Unions seek boycott of HSE scheme
The country's nursing unions have called for a boycott of a Health Service Executive plan to recruit 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives next year at lower pay rates.
The HSE announced details last week of a plan to recruit graduate nurses and midwives on 80 per cent of the current entry pay scale.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) representing over 45,000 nurses and midwives called today for a boycott of the scheme.
The unions have described the scheme as “opportunistic and greedy” and say it will lead to the exploitation of registered nurses and midwives.
INMO general secretary Liam Doran said: “This scheme will drive nurses to England where they can get better paid jobs and conditions.”
The INMO claims the Government announced the recruitment initiative "without any meaningful consultation or discussion".
The union said that the conversion from employment through an agency to direct employment, while placing the new graduate on the minimum of the agreed public sector scale "would have saved the HSE over 54 per cent per annum".
PNA general secretary Des Kavanagh said that graduate nurses are expected to shoulder the same receive equal pay for the work they do. He said the level of anger had intensified over the graduate scheme and would only serve to push more nurses abroad.
The unions have called on all 2012 graduates not to apply for any posts until they are offered the full salary.
A national rally of all 2012 graduates, fourth year undergraduates, agency nurses and nurses on panels will take part in a rally on January 5th at Croke Park, a week before the posts are advertised.
The two unions have called for a meeting with Minister for Health James Reilly and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.
INMO president Clare Mahon said the scheme will “callously dispense with services of agency or temporary staff who are only working because the HSE refuses to fill vacant posts”.
One 2012 graduate was critical of the scheme. Aisling Maher said she was "shocked and appalled" at the scheme. "The level of pay they are offering is not acceptable," she said. “The healthcare state is under incredible stress here. We work very hard as we are already understaffed and are accountable for all our actions. Eighty per cent of the pay is an insult to our profession.
“The scheme initially sounded appealing until you realise what it meant. Anyone I spoke to will not consider it. When we hold our rally in January we will stand, tall, loud and proud and boycott these posts,” she said.