Managers wages are ‘too high’ – Coppinger

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin City and Council Managers’ salaries came under scrutiny recently when it emerged that Fingal County Manager David O’Connor’s annual earnings came to €162,062.
The figures emerged following a recent parliamentary questions session at the Dail.
O’Connor’s salary is believed to be the second highest among the Dublin managers.
While South Dublin County Manager Philomena Poole also earns €162,062, Dublin City Manager John Tierney was noted as earning the highest salary of €189,301. The Manager of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Owen Keegan, earns the lowest salary of €153,260 a year.
Deputy Leader of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, for a breakdown of the total remuneration packages, including pay and allowances such as travels and expenses and contractual pension arrangements for each of the four Dublin local authorities’ City and County Managers. She also asked him to provide the same remuneration details for all heads of Departments or senior managers of each of the local authorities.
The pay scale for Directors of Services wages range between €90,000 and €106,900.  Fingal County Council has nine such directors.
According to councillor Eoghan O’Brien (FF), who was reluctant to comment on the FCC Manager’s salary specifically, the issue of high salaries is bigger than just those of the city and council managers.
“There is a broader issue about pay for higher earners in the public service that I think does need to be addressed, but that’s without having a go at the county managers.
“I’m not criticising the work the managers are doing because, at the end of the day, it is a big job. It is a massive role. I do believe in general that salaries above €100,000 in the public sector should all be looked at.”
According to Cllr Eugene Coppinger (SP), however, he believes the salaries are too high.
“Obviously [the Socialist Party] have been calling for a cap on salaries for public servants. Some of the salaries are just way too high. County Managers would be another example of that; it wouldn’t be just Fingal’s county manager. I think [Managers’ salaries] all would be above what they should be.
“I don’t think the current Government are going to change the system. I can’t see in the Budget this week, for example, massive pay cuts for the highly paid civil servants. Apart from a cap on wages, we would be looking at a new tax band on people over €100,000 as well.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government said the pay of County Managers was “protected like everyone else under the Croke Park Agreement. The Minister can’t do anything because the salaries are protected”.

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