Government must end pay inequality for nurses

Alan Kelly TD
03 May 2018

Speaking from the INMO annual delegate conference, Labour Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said in order to tackle the staffing crisis in our hospitals, the Government must end pay inequality for nursing staff.

Deputy Kelly said:

“We must address the standard of pay for nurses in Ireland when we compare it with that in other countries. Many people who enter the profession want to stay in Ireland. However, a survey carried out by the INMO, of those going to college and becoming nurses has shown that a large quantity of them have said that they will leave. They will do so because they know what they are facing into, not because they want to leave. They will leave, go abroad and work and earn an awful lot more in Australia, Dubai, Great Britain and other locations because they know the conditions in which they will work. It is not all about money. It is about the working environment and the place where they will end up.

“Student nurses see the conditions in our hospitals with their own eyes. At a time when we have a trolley crisis and when we consider the conditions in which many nurses work, the situation in many maternity wards, accident and emergency departments, particularly at weekends, and psychiatric wards, the future of many different services, the uncertainty surrounding certain services and what is expected of nurses, graduate nurses know that they can get better conditions elsewhere.

“With Brexit on the horizon, inching closer and closer, there is a real opportunity to encourage those who have left to practice in England to come home and encourage other EU nurses to come here. Ireland won’t be seen as an attractive option unless we end pay inequality in our hospitals.

“Labour’s position on this is clear -the emergency is over. The time for pay equality has arrived.

“If we are to end the staffing crisis in our health service, the Government needs to be more proactive when it comes to attracting quality staff to our healthcare system and deal with the issues around pay and conditions.”

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