new figures | 

Over 100 RTÉ staff members earned more than €100,000 basic salary last year

One of the 22 RTÉ staff members in the €150,000 to €250,000 earning bracket in 2021 is RTÉ director general, Dee Forbes

Ryan Tubridy and RTE Director General Dee Forbes© Colin Keegan


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

That is according to new figures published by RTÉ which show that of the 119 staff members, 22 earned between €150,000 and €250,000.

The remaining 97 earned between €100,000 and €150,000.

Crucially, the figures don’t include RTÉ’s top earners including the likes of 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 most recent available figures show that in 2019, Ryan Tubridy received €495,000 followed by Ray D’Arcy who received €450,000 with Joe Duffy’s firm receiving €392,494.

One of the 22 RTÉ staff members in the €150,000 to €250,000 earning bracket in 2021 is RTÉ director general, Dee Forbes.

During 2021, Ms Forbes had a basic salary of €225,000 and also enjoyed a car allowance of €25,000 which along with pension contributions of €56,000 brought Ms Forbes’s overall package to €306,000.

Ms Forbes received no performance related pay in 2021 and 2020 and a note attached to the 2021 annual report states that “as part of cost reduction initiatives prior to the onset of the global pandemic, the members of the Executive had agreed to a salary reduction of 10pc”.

The 119 RTÉ staff members earning over €100,000 last year is an increase of two on the 117 in that earning bracket for 2020.

Last year, a further 179 RTÉ staff members earned between €80,000 and €100,000 and the new figures show that average pay at RTÉ last year totalled €60,686 - a decrease of €67 on the average salary of €60,753 in 2020.

The RTÉ figures show that 550 RTÉ staff earned between €60,000 and €80,000 with the largest cohort at 740 earning between €40,000 and €60,000.

A further 283 earned salaries between “€0 to €40,000”.

In the year under review, RTÉ staff overwhelmingly voted against a proposal by management for pay cuts ranging from 3.5pc to 5.35pc for any staff member earning over €40,000.

A spokesman for RTÉ said on Monday: "The average salary in RTÉ in 2021 has decreased compared to 2020. Changes in salary bands are a result of normal annual movements across the organisation, including retirements.”

The release of the salary bands by RTÉ follows the broadcaster’s annual report showing that the numbers increased at RTÉ last year increased by five from 1,866 to 1,871.

The broadcaster’s wage and salary bill last year declined marginally from €122.75m to €121.84m.

On the salary bands at RTE, Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Séamus Dooley said: “The lazy narrative is that all RTÉ staff are over paid.

"The fact is there is not a high pay culture in RTÉ and there are many low paid grades across the organisation.”

He said: “Successive governments have failed to properly fund public service broadcasting. Workers cannot be expected to forgo pay increases”.

Mr Dooley said “the Trade Union Group is in the early stages of negotiations with RTÉ.

"We will be pressing for a meaningful pay increase. Staff have not had a pay increase since 2007.

“We acknowledge that there is a difficult financial climate for media organisations, including RTÉ but management cannot be blind to the dire financial circumstances in which many workers find themselves.”

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