Nursing jobs 'will be difficult to fill'

Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 00:00

The Health Service Executive will find it difficult to get the numbers to fill a nursing graduate programme that would pay graduates 80 per cent of the going pay rate, the general secretary of the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation has said.

Liam Doran was speaking following a rally in Croke Park on Saturday organised by the INMO and the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association, both of which have called for a boycott of the graduate programme.

Mr Doran labelled the programme “an attempt at exploitation”, and repeated the unions’ contention that the initiative would result in existing experienced agency and temporary nursing staff being displaced and replaced by new graduates for lower pay. “You have 1,000 qualified nurses currently working through agencies or on short-term contracts who will be sacked if this goes ahead . . . this is simply barefaced displacement.”

He said the new graduates the HSE wanted to recruit would be taking on “100 per cent of the responsibility for 80 per cent of the pay”.

Calling for boycott

Mr Doran said the organisations were calling for a boycott of the initiative, which is due to be advertised from January 11th for general nursing positions and in February for all other nursing and midwifery disciplines.

The unions are also calling for a nationwide lobbying campaign of TDs.

Mr Doran called for the HSE to enter “meaningful talks” and to agree other initiatives that would cut payroll costs while respecting agreed salary scales.

He said the 500-plus protesters at Saturday’s rally, whom he said were mainly new graduates, were more likely to take up positions abroad than to enter a graduate programme for a salary of €22,000 down from €26,400. He said overseas recruitment agencies at the rally had done “brisk business”.