Student Nurses and Midwives must be paid as healthcare assistants as Covid cases rise
- €100 a week grant for students not good enough and pay must be backdated to September.
- Students should be paid again at healthcare assistant rate to reflect higher risk in health service as proposed in Labour Party Bill.
- Minister should meet with union representatives today and do the right thing.
With acute hospitals under severe pressure due to rising Covid-19 cases, Labour Senator Annie Hoey has called for the Minister for Health to ensure student nurses and midwives are paid again at the rate of healthcare assistants and that payments are backdated.
Senator Hoey published a bill before Christmas that would ensure student nurses and midwives are paid at a minimum at the same rate as healthcare assistants when working in our health service as part of their training.
Senator Hoey said:
“Last night student nurses and midwives learned about the results of a review of their pay from the news while many of them were working at the frontline of our fight against the pandemic.
“I would back the description of the report by the INMO as ‘obsolete’. The huge risks being faced by students must be reflected in how we treat them.
“The addition of a €100 grant is simply not enough and the issue of 4th year student nurses and midwives hasn’t been properly addressed.
“With unions due to meet with officials from the Department of Health today, I would urge the Minister for Health to do the right thing, meet with representatives today, and ensure that student nurses are properly compensated for their work.
“Before Christmas I published a bill that if passed would ensure student nurses are paid at the same rate as healthcare assistants.
“We are in a crisis, and our students are at the frontline and need to be paid and supported. They deserve to be treated better.”