August 31, 2021
RTÉ should lead by example and show transparency on staff wages – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee, Matt Carthy TD, has called on RTÉ to be invited to reappear at the Committee to provide further transparency regarding their wage structure, and the outworking of employment practices.

He was speaking following reports that 117 staff received basic salaries in excess of €100,000, of which 22 earned between €150,000 and €250,000 in 2020.  These figures exclude RTÉ’s ‘top earners’, nine of whom received basic salaries of between €200,000 and €495,000 in 2019.

Teachta Carthy said:

“Much of the focus to date with regard RTÉ salaries has rightly focused on those at the top end of the spectrum.  However these figures show that aside from ‘top earners’ there are an inordinate amount of high earners at the state broadcaster.

“During previous hearings at the PAC much time was spent engaging with RTÉ on the fallout of their practice of treating employees as self-employed.

“We belatedly learned that RTÉ have paid at least €1.22 million to the Revenue Commissioners as a result of this practice, but the potential liability could end up being multiples of that to Revenue alone, while similar settlements could be expected with the Department of Social Protection and the employees themselves.

“Alongside this liability, there are a multitude of questions that need answering on RTÉ’s pay practices.

“Were high earners amongst those who lost out due to this blatant anti-worker practice? Or was it only lower-to-middle income workers?

“RTÉ have still yet to meet their agreement with Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster to provide information on pay parity between Irish and English language workers. 

“All the while, the broadcaster publishes annual reports and top earners figures behind schedule and resists suggestions aimed at bringing further transparency, while regularly returning to the exchequer to request further state funding.

“RTÉ cannot continue year-on-year to demand greater exchequer funding while providing limited information to the Oireachtas Committee tasked with ensuring value for money for those very funds.

“I will be writing to the Cathaoirleach of the Public Accounts Committee to request that RTÉ be invited before the Committee once more in the autumn to consider these issues.”

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