Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has called on the Chief Executive Officer of Coillte to act responsibly, given the current economic climate and to take at least a 15pc pay cut which would be in line with reductions accepted by the CEOs of other semi state agencies who earn over €250,000.
Senator Ó Domhnaill this weekend said ” The Coillte CEO is currently paid an annual salary of €297,024, and received an annual bonus payment of €56,435 in 2008, despite verbal and written instructions made to the Coillte board by the then Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith requesting that no bonus should be paid for 2008 and beyond.”
“It is totally unacceptable in the current economic circumstances that any CEO of a semi state organisation would not, at the very least, take the 15pc pay reduction being requested by the Government. This attitude is mind boggling at a time when many families are struggling due to severe financial pressures as Christmas approaches.”
“The Coillte CEO Mr Gunning was appointed as Chief Executive Officer from 20th March 2006 for a 7 year contract which is due to expire on 19th March 2013. Coillte have previously advised that revised pay rates applicable from 1 March 2008 and 1 September 2008 respectively have not been implemented.”
“In the event that Mr Gunning is not prepared to take a pay cut voluntarily then I believe the Board of Coillte should meet and discuss what steps they propose to take to address this issue. I have also requested the Chairman of the Dail’s Agriculture Committee to have this issue discussed at our committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday next at 2pm.”