Nurses to protest over lower paid jobs


Hundreds of nurses and midwives are expected to take part in a protest rally today against plans by the Health Service Executive to recruit 1,000 nursing graduates this year at lower pay rates.

At the rally in Croke Park the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association will re-state their call for a boycott of the proposed HSE graduate programme.

The unions have argued that the initiative will result in 1,000 existing experienced agency/temporary nursing staff being displaced and replaced by new graduates at a lower salary of €22,000 instead of the current rate of about €26,400.

The rally is expected to hear plans for a campaign to lobby TDs against the HSE recruitment plan.

Union leaders are likely to argue that a 24 per cent reduction in starting pay rates for nurses and midwives put in place since 2009 represents a deeper cut than that imposed on TDs’ salaries even though their overall remuneration is far higher.

Speaking ahead of the rally, the general secretary of the PNA, Des Kavanagh, said:

“The HSE are presenting this flawed initiative as some sort of opportunity for new graduates. All it is, in reality, is an overt attempt to recruit cheap labour in breach of agreed salaries.”