Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens should be ashamed for voting against paying student nurses 

Senator Annie Hoey image
03 December 2020
  • Fianna Fáil statement outlining why the Government voted against the motion is galling

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens should be ashamed for voting against paying student nurses according to Labour Senator Annie who was speaking after the three Government parties voted against a private members motion in the Dáil to pay student nurses. 

Senator Hoey said:

“The three Government parties turned their backs on student nurses last night. This is very disappointing given what we have just come through this year. 

“Student nurses are working on the frontline treating COVID patients on wards in hospitals all over the country. No amount of applause or weasel words of sympathy from Government TD’s supplant the fact that they are working for free. It is totally unacceptable.

“In a galling statement online, Fianna Fáil attempted to defend their despicable vote against paying student nurses by claiming ‘it would be unfair to agree a Dáil motion to pay student nurses and ignore student teachers and trainee Gardaí.’

“It is incomprehensible that Fianna Fáil would put out a statement saying they couldn’t pay student nurses because it would be unfair on all the other trainees who do not get paid. I have long said that students should be paid while they are undertaking mandatory training placements as part of their education.

“How out of touch are Fianna Fáil and the other Government parties to suggest that trainee student teachers, medical students and trainee Gardaí do not do “real work” as their statement on social media clearly stated, while they are in training and therefore that is a valid reason to not compensate them for their work.

“There are student teachers absolutely reeling today after hearing that Fianna Fáil do not think they are doing real work. There are trainee Gardaí keeping our communities safe who are, according to Fianna Fáil, not doing real work.

“Fianna Fáil seem to think student nurses are some sort of Schrödinger’s Nurse: both unworthy of payment because they are in training, while simultaneously doing real work that simply would not be done on wards were they not there to do it.

“The disrespect from all three Government parties for our frontline workers, and other public service workers, is astonishing.

“I would suggest that Fianna Fáil and all Government TDs should complete a 12-hour shift on a hospital ward during the worst health crisis in 100 years without pay and recount their experiences. This Government is completely out of touch and needs to realise that student nurses and midwives cannot live off applause and platitudes. Trainee workers should be treated like any other worked and should be remunerated for their time and work. They need to properly value their contribution and pay them.


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