CEO pay continues unrelenting rise
by Diarmaid Mac a Bhaird

Executive pay in Irish-registered companies increased by an average of 6% in 2017, according to the second update of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) study Because we’re worth it. The report, which examines executive pay in 26 companies, found that “the upward trajectory of chief executive officer (CEO) pay continues unabated.”


The disparity between average earnings – which were €37,646 last year – and CEO remuneration is also growing. Report co-author Peter Rigney said the greatest variance between the average worker’s wage and their CEO’s was in building materials company CRH.


“It would take an average CRH worker 230 years to earn what its CEO took home in 2017. It would take nine years for the average worker to earn what the lowest paid CEO earned in 2017,” he said.


Fórsa senior general secretary designate and ICTU vice president Kevin Callinan wondered if any lessons had been learned. “The trend of senior executives in companies earning growing multiples of the average pay packet is unacceptable and is fuelling inequality,” he said. 


Earlier this month, a survey by the respected journal Industrial Relations News found that the average private sector pay rise was between 2% and 3% in 2018.


The ICTU report’s conclusion notes that firms listed on the Dublin stock exchange are obliged to follow new guidelines by the British Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which come into effect in 2020.


It warns that: “it remains to be seen whether the effect of these new guidelines is to slow the rate of increase of corporate pay or merely to illustrate an unrelenting upward trend in greater detail.”

Read the report here.

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