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Student nurses demonstrate against pay elimination


More than 3,000 Irish student nurses demonstrated on Wednesday in Dublin against the elimination of pay for pre-registration nurses and midwives.

The Irish government plans to remove payments currently received by fourth year students from 2015.

The protest involved members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Psychiatric Nurses Association and the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union.

SIPTU’s National Nursing Official Louise O’Reilly said: “We cannot and we will not allow the elimination of pay for men and women who are providing vital frontline services. 

“Our Union SIPTU is 101 years old – we have fought many battles with employers who have sought to downgrade the terms and conditions of our members but I have to tell you it is a new low for the government to attempt to force men and women to work for nothing.”

We’re going viral! Have you friends heard about the ‘seat on the board’ petition? Let’s ensure nurses are actively involved in the new commissioning consortia.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Since when are students vital frontline services? Admittedly they are sometimes counted in the workforce numbers, but then you get them whining that they are supernumary. Other students don't get paid, why should they? Sorry but I think if they are in their fourth year then they should not be paid. They can work as a qualified diploma nurse and gain their degree whilst actually working.

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  • Student nurses (4th yr Internship) in Ireland ARE frontline service staff - they are part of the workkforce here. The Health Service Exec got rid of staff nurses and replaced them with 0.8 WTE internship students. In Ireland we have an all graduate workforce - there is no undergrad Diploma - the only way to qualify is to do a degree so we can't do as you suggest and work as a diploma staff nurse while undertaking a degree. If students in Ireland are not paid during their internship, the quality of their training will be hugely affected in a negative way and to suggest they contribute to the workforce for nothing is just short of slave labour.

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  • I find the first comment quite offensive, I am a student nurse in Ireland currently in 3rd year of a nursing degree. We undertake supernumerary placement, and do not get paid for it, this is part of practice skill accumulation. However in 4th year we are expected to undertake a 9 month internship, working as a staff nurse, working nights, days, and weekends. We are not supernumerary at this time, but in fact are rostered staff!!!! Would this person like there loved one cared for by someone who not only had worked a 37.5 hour week on the ward, but then has to partake in an other full time or even part time job to enable them to live? As for the fact that we are not front line staff, what would you call us when we are WORKING on the ward, not supernumerary, not just observing, as we have been for the previous 3 years!!! Student nurses deserve to be paid, thats what we signed up for and that is what we should get, and when asked why......We simply deserve it, you wouldn't for nothing would you?

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  • What - do student nurses stand around all day with their arms folded? I must be doing something wrong then. I'm always exhausted at the end of my shifts. Of course we are part of the workforce - the supernumerary role just doesn't exist. In Scotland we don't get paid (just a bursary)and I certainly couldn't do the course without my husband supporting the family as I couldn't take on a job as well as my placements.

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