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HSE were sent reports stating a portion of salaries were being paid with lottery proceeds, says CRC

It was agreed that lottery funds would fund the difference between approved pay scales and contractually agreed contracts, and the HSE knew this, said the CRC.

The Central Remedial Clinic
The Central Remedial Clinic
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall

THE CENTRAL REMEDIAL Clinic (CRC) have said that “regular reports” were sent to the Health Service Executive (HSE) since 2009 confirming that lottery proceeds received by the Friends of the CRC were paying for a portion of salaries.

The statement from the CRC comes after the former chairman of the CRC, Dan Peelo told Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One this morning that “very top people” in the HSE attended a meeting in 2009 at which privately-funded top-up payments for nine people in the organisation were agreed to.

He said the meeting centered around the salaries of nine employees. He said “two of the very top people” in the HSE attended the meeting and discussed salary scales. He said it was agreed that the salary levels would continue because they had “contractual obligations”.

“Agreed position” with the HSE

The statement from the CRC today states that they had an “agreed position” with the HSE to “phase out any existing management salaries being paid over and above the Department of Health’s consolidated pay scales.

The CRC stated that in relation to the nine employees in question, being paid over the public pay policy, it was “agreed at the time that as these positions became available through retirement or vacancy, new staff would be engaged on salaries purely in line with the Department’s pay scales”.

They added:

In the meantime, the difference between the Department of Health pay scales and the contractually obligated salaries of these staff would be funded by the Central Remedial Clinic through the lottery proceeds received by the Friends of the CRC.

This has been the case since then with regular reports being sent to the HSE confirming the portion of salaries being paid through both sources.

They added that salary of the Central Remedial Clinic’s newly appointed Chief Executive, Brian Conlan, complies with HSE current pay scales and is funded entirely by the HSE.

In relation to the other staff members they said:

At present five of the originally affected posts remain following retirement and vacancy and two of these posts are due to retire in the next two years.

Charitable donations

Addressing the concerns over what charitable donations are going to top-up salaries, they stated that the funds donated through other sources, such as the Santa Bear Appeal, comedy night, sale of work, golf classic, donor fundraising events, sponsorships, flag days and sales of Christmas cards are not used to fund these salaries  and overall charitable donations fund only 1.1 per cent of the CRC wage bill, with over 98 per cent of all public donations being used to fund the provision of services and capital investment.

Funds currently held in reserve totalling €12 million are earmarked for planned capital expenditure, they said.

Loan

Addressing the €3 million loan from the Friends of the CRC to the pension scheme covering 70 former staff, they stated that was in response to a requirement from the Irish Pension Board together with advice received from the CRC’s pension advisors and is expected to be repaid in full by 2017.

They concluded by saying that the Board of the CRC will “participate fully with the HSE and relevant
Dail committees in their review of these matters. The Members of the Board do not receive any remuneration, expenses or payments of any kind”.

Last week, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and Independent TD Shane Ross called for the Board of the CRC to step down, while the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that funding could be cut for agencies that do not comply with public sector pay structures.

Read: Quinn says CRC board should resign, Burton says salary claims are ‘disturbing’>
Related: HSE says some ‘top-ups’ for hospital executives date back to 1996>
Related:Gilmore warns health bodies could have funding cut if they don’t comply with pay policy>

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