Recently graduated nurses to receive €1,000 pay boost
Incremental credit for placements restored for workers who qualified between 2011 and 2015
The move effectively reverses a previous Government decision that such an incremental credit arrangement should only apply to nurses who graduated in 2016 and not to those who finished their degrees in the years between 2011 and 2015. FIle photograph: Frank Miller
Nurses who graduated between 2011 and 2015 are to receive a pay boost of more than €1,000 after the Government agreed to restore incremental credit for the 36 weeks they spent on placement in hospitals as students.
The Minister for Health Simon Harris said the payment of more than €1,000 would take effect from January 1st, 2017, and that about 4,000 nurses would benefit.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said the new initiative could be worth up to €1,500 and that up to 7,500 could benefit.
The move effectively reverses a previous Government decision that such an incremental credit arrangement should only apply to nurses who graduated in 2016 and not to those who finished their degrees in the years between 2011 and 2015.
Nursing unions had pressed the Government for some time to address what they described as an “anomaly”.
Mr Harris said on Thursday: “I met with a group of graduate nurses recently and it was clear to me that this issue was severely impacting on their conditions and morale. Since then, I have worked closely with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, to address this and I am delighted to announce today that these nurses will now receive the increment they so deserve.”
“I am particularly pleased that this restoration will also apply to nurses who graduated during these years but may have left the country and might be thinking about coming home. We have major challenges recruiting and retaining nurses in this country but I believe this is a small step forward. We need our nurses to stay and we need our nurses to come home.”
The INMO said: “The removal of this anomaly involving the withholding of incremental credit for the fourth year of the undergraduate programme, sees the elimination of this very regressive measure which was introduced, unilaterally, in 2011.”
“This development will benefit nurses/midwives, who graduated during this five-year period, who are working, at this time, in the public health service. In addition it will also increase the starting salary of any nurse/midwife who graduated, in the same period, who are now working elsewhere or overseas and who wish to come back.”
The Psychiatric Nurses Association said the new move “should help in the efforts to recruit and retain nurses in the Irish health system”.
Siptu organiser, John McCamley said: “This decision comes at the end of a long campaign to end this pay injustice and the two-tier pay system that had developed and was having a detrimental effect on recruiting and retaining nurses. This is a small step in recognising the vital contribution that these nurses have made to our public health service.”
However, Nursing Homes Ireland said the State “may be abusing EU competition rules” by using taxpayers’ funds to try to monopolise the hiring all nurses in the State.