Third of Irish Water staff get 15% bonus

TD obtains fresh information through further parliamentary questions

Irish Water director general John Tierney told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee earlier this month that the bonus arrangements were similar to those in Bord Gáis 	Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Irish Water director general John Tierney told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee earlier this month that the bonus arrangements were similar to those in Bord Gáis Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Fri, Jan 24, 2014, 06:44

A third of Irish Water staff are entitled to bonuses of around 15 per cent of their annual salary.

Labour Dublin South-East TD Kevin Humphreys obtained the new information through parliamentary questions, having tabled similar queries last November.

The replies show that, out of 309 staff employed so far, 65 people are entitled to bonuses of 14 per cent of their salary, with 29 people entitled to 15 per cent.

A further 165 staff are entitled to 6.5 per cent, with 50 staff allowed 2.75 per cent.

“I am satisfied they [Irish Water] have now answered these queries but further questions need to be asked about bonuses and other arrangements,” he said.

Irish Water director general John Tierney, who is the only staff member not entitled to a bonus, told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee earlier this month that the bonus arrangements were similar to those in Bord Gáis, where staff get an average bonus of 7 per cent of salary.


Level of bonuses
The parliamentary question replies also reveal 29 people, including Mr Tierney, in Irish Water earn more than €100,000, but there is no indication of a link between the level of bonuses and wage rates.

However, the vast majority of staff, some 183, get €70,000 or less. Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said “the amount of the performance pay will be a function of corporate performance, business unit performance and individual performance”.

“The figures outlined above illustrate the percentage to be allocated if an individual receives a ‘fully meets expectations’ performance rating.”

When an individual receives a ‘does not meet expectations’ performance rating, no award will be made.

Mr Hogan also said two Irish Water credit cards had been issued for business use by Mr Tierney and one other senior executive.

“These cards are for company purchases or costs on behalf of the business,” Mr Hogan said. “The cards have been issued in the name of the managing director and the head of customer operations . . . In 2013 approximately €10,000 was spent on each card. The only commitment to date in 2014 relates to an amount of €375. Irish Water is preparing a breakdown of the various payments, which they will directly issue to the TD.


‘Credit cards’
“The holder of the card does not approve the payment of the credit card bill, in other words, there is a further sign-off as part of the approvals process. All charges to the credit card must be accompanied by supporting documentation.”

It is also revealed that 27 senior managers are in receipt of a car allowance of €10,500.