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The time has come to end two-tier pay system in our hospitals

11 July 2018

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said ending the two tier pay system in our health system must be a priority in the upcoming budget. 

Deputy Kelly said: 

“Ending the two-tier pay system in our hospitals especially would go a long way to enticing more nursing graduates and young into Irish hospitals. This in turn would ease the pressure on our wards. 

“This morning at the Oireachtas Health Committee, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation went through the stresses Irish nurses are currently under in hospital wards right across the country.

“The trolley crisis is no longer just a winter phenomenon, we are seeing the crisis even at the height of summer. This is not sustainable for patients or for nursing staff. We know from the INMO that levels of burnout and stress among staff are on the rise.

“When we consider the conditions in which many nurses work, the situation in many maternity wards, accident and emergency departments, particularly at weekends, and psychiatric wards, the future of many different services, the uncertainty surrounding certain services and what is expected of nurses, graduate nurses know that they can get better conditions elsewhere.

“With Brexit on the horizon, inching closer and closer, there is a real opportunity to encourage those who have left to practice in England to come home and encourage other EU nurses to come here. Ireland won’t be seen as an attractive option unless we end pay inequality in our hospitals.

“Labour’s position on this is clear -the emergency is over. The time for pay equality has arrived.

“If we are to end the staffing crisis in our health service, the Government needs to be more proactive when it comes to attracting quality staff to our healthcare system and deal with the issues around pay and conditions.”