Organisations are top heavy with high earners

COUNTING the cost of local government usually takes the form of berating the excessive numbers of councillors and the expenses they incur.

However, the less-looked-at reality is that city and county councils are top heavy with senior public servants who are earning huge amounts with increments built in every year until they get to the top of their hefty pay packets.

In Dec 2009, “emergency financial measures in the public interest” were implemented to cut the pay of all civil servants — including local authority workers — around the country.

They ranged from 5% on the first €30,000 to 10% on the next 55% resulting in reductions from 5% to 8% on salaries up to €125,000.

Less than a year later, the Croke Park deal was signed preventing any further pay cuts.

With householders now being forced to pay €100 towards local government, there will no doubt be anger to see how the top brass within each county is paid, and just how many of them there are.

An analysis of wages reveals most local authorities have at least five people earning over €90,000 and by the time workers reach the top of their pay grade, many councils will have, or already have, several earning over €100,000.

In Dublin City Council and Cork City Council, all of the top 10 posts receive over €100,000. In Cork County Council, 15 personnel will earn €100,000 when they reach the top of their pay grades.

Indeed a report on local government reform, by the local government efficiency review group, commissioned by John Gormley two years ago stated: “A separate independent exercise is needed to review overall staffing levels, and numbers at management level, in both Dublin and Cork city councils. Both local authorities have high levels of staffing per capita, as well as large numbers of staff at senior management level.”

Astonishingly, the Dublin city librarian earns more than the prime minister of Spain at €106,900 (the top of pay scale). Spain’s prime minister receives an annual salary of about €92,000, so in fact it’s not just the head librarian who earns more than him, but many of those working in top local authority positions.

Discussions on local government reform have been bandied about for more than 20 years. In the lifetime of the previous government, there was a green paper, discussions on directly elected mayors, an OECD report, the McCarthy report, a Commission on Taxation review, and the local government efficiency review group.

The review group found staffing levels within local government have declined by 13% between mid-2008 and the end of 2009.

Despite this, there is still scope to reduce further the number of staff at senior and middle management levels within the local government sector, the group concluded.

It recommended the current number of staff at director of service level be further reduced by at least 20%. It also recommended a 15% reduction in the number of staff at senior executive officer, administrative officer, senior staff officer, and staff officer levels, as well as a 15% reduction in the numbers at senior engineer, senior executive engineer, executive engineer, and assistant engineer (and equivalent grades).

It also called for several county and city council areas to be paired as joint administrative areas to facilitate greater economies of scale in the provision of local services, such as Carlow and Kilkenny; Cavan and Monaghan; Galway city and county; Laois and Offaly; Leitrim and Sligo; Longford and Westmeath; Mayo and Roscommon; North Tipperary and South Tipperary; Waterford city and county.

The group also said there was a case for joint administration in respect of Limerick city and county.

Planning expert Diarmuid O’Grada goes even further and maintains the country only needs four county councils: One for Dublin, Munster, Leinster with Portlaoise as a base, and Connacht/Ulster with Sligo as a hub.

Mr O’Grada said then each area could bring in in-house planning and environmental expertise and build the infrastructure we need to get us out of the economic morass.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan faced — and still faces — a mammoth battle to try and convince householders to pay the €100 charge. Perhaps if significant reforms were under way, it would be easier to convince people that real change was afoot.

At a Seanad debate on local government reform earlier this year, all Mr Hogan offered was more platitudes and the promise of yet another report.

“The operational element of local government is being addressed, particularly through the implementation of the local government efficiency review recommendations,” he said.

“This is proceeding under the aegis of an implementation group, with the focus initially on prioritised implementation by the local government sector in areas which offer significant potential for early savings, such as procurement, ICT, HR and shared services.

“The implementation group’s interim report will be completed shortly, with the incorporation of specific information on savings and delivery times.”

Householders are being forced to pay a €100 charge for local services — and that’s just for starters. With threats of local services being slashed in areas with low compliance, an Irish Examiner investigation into the pay of those at the top of each council reveals where large sums of taxpayers’ money is really going.

Carlow

County manager (Tom Barry): €132,511

5 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Vet inspector: €94,392

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €81,232

* What the top 10 earn: €1,103,986

Cavan

County manager (Jack Keyes): €132,511

4 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

5 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €995,696

Clare

County manager (Tom Coughlan): €142,469

Chief veterinary inspector: €93,436 to €109,927

4 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

2 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior executive officer: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €1,025,383

Cork City

City manager (Tim Lucey): €153,260

Assistant city manager: €90,453 to €106,900

5 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

3 heads of function: €90,453 to €106,900

* What the top 10 earn: €1,115,360

Cork County

County manager (Martin Riordan): €162,062

3 divisional managers: €125,885

Chief vet officer: €93,436 to €111,177

10 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

1 county engineer: €81,077 to €98,379

4 vet inspectors: €60,555 to €94,392

19 senior professionals (engineer/architect/planner/solicitor/scientist): €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,185,394

Donegal

County manager (Seamus Neely): €142,469

5 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

4 senior engineers: €74,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,025,437

Dublin City

City manager (John Tierney): €189,301

City engineer/director of traffic: €142,469

Assistant city manager: €132,511

Head of finance: €132,511

Personnel officer: €132,511

Executive manager: €90,453 to €106,900

Dublin city librarian: €90,453 to €106,900

Financial accountant: €90,453 to €106,900

ICT manager: €90,453 to €106,900

* What the top 10 earn: €1,263,803

Dún Laoighre-Rathdown

County manager (Owen Keegan): €153,260

8 directors of services: €106,900

County law agent: €95,540

County architect: €95,540

* What the top 10 earn: €1,104,000

Fingal

County manager (David O’Connor): €162,062

6 directors of services: €106,900

County architect: €95,540

Law agent: €95,540

5 senior engineers (five of them on the top point of the scale): €73,223 to €87,117

3 senior planners: €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,081,714

Galway city

City manager (Joe O’Neill, acting): €132,511

3 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance and ICT: €90,453 to €106,900

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior planner: €73,223 to €87,117

2 management accountants: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €992,615

Galway county

County manager (Martina Moloney): €142,469

5 directors of service: €90,453 to €106,900

2 veterinary inspectors:€60,555 to €94,392

Chief fire officer €76,884 to €91,472

6 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,044,342

Kerry

County manager (Tom Curran): €142,469

6 directors of services: €106,900 (one not in place; seconded to Limerick Regeneration Agency)

Law agent: €95,540

Veterinary inspector: €94,392

Head of finance: €90,453

* What the top 10 earn: €1,064,254

Kildare

County manger (Michael Malone): €153,260

6 directors of service: €86,408 to €106,900

6 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,056,011

Kilkenny

County manager (Joe Crockett): €142,469

3 directors of service: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance €90,453 to €106,900

Veterinary officer: €60,555 to €94,392

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior planner: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,012,989

Laois

County manager (Peter Carey): €132,511

2 director of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior planner: €73,223 to €87,117

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Financial management accountant: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €888,796

Leitrim

County manager (Jackie Maguire): €132,511

4 director of services: €90,453 to €106,900 Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Veterinary officer: €60,555 to €94,392

* What the top 10 earn: €1,022,754

Limerick city

City manager (Tom Mackey): €142,469

4 directors of service: €98,677 to €106,900

3 senior engineers: €81,886 to €87,117

Senior executive officer: €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €1,006, 258

Limerick county

County manager (Gerry Behan, acting): €142,469

5 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Veterinary officer: €60,555 to €94,393

5 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

Regional waste co-ordinator: €73,223 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €1,052,496

Longford

County manager (Tim Caffrey): €132,511

2 directors of services (plus one acting director of services): €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Senior resident engineer: €80,076

2 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

4 senior executive officer: €64,426 to €84,036

8 senior executive engineers: €62,276 to €78,501

Veterinary inspector: €60,555 to €94,392

2 resident engineers: €59,680 to €68,030

Site technician: €48,147 to €52,363

* What the top 10 earn: €1,066,529

Louth

County manager (Conn Murray) €142,469

5 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

6 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

11 in senior executive officer/financial management accountant/senior social worker/county librarian/head of IT posts: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €1,025,437

Mayo

County manager (Peter Hynes): €142,469

County engineer: €90,453 to €106,900

4 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

Project resident engineer: €88,698

Vet inspector: €60,555 to €94,392

* What the top 10 earn: €1,054,076

Meath

County Manager (Tom Dowling) €153,260

4 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 €106,900

County Vet: €88,898 to €98,945

Project resident engineer: €88,698

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior planner: €73,223 to €87,117

4 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,049,637

Monaghan

County manager (David Fallon): €132,511

2 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Acting director of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Veterinary inspector: €60,555 to €94,392

Senior executive officer: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €999,890

North Tipp

County manager (Joe MacGrath): €132,511

3 directors of service: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Veterinary inspector: €60,555 to €94,392

4 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,002,971

Offaly

County manager (Pat Gallagher): €132,511

4 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior planner: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €995,696

Roscommon

County manager (Frank Dawson): €132,511

3 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Veterinary inspector: €60,555 to €94,392

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,002,971

Sligo County

County manager (Hubert Kearns): €136,509

3 directors of services: €99,970 to €109,268

Senior executive officer: €104,885

Project engineer: €96,167

2 senior engineers: €86,818 to €92,919

Veterinary inspector: €91,336

Chief librarian: €86,573

* What the top 10 earn: €1,012,872

Sligo Borough

Acting director of services: €102,787

Senior executive officer: €81,234

4 senior executive engineers: €71,824 to €76,118

Executive engineer and acting senior executive engineers: €64,373

Executive engineer: €62,374

3 administrative officers: €59,324 to €61,420

* What the top 10 earn: €653,182

South Dublin

County manager (Philomena Poole, acting): €162,062

8 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Project engineer (construction): €87,117

County architect: €78,368 to €95,540

Law agent: €78,368 to €95,540

15 in senior engineer/senior architect/senior planner/parks superintendent/solicitor/health and safety adviser posts: €73,223 to €87,117

* What the top 10 earn: €1,104,379

South Tipp

County manager (Billy McEvoy): €142,469

5 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

4 veterinary inspectors: €60,555 to €94,393

* What the top 10 earn: €1,054,541

Waterford City Council

City manager (Michael Walsh): €132,511

3 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Senior engineer: €73,223 to €87,117

Senior architect: €73,223 to €87,117

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

City librarian: €64,426 to €84,036

Head of information systems: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €989,534

Waterford County Council

County manager (Denis McCarthy): €132,511

4 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

County librarian: €68,496

4 senior executive officer: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €973,994

Westmeath

County manager (Danny McLoughlin) €142,469

2 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Veterinary officer: €60,555 to €94,392

Chief fire officer: €73,223 to €87,117

3 senior engineers: €73,223 to €87,117

County librarian: €64,426 to €84,036

* What the top 10 earn: €990,065

Wexford

County manager (Eddie Breen): €142,469

3 directors of services: €102,787 to €106,900

Head of finance: €94,565

County veterinary officer: €94,392

2 senior engineers: €87,117

Chief fire officer: €84,500

Senior engineer: €84,500

* What the top 10 earn: €991,247

Wicklow

County manager (Eddie Sheehy): €142,469

6 directors of services: €90,453 to €106,900

Head of finance: €90,453 to €106,900

Law agent: €78,368 to €95,540

Veterinary inspector: €60,555 to €94,392

* What the top 10 earn: €1,080,701


© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Breaking Stories

Gardaí seek help in locating a missing 13-year-old girl

Four people arrested after two men stabbed in Co Kerry

Pig's head and racist graffiti left at Belfast community centre

Gerry Adams calls for DUP to return to powersharing

Lifestyle

House cleaning for dummies

Getting clean and lean: James Duigan on the simplicity of changing your food habits

Ask Audrey: You’re 9 on the Crazy Scale, where 1 is sane and 10 is flying with Ryanair

Get out and enjoy: What's on offer for Culture Night?

More From The Irish Examiner