Support our frontline healthcare workers

 Pay our student nurses and midwives

Over the last year the Labour Party has called for the government to put in place more supports for our frontline healthcare workers.

The failure to pay our student nurses and midwives is shameful and a disgrace, and something we’ve campaigned on for the last year. The huge risks faced by students must be reflected in how we treat them.

Many student nurses need to work part time in order to fund their unpaid placement. The fact that student nurses are not getting paid on the frontline to take care of very sick and vulnerable people during this global pandemic is unacceptable.

That is why the Labour Party have proposed a new law in the Seanad so that student nurses and midwives would be paid a wage in line with that of healthcare assistants. This is what student nurses were paid in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The debate will take place on Friday in the Seanad.

Our Senator Annie Hoey discussed back in December the governments refusal to pay our student nurses and midwives and my new Bill to legislate for their payment - they still haven't fixed it.

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Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the Labour Party has also been campaigning for:

  • Fasttrack citizenship for those workers at the frontline of the pandemic so that those putting themselves at risk for all of us are recognised for their contribution.
  • As the vaccination programme got underway the Labour Party highlighted the need for the priority vaccination of Covid-facing healthcare workers.
  • For May Day 2020 we called for a solidarity pandemic payment of €1,000 for frontline healthcare workers.
  • We want to increase the permanent capacity of our public hospitals and have called for the nationalisation of private hospital capacity where necessary.
  • Assessment of the public health cost implications arising from the effects of Long Covid and supports to be put in place, as this has had a serious impact on healthcare workers.
  • For the government to recognise the importance of investing in our public health system, address the long-standing concerns about the inadequate resourcing of public health in Ireland and implement consultant level contracts for public health doctors.
  • Recognition of the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on women, and to address this by implementing measures recommended by the COVID Women’s Voices group.