Health service to hire 1,000 nurses
The health service is to recruit up to 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives next year at lower pay rates.
The move is aimed at reducing the reliance of hospitals and other health agencies on more expensive staff provided by agencies and is expected to save up to €10 million.
The HSE said that the graduate nurses and midwives would receive a two-year contract and be paid 80 per cent of the first point of the salary scale for a staff nurse.
The general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) Liam Doran said the union was “shocked” at the idea of paying the staff concerned 80 per cent of the rate and would be seeking talks with management on the issue.
The HSE said that it had received approval from the Government to recruit up to 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives to the public health service next year.
It said under the new initiative the graduate nurses would be deployed across the many specialities within HSE and HSE-funded services, which currently relied on agency staff and overtime in order to maintain services.
“The graduate nurses will receive a two-year contract and will be paid at a rate of 80 per cent of the first point of the salary scale for a staff nurse. “
“Those recruited can earn approximately €26,000 per annum including basic pay and premium pay.”
The HSE said the new initiative would allow it to reduce its reliance on agency nurses and overtime which it described as “unsustainable”.
The HSE said the new graduate nursing programme was expected to realise cost savings for the HSE in the region of €10million in 2013.
“It also provides 2012 nursing and midwifery graduates with an opportunity to gain substantial clinical experience to further their career and professional development, with the security of a 2 year contract and salary.”
Mr Doran said: “The INMO welcomes the recruitment of 1,000 new graduates on a two year contract. However the organisation is shocked at the idea of 80% of salary and will be having further discussions on this. The INMO also wants clarification on the educational dimension of the scheme.”