The pay package for the chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE), Paul Reid, last year increased to €420,103.
Mr Reid has been leading the HSE fight against Covid-19 over the past year and in his role as the CEO of the largest employer in the State, he heads up an organisation employing more than 100,000 people.
Now, new figures released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that Mr Reid was the best paid non-medical member of HSE staff last year by some distance.
The figures show that Mr Reid’s pay was made up of basic pay of €370,136 and allowances of €49,966.
A spokeswoman for the HSE said on Tuesday that Mr Reid “is not a member of the HSE pension scheme and €49,966 is a payment in lieu of pension contribution”.
She stated: “The rates of pay, allowances and other pay-related conditions for HSE employees are approved by the Department of Health.”
The increase in Mr Reid’s pay last year comes against the background of the numbers of HSE non-medical staff earning over €100,000 increasing by 27 per cent or 144 from 534 in 2019 to 678 last year due to public sector pay rises.
The FOI figures show that Mr Reid’s 2020 pay package is more than double the pay of the second best paid non-medical staff member at the HSE last year.
The figures show that second best paid non-medical staff member in management/administration received €188,829 with the third and fourth best paid each receiving just over €186,000.
Mr Reid’s basic pay of €370,000 is almost substantially higher than the current salary of €211,742 for the office of An Taoiseach.
Mr Reid and the top ten best paid non-medical staff in the HSE — mainly managers — last year shared an aggregate €2m in pay.
His appointment to the post was given the go-ahead by Cabinet in April 2019 on a salary of €350,000.
He moved from his role as CEO of Fingal County Council where he enjoyed an annual salary of €165,320.
Mr Reid commenced his five-year contract for the HSE on May 14th, 2019 and even though the Dubliner worked seven and a half months for the HSE in 2019, he was still the HSE’s best paid non-medical member of staff in 2019 when he received €229,194 made up of basic pay of €201,933 and €27,260 in pension contributions.
The second best paid non-medical staff member received €195,678 in 2019.
The figures show that 36 staff at managerial level in the HSE last year received pay between €150,000 and €200,000 and this was an increase on the 25 in that earning bracket in 2019.
The figures also show that the numbers earning between €100,000 and €150,000 last year totalled 641 compared to 507 in that earning bracket in 2019.
There were two members of non-medical staff in 2019 earning between €200,000 and €300,000 and none in that earning bracket in 2020.
Mr Reid was the only non-medical member of staff to earn over €200,000 in 2020.
Providing context on the increasing numbers of high earners at the HSE last year, a spokeswoman for the HSE FOI unit stated: “In 2020, there was a restoration of periodic allowances culminating in an increase of 5% for those earning less than €125,000 and 8 per cent for those earning more than €125,000.
She added: “Also in 2020, a further two per cent increase in pay of all staff was implemented from the 1st October 2020. This increase is calculated on top of the accumulated costs to date including all previous Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 (PSSA) rate increases.”