTÉ last year totalled €60,753 — a marginal increase on the average salary of €60,713 for 2019.

‘€0 to €40,000’

The RTÉ figures show that 554 of its staff earned between €60,000 and €80,000, with the largest cohort, at 745, earning between €40,000 and €60,000.

A further 274 earned salaries between “€0 to €40,000”.

In April, RTÉ staff overwhelmingly voted against a proposal by management for pay cuts ranging from 3.5 per cent to 5.35 per cent for any staff member earning over €40,000.

Irish Secretary at the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Seamus Dooley said today that the earning bands published by RTÉ “debunk the myth that average RTÉ salaries are inflated or that there is a culture of excessive pay across the organisation”.

A spokesman for RTÉ said on Friday: “Changes in salary bands are a result of normal annual movements across the organisation, including retirements.”

Asked for a gender breakdown on those earning over €100,000, the spokesman said: “RTÉ does not publish a breakdown of salary bands by gender.”

Operating costs

RTÉ is seeking to reduce its operating costs by €60 million between 2020 and 2023, though numbers employed at the broadcaster increased last year from 1,831 to 1,866.

The broadcaster’s costs are set to increase this year with coverage of ‘special events’ such as the Tokyo Olympics, the Euros and the current Paralympics.

The RTÉ spokesman would not be drawn on what the costs may be from covering these events in 2021, stating that the financial figures will be available in the RTÉ 2021 annual report.

As part of the move to reduce costs, RTÉ announced a voluntary redundancy scheme, aiming for 60 staff members to avail of it.

The scheme was oversubscribed and is now closed. The RTÉ spokesman said: “We continue to review applications to the Voluntary Exit Programme and communicate directly with those who have been successful. Where necessary, we will phase departures to allow time for restructuring and to minimise impact on our operations.”

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