Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 28 January, 1998
Written Answers. - Harbour Company Staff.
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
226. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the harbours which have been subjected to investigations in relation to salary scales of harbour company staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1488/98]
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
227. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources when he will pub- lish details of the investigation into the salary scales of the commercial harbour staff. [1489/98]
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): I propose to answer Questions Nos. 226 and 227 together.
Prior to the corporisation of eight commercial harbours, a list of which follows, on 3 March 1997 the former trustees of the harbours in question had the sole authority to determine pay and employment conditions for their harbour employees. My Department had no function or authority under the governing statute, the Har- bours Act, 1946, in the matter of pay and employ- ment conditions. In addition, the Harbours Act, 1996 protected the position of former staff by providing that those transferring to a port com- pany from a harbour authority would not be sub- ject to less beneficial conditions of service or  remuneration than those which applied prior to transfer.
My Department recently sought details of the remuneration levels and expenses paid to management and executive staff in each of the eight port companies and also in the other operational commercial harbours operating under the Harbours Act, 1946, a list of which follows.
The results of the inquiries indicated that the actual remuneration of chief executives, for which guidelines are set down in report No. 35 of the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector — i.e. Cork, Dublin, Shannon and Waterford — ranges from almost 30 per cent to 90 per cent higher than those contained in the guidelines. Salaries and allowances at other port companies and harbour authorities, with the exception of those paid at the Foynes Port Com- pany which was the subject of a separate report commissioned by my Department, are not gener- ally out of line with the pay and conditions which apply in similar sized organisations in the wider public sector.
In relation to management/executive salaries in port companies or harbour authorities it would be inappropriate to disclose details of individual employees remuneration. Disclosure of con- ditions of service and remuneration contracted between individual harbour employees and their statutorily independent employers is a matter for such port companies, harbour authorities and their employees.
As regards Foynes Port Company the Deputy may wish to note that I arranged for copies of a summary of the consultant's report on pay levels and structures in the company to be deposited in the Oireachtas Library.
On foot of the investigations, I have directed that each port company, in determining both the remuneration and allowances for expenses to be paid to all staff members and their terms and conditions of employment, must have regard to Government or nationally agreed guidelines. I have also directed that a review be initiated of the 1946 harbours legislation which is still applicable to non-corporatised ports. I will, on foot of this review, move quickly to update the legislation, as necessary, to strengthen controls.
My Department will rigorously assess, on an on-going basis, the performance of all of the port companies and harbour authorities in the dis- charge of their corporate governance responsi- bilities. My priority is to ensure that the essential commercial mandate, to provide efficient and cost effective management of the State's port assets and infrastructure, is discharged fully.
Dáil Éireann 486 Written Answers. Harbour Company Staff.