Student nurses and midwives still waiting on pandemic bonus payment
Labour spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science, Annie Hoey has called on the Minister for Health and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science, to outline the status of the pandemic bonus for student nurses and midwives.
Following reports that this bonus is yet to be received by many students, Senator Hoey said despite taking on the lion’s share during the pandemic, it now appears that nursing and midwifery students have been forgotten about.
Senator Hoey said:
“The delays to the pandemic bonus payment for students is deeply disrespectful. Student nurses and midwives were at the coal face of the pandemic, working on Covid-19 wards and caring for vulnerable patients. They put themselves far and above the average risk of contracting Covid-19 along with their colleagues. It is shameful that many are yet to receive the pandemic bonus. It reflects a failure of leadership of the Minister for Health and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science.
“Announced in January, it is simply not good enough that we have a cohort of students waiting on their well-earned bonus. Indeed, many will have factored it into their summer spending and their finances for the forthcoming college term. It’s very disappointing that Government seems to have forgotten students working in our hospitals during Covid.
“This payment should have been an opportunity to show student nurses and midwives that the political system recognises, respects and values the contribution they made on the frontline during the pandemic. Instead, they have been met with empty promises and excuse after excuse.
“Students were dedicated to their jobs during the greatest health crisis of our times and the lack of recognition of their work is disrespectful. Students shouldn’t now be asked to use their time and energy to follow up with the HSE on the bonus they are due. These students made enormous personal sacrifices during the pandemic, truly going above and beyond the call of duty. This must be recognised.”