JOINT STATEMENT ON THE COMMENCEMENT OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT RE STUDENT NURSE AND MIDWIFE PAY AND INCREMENTAL CREDIT
The INMO, PNA and SIPTU Nursing acknowledge the sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to commence implementation of the agreement, reached with the Department of Health as part of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, in December 2015.
Particularly, it is welcomed that student nurse and midwifery pay is realigned to a percentage of the qualified nurses/midwives rate and the hourly rate increased from below the national minimum wage to €9.48 or 70% of the first point of the staff nurses’ scale.
The reintroduction of incremental for the 36 week work placement, which is a period of time in the final year of training which is superannuated and during which the student replaces qualified staff at a ratio of 2:1 is very welcome. This means that student nurses will be moved on to the second point of the staff nurses’ scale, following completion of an additional 16 weeks work and this should act as an incentive for them to remain in Ireland post qualification.
The Unions express disappointment that the same incremental credit could not be applied to those who have qualified since 2011, and from whom it was removed, but acknowledge that the Department of Public expenditure and Reform has agreed to set up a review of the effects of the reduction of this incremental credit on the ability of the Health Services to retain and recruit qualifying nurses and Midwives.
The unions commit to fully engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Health in order to secure incremental credit for these categories of nurses, to ensure they receive the same benefit as those qualifying in 2016. The trade unions are in no doubt but that , this would act as a real incentive for nurses and midwives who qualified in Ireland since 2011 to remain and for those who have emigrated to return.