Number of RTÉ staff earning over €100,000 reaches 119 in 2021

Number of RTÉ staff earning over €100,000 reaches 119 in 2021
In correspondence with the Public Accounts Committee, RTÉ’s head of public affairs Vivienne Flood said that such an investment would be a “minimal requirement” in order to bring the online player up to standard. © PA Archive/PA Images

Gordon Deegan

A total of 119 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 do not include RTÉ’s top earners including the likes of Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy and Ray D’Arcy as they are not RTE 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 RTE 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 10 per cent.

Earning bracket

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 RTE last year totalled €60,686 - a decrease of €67 on the average salary of €60,753 in 2020.

The RTE 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 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.”

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 stated that “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."