St Vincent’s to consider new proposals on top-up payments

One option would end practice of group CEO receiving pay from public and private sectors

 Prof Noel Whelan , Chairman, St Vincent’s Healthcare Group.

Prof Noel Whelan , Chairman, St Vincent’s Healthcare Group.

Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 01:00


The board of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group is to meet today to consider proposals for dealing with the controversy over additional payments made to senior executives on top of official pay rates in the health service.

Informed sources said that among the options were ending the current practice of the group chief executive receiving payments from both the public and private sectors.

Sources said that the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group had been encouraged by the HSE to deal with the controversy over so-called top-up payments for senior executives in advance of appearing before the Dáil Public Accounts Committee next week and that a number of proposals in this regard have been put forward.


Compliance
The chairman of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, Prof Noel Whelan, and deputy chairman Stewart Harrington yesterday held talks for about 90 minutes with the director general of the HSE, Tony O’Brien, on the issue of compliance with public service pay policy.

Prof Whelan said after the meeting a number of issues had arisen which would be brought to the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group at an early date and that, shortly thereafter, there would be further discussions with the HSE.

He said that technically the group was complying with public service pay policy as it understood it.

The HSE had sought the meeting with Prof Whelan after the healthcare group had disclosed just before Christmas that its chief executive, Nicholas Jermyn, was receiving a total package of more than €292,000 a year.

It said this was made up of €136,282 from the public sector and €136,951 from the private sector as well as with a privately funded car allowance of €19,796. The group indicated that its director of finance, Cormac Maloney, earned €140,876, including a privately payment of €32,544.

Director of nursing Mary Duff received €96,405, including a privately funded payment of €14,853.


Additional remuneration
The group said there were three other, unidentified, individuals who were also receiving additional remuneration.

The group said it was in a position to fund the additional remuneration as it had a source of private income from the operation of the nearby St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

The group said the remuneration for its executives had been approved by the hospital group’s board and was regularly reviewed against performance and benchmarked externally.

Chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness said at the time he was shocked by the scale of the payments and the fact the hospital had released the details hours before Christmas Eve.


Senior executives
The group had previously refused to disclose the total remuneration of its senior executives.

Prof Whelan said the talks with Mr O’Brien yesterday had been “very productive”.

The HSE said it had had “a useful, detailed and comprehensive meeting with St Vincent’s Healthcare Group relating to matters concerning public pay policy”.

“St Vincent’s Hospital Group will revert to the HSE following a further meeting of its board [today].”

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