The Department of Health and Children intends to impose pay reductions, in addition to the 10% pay cut announced in the budget, on all new entrants to the public service, as follows:
- 2011 – 76% of the new lower scale
- 2012 – 60% of the new lower scale
- 2013 – 50% of the new lower scale
- 2014 – 40% of the new lower scale
This amounts to a total cumulative pay cut of 65%.
- Then in 2015 – no salary at all (100 % pay cut)
The decision of Government to reduce and then abolish the 4th year pay of student nurse interns has led to huge levels of anxiety among nursing students.
Many of those students including significant numbers of mature students have budgeted for their training years based on the promised salary. For some students now the questions arising is whether they can afford to remain training.
Des Kavanagh states: “this arbitrary decision is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated, the interns are employed in place of a staff nurse and are required to carry out the full range of duties albeit under supervision. It would be intolerable that an intern assigned within psychiatry be required to carry the risk of assault in the workplace and at the same time not be in receipt of any pay.”
First year student Richard Browne states: “having been self employed for 13 years I chose a career in psychiatric nursing. As a mature student I planned out the affordability of my 4 year honours degree course. The decision to abolish payment has plunged me into a serious crisis which I hope can be resolved, or alternatively I may have to resign from nurse training.”
The PNA in association with the other unions is determined to defend our students and we call on the political parties currently campaigning for election to make public declarations in support of the students
For Comment please call : Des Kavanagh : 087 2313809
The Programme Campaign is as follows:
Lunchtime protests by pre-registration nurses and midwives, from all four years of the undergraduate programme, from 12.30-1.30p.m. at 13 hospitals across the country:
• Tralee General
• Mayo General
• St Vincent’s, Dublin
• Beaumont, Dublin
• Cork University Hospital
• Sligo General
• Letterkenny General
• Mid West Regional Hospital, Limerick
• University Hospital Galway
• Louth County, Dundalk
• Tullamore General
• St James’s, Dublin
• Waterford Regional
Protest March and Rally, commencing at 11.30a.m., at Parnell Square, Dublin and proceeding to the Department of Health where a letter, calling on the in-coming Minister to reverse this decision, will be handed in.
The unions PNA INMO & SIPTU have sought meetings with the leaders of the five political parties, directly following the march. At these meetings we will be asking them to confirm, if they were in government, that they will reverse this pay cut.
The response from each political party will subsequently be made known to the 6,000 members involved in this campaign ahead of the general election.
Following these two days of action, if there is no resolution, the unions will ballot all 4th year pre-registration nurses/midwives for a withdrawal of labour with industrial action commencing in early March.
In addition, this unilateral pay cut:
• has been referred to the Labour Relations Commission as it is a breach of the Croke Park Agreement and the Information and Consultation Directive;
• will be the subject of payment of wages claims to the Rights Commissioner Service for breach of contract; and,
• will be referred for investigation under equality legislation
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