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Nurses at psychiatric hospital 'furious' as pay issues leave them hundreds of euro out of pocket

The union representing nurses said there have been issues since Christmas.

Image: St Vincent's Hospital.

STAFF AT A psychiatric hospital in Dublin are “furious” following repeated discrepancies in their pay since Christmas, their union has said.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has said there have been issues with pay at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fairview since Christmas, with “major discrepancies in pay”. Some staff were left hundreds of euro out of pocket as a result of the pay shortfalls.

The union said the issue arose again this week, with some concerns there would be no payments at all to staff. The PNA said staff did get their wages this week, but again with discrepancies.

One nurse at the hospital who spoke to The Journal said many staff were not paid their overtime or bank holiday payments, while others did not receive their additional Christmas pay. 

She said when the issue arose last month staff had to work out themselves how much they were owed and email it in to get the money.

“Then at 9.30pm [on Wednesday] the PNA rep put it in our work group that they had been informed the money wouldn’t go into the bank the next morning. It’s a bit of a disaster.”

Wage payments were made yesterday but, again, bank holiday pay and overtime payments were missing for many staff.

The PNA said staff are “furious as these discrepancies are affecting direct debits” for mortgage and bill payments. 

The nurse who spoke to The Journal said morale among staff is “already so poor” and that these discrepancies have worsened the situation.

“We’re under massive pressure, we’re short-staffed all the time,” she said.

“In fairness, immediate management have been trying to get staff booked in so we just about have the numbers, but sometimes we’re a still staff nurse short and then you have Covid on top of that. Trying to isolate patients in a psychiatric hospital is difficult.”

She said staff are expecting they will receive the money they are due soon, but the repeated uncertainty around when their full wages are to be paid is causing anxiety.

“We’re still in the midst of the Covid pandemic, we’re working our asses off and we’re not getting paid. I thought people should know about that.”

A PNA spokesperson told The Journal that an assurance has been given by the hospital that these issues will be resolved for the next pay day.

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The union said it expects these assurances to be fully honoured.

“PNA have robustly raised the matter with management and have made it clear to them that payroll issues must be resolves and further discrepancies will not be tolerated,” a spokesperson said. 

Acting CEO of St Vincent’s Hospital, Eoin Culliton, said the hospital is experiencing delays with the processing of staff pay “due to unprecedented circumstances with specialised HR payroll staff on sick leave who normally process the pay”.

“I have communicated and apologised for the stress that this may be causing our staff members,” he said. “We are in the process of putting plans in place to rectify all outstanding payments to staff in an interim pay run.

“I will be communicating this update will all staff and we have been in contact with the nurses’ union.”

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