Nurses and public pay


Sir, – According to the Department of Public Expenditure, as quoted in “Nurses’ pay, Brexit and economic wobbles: here comes politics 2019” (Opinion & Analysis, December 29th), the average pay of a staff nurse is between €57,000 and €58,000 a year, which includes “allowances and premium payments”. 

I have worked as a qualified nurse for 23 years, in which time unsocial hours, weekends, night duty and bank holidays (including Christmas) were a simple fact of life.  

I have now decided that, after 22 years, I would like a “normal” 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday routine, where I am off at weekends, evenings and bank holidays – the “working week” for most readers.

My salary, on the highest level of the pay scale, is €45,701.00, plus an allowance of €1,851.72, gross per annum, which is before all deductions of course.

As you state that graduate nurses start on €37,000 per annum, this means that my 22 years of postgraduate service have gained me an increase of €10,552 gross per annum, if I choose to have an existence in which terms such as “weekend” and “Christmas break” actually mean something.

It would be helpful to point out what the earning of “allowances and premium payments” actually involve, and what is required in order for a nurse to earn a wage which, as you state, is not a king’s ransom, but not peanuts either.– Yours, etc,


Bray, Co Wicklow.