Voting against pay for student nurses

 

Sir, – In the Dáil on Wednesday night, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green TDs voted against paying student nurses who have been working on the front line during this pandemic.

I am shocked at the Green Party voting this way; if this is part of the price of being in Government, it is a sad state of affairs. I have family members who are student nurses and who worked so hard during this pandemic and who are continuing to do so – and this is the thanks they get. It is ironic that TDs will stand and applaud the work of the nurses, while ignoring what they actually deserve for their work.

This year has been a challenging one for everyone, and yet when the Government gets the opportunity to reward student nurses for their courage in being on the frontline, it totally ignores it. – Yours, etc,

COLM HOGAN,

Kilmainham,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – The Government this week voted down a Solidarity-People Before Profit motion to support pay for student nurses by 79 votes to 73.

The decision by the Minister for Health not to show up for a two-hour debate on the case for paying our student nurses and midwives really reveals the arrogance and complacency of the Government on this issue. They were all in favour of clapping the nurses in the springtime but they just don’t want to pay them now.

More than 4,000 student nurses do work placements in our hospitals and health service commentators are unanimous in the view that the hospital system would grind to a halt without their contribution. Fourth-year student nurses and midwives receive internship pay for nine months of their final year. First-year, second-year and third-year student nurses and midwives receive no pay. Some students receive an allowance of €50.79 per week but these students are in a minority. – Yours, etc,

MICK BARRY TD,

Leinster House,

Dublin 2.

A chara, – Are any of us honestly surprised that our Government voted against a motion to pay student nurses and midwives? What’s worse is that they fooled us into going onto the streets at the start of this global pandemic to applaud our appreciation for our healthcare workers, when, together, we should have been demanding better pay and conditions for these heroes. Student nurses and midwives continue to voluntarily go into hazardous Covid-19 workplaces on a daily basis to care for their patients, our loved ones, while putting their own lives at risk.

Yes, this Government continually disappoints but I don’t think I have ever been so angry at them, even when they have awarded themselves pay rises. – Is mise,

JASON POWER,

Dartry,

Dublin 6.