Journalists at RTÉ have described as "indefensible" salaries being paid to a small number of people in the organisation and have called on management to reduce them.

Members of the National Union of Journalist's Dublin Broadcasting Branch met at RTÉ yesterday and discussed the financial crisis at the organisation. 

A resolution passed by the meeting said it was "indefensible" that RTÉ continued to pay exorbitant salaries of up to €500,000 to a small number of people and said it understood public anger on the issue.

The journalists said they noted the Netherlands had introduced a law prohibiting anyone working in the public or semi-public sector from earning more than €187,000 and called on RTÉ management to immediately move to reduce the fees of the top presenters so that no one in the organisation is earning more than the top civil service salary, that of Secretary General.

The pay scale of a Secretary General is between €196,665 and €207,590. They are also entitled to pensions.

RTÉ presenters have previously pointed they are not entitled to pension payments.

NUJ members also said they felt that the RTÉ proposal to cut 15% off payments to its top contracted presenters did not go far enough.

Earlier this month RTÉ released details of plans to address the financial problems at the organisation which aims to save €60m over three years through a number of measures including pay freezes and the closure of the existing studio in Limerick.

Responding to the NUJ resolution, RTÉ said in a statement that the broadcaster had proposed reducing the fees paid to top contracted on air presenters by 15% in addition to the 30+% cuts agreed in previous years.

They said negotiations on these reductions had begun.