Irish Nursing Students Protest Marching against pay cuts

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    In Ireland at the moment, our State pays for student nurse's to train in University. The nurses pay a regristration fee - that's all. For their 4th and final year these students have to work nine months as pre registered nurses. For this they're getting 80% of a first year qualified nurses salary. Our government can no longer afford this and now say the students will have the salary phased out over the next 4 years - meaning they'll have to work for nothing come 2015.

    As a Clinical Nurse Manager who trained in the 1980's - pre university education for nurses here- I don't see anything wrong with this. My take home salary is down almost 15% in the last year.We worked full time for 4 years in the hospitals for minimum pay. Our journalists, teachers, law students and scientists have to overcome rigerous compitition to get 'unpaid' internship. Why not our nurses?. Also with the health cutbacks biting hard in our ability to hire/pay qualified staff, many of us are now struggling for 'safe standards' never mind 'quality care.

    There are massive street protests organised all around the country by the unions because of the proposed cuts. I feel that this is wrong - that we Irish nurses need to 'get real' regarding what our due rights are as opposed to what our percieved rights are for our students.

    I'd be really interested in getting any feedback/opinions from as wide a variety of allnurses.com members as possible.
    herring_RN likes this.
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Hard to really say much that makes sense to people in another country as different ways apply. Students in the US pay for all college education out of pocket, unless they are lucky to receive scholarships, or loans etc. Exchanging cost for education for unpaid residency might be something a few here would consider as long as there was a way to pay for necessities.

    A huge problem here is that once nurses graduate tens of thousands of dollars in loan debt, there are often no jobs for them, or, many are working only part time without benefits or even a secure schedule. No chance of full time work for so many. No chance to pay to live and begin loan repayment. Hospitals here are corporations who have found that they can hire a gazillion partimers without intention of letting these folks gain full time benefited work. Those who want to continue their education cannot as they are defaulting on loan payments already, or, do not make enough money to feel comfortable financially extending themselves further. Hospitals in The States have traditionally trained new nurses in residencies during the course of their first job. This was considered necessary, and their contribution to the profession. Now that hospitals are rarely independent, but part of huge corporate conglomerates, there is a steady growing refusal to participate. New nurses have a short orientation, and it's sink or swim. New nurses in The US are quite expendable, and are routinely fired, and the patient suffers as there is now a growing generation of poorly trained nurses out there...

    I think from a US perspective, new nurses in the "land of green" are still, better off than new nurses in the US.
    lindarn likes this.
  5. 0
    Many American nurses would be glad to deal with these realities if there were a job waiting at the end. However, I do not agree with the proposal to have required work for no compensation. If work is performed, the individual deserves to be paid. Perhaps decrease this pay to 50% instead of 80%.
  6. 1
    Sounds like the student nurses have a pretty sweet deal, even if they don't get paid for their work. As said above, most of us have to pay unless we find scholarships, and many are in debt for years.

    Of course in a capitalist system everybody has a right to try to extract as much money from their employer as they can for their work, so the students certainly have a right to protest. But they have to recognize that there just might be somebody out there happy to take their place and work under the conditions that they're rejecting.
    lindarn likes this.
  7. 2
    student nurses protest in dublin



    student nurses march through dublin over the proposed abolition of pay for fourth-year full-time trainee nurses and midwives. photograph: niall carson/pa wire -

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...reaking40.html
    lindarn and laborer like this.
  8. 1
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 5
    I was one of the first cohort of degree students in 2002 who experienced the 12month rostered placement in 3rd and 4th year. It was great but I worked long days (13hr shifts) weekends and night duty. If student nurses are not going to be paid give them 8-5 shifts on week days so that they can get a part time job like other students.

    I worked part time in a hotel while I trained and was a bar supervisor there. I told my boss that I would only be available on and off depending on my shifts. He assumed that once the summer holidays arrived I would be back to work full time and then go part time again in September. I was getting phone calls every few days asking me to work.

    If student nurses can be on placement like other students mon-fri 8-5 then fine- but their wages. But you cannot expect them to work weekends, long days and nights for no pay. Also as students they are the last thought on the off duty, often not getting their off duty until a few days before it is starting.
    butterfly134, lindarn, nicurn001, and 2 others like this.
  10. 3
    Bottom line if the student nurse is required to work then that work should be financially compensated , the employer is getting the benefit of their labour .

    If the student is to be viewed as a student in future they should be truly supernumary and follow a students schedule ie.M-F 9-5 ( or whatever it is ).

    There is no real use in comparing what is done on the other side of the Atlantic , different values apply .

    Yes here in the US students pay for their courses , often have student loans to pay off yada ,yada , yada..., wheras in Ireland and certainly UK when I trained we did not pay for the course and indeed were paid , that is simply the way it is ,wherevr we are we have to deal the cards we are dealt . Here you may feel even with the changes its a good deal , but it is less thatwhat they are used to .Fortunately Europeans are not so willing to stab each other in the back and be the one willing to take less , as contribution #3 seems to infer .
    K+MgSO4, laborer, and lindarn like this.


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