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Nurses' union demands boycott of graduate scheme over pay dispute

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says graduate nurses should not have to work for 80 per cent of the usual wage.

Image: hxdbzxy via Shutterstock

THE TRADE UNION representing Irish nurses and midwives has called for a boycott of a scheme announced earlier this month, which would have seen the HSE recruit up to 1,000 graduates into those professions next year.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has described the proposals, announced by the HSE last week, as a “cheap labour scam”.

Graduates recruited under the scheme would graduates paid a wage equivalent to 80 per cent of the minimum wage on the staff nurse scale – which the INMO says has already been cut by 24 per cent in recent years.

“Young nurses/midwives have, therefore, already contributed more than their fair share towards the country’s recovery,” the group said in a statement this afternoon.

The INMO and the Psychiatric Nurses Association also suggested the scheme was merely a way of getting existing nurses and midwives to return to the HSE at lower pay than before.

This reality is confirmed by the circular, issued by the HSE, telling all local health managers that any hospital that has already provided contracts of employment, to the 2012 graduates, should discontinue them immediately”, the groups said in a joint statement.

Both unions have called graduates completing college to refuse to apply for the posts until they are advertised at the salary equal to those afforded to full-time equivalents in the service, and are to organise a rally at Croke Park for January 5.

Read: HSE to recruit up to 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives next year

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Gavan Reilly

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