Lynch announces increase in pay for student nurses and midwives
Minister for Mental Health, Primary Care and Social Care (Disabilities and Older People), Kathleen Lynch, has today announced an increase in pay for certain student nurses and midwives, arising from the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
The decision was taken in conjunction with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin. It means an increase in the rate of pay for the clinical nursing/midwifery placement undertaken by student nurses/midwives in the 4th year of their degree programme to 70% of the 1st point of the Staff Nurse salary scale.
The decision will take effect from 1st March and will benefit around 1,400 student nurses this year and in all subsequent years. The measure was proposed by the Department of Health in conjunction with the HSE and the nursing unions.
Minister Lynch thanked her colleague, Minister Brendan Howlin, for his agreement to the proposal which was put forward in the context of the Chairman’s Note attaching to the Lansdowne Road Agreement which provided for consideration of the pay rate for the placement and also consideration of incremental credit in respect of the placement.
Minister Lynch is equally pleased that Minister Howlin has also agreed to restore recognition of the 36 week placement for the purposes of incremental progression for 1,400 student nurses/midwives currently undertaking the placement and for all future students. The position of those who have graduated since 2011 will be considered further in the context of a review of the impact of these initiatives on retention rates of student nurses/midwives.
Minister Lynch said that it was a reflection of the improving economic circumstances that we are now in a position to significantly improve the rate of pay for these students and to restore recognition of the duration of the placement as public service for incremental credit purposes going forward.
Minister Lynch pointed out that this latest positive measure is one of five introduced in the past few months to boost recruitment and retention of nurses. These include the first stage of pay restoration, a cut in the USC, a €1,500 vouched education bursary for new recruits, more permanent contracts, relocation payments for nurses coming from Britain, pay in return for taking on some duties from doctors and the nursing Taskforce on skills and skillmix pilot. These measures are already showing results with about 900 more nurses on the payroll compared to last year.