GRADUATE NURSES WILL today begin a campaign to protest a reduction in the starting salary for graduates in training programmes.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) says the launch this afternoon outside Leinster House of the ‘Everyone Loves Nurses’ campaign comes ahead of a larger demonstration taking place in a fortnight.
The starting salary for a newly graduated nurses has dropped €4,000 to €22,000, which the USI says equates to €6.49 per hour.
USI President Joe O’Connor said that the drop is encouraging nurses to emigrate.
“Our hospitals need nurses to stay in Ireland to work,” he said.
The message to Minister [for Health James] Reilly today is loud and clear; change the starting salary level back to €26,000 for newly graduated nurses.
He added that under-staffing is a huge issue of the healthcare sector and that conditions “need to change now”.
TheJournal.ie reported in August last year that nurses and midwives completing their final year of study, not graduate nurses, equates to the equivalent of €6.49 per hour for the first 12 weeks of the 36-week placement which all nurses and midwives undertake as part of their degree courses.
In the second 12 weeks, the pay will rise to €6.92 an hour, before rising to €7.79 per hour in the final 12 weeks.
On an average working week of 39 hours for a nurse, the €22,000 figure equates to just over €10 per hour. This website is awaiting confirmation from the USI as to the source of the “€6.49″ figure.