THE HSE SAYS there has been strong interest in new jobs for graduate nurses since the scheme was announced last month – despite the significant decrease in pay compared to other nursing roles.
The application process for nurses and midwives officially began on Friday as the HSE broke the embargo on public sector recruitment to hire up to one thousand graduates.
However nursing unions have urged graduates to boycott the jobs, which will pay around 80 per cent of the usual salary for such a job. The application form for the role says salaries will begin at €21,769.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says that nurses currently hired by agencies to work for the HSE will be displaced by the one thousand new recruits. Unions have also derided the starting salary as “cheap labour”.
The HSE said it will be able to provide exact details on the number of applications after the closing date next Friday 18 January.
Barry O’Brien, the head of human resources at the HSE, said yesterday that he believes the starting salary is fair.
“It’s no different from any other job where you have a direct graduate entry programme and people join the work environment at that grade,” he told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland.