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The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) together with other nursing unions is to mount a major campaign to end a serious pay anomaly for nurses where an incremental credit for a 36 weeks nursing internship has only been restored to graduates from 2016 onwards.

The anomaly means that 2011-2015 nursing graduates now earn up to €1,400 less than their colleagues pre 2011 who were automatically awarded the credit. 

The campaign will commence with a joint nursing union protest on the first day of the resumption of the Dail next Tuesday, Sept 27th at 11.30 a.m. In advance of next week's protest the nursing unions today (Thursday 22nd.) met with the officials from the Department of Health, and health spokespeople from the opposition parties on the issue. 

PNA General Secretary, Designate, Peter Hughes said the anomaly in payment for incremental credit for 2011-2015 graduates cannot be allowed to stand and flies in the face of all Government efforts to retain and encourage Irish nurse graduates to return from abroad to work in the Irish health system.

‘In 2015, PNA and other nursing unions agreed the restoration of the increment for 36 week Nursing/Midwifery Internship from 2011 onwards.  However, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DEPER) later amended part of the agreement, and only sanctioned recognition for 2016 graduates onwards.  ‘

‘The direct result of that move is that  2011-2015 nursing graduates  will be earning less than their colleagues pre 2011 by as much as €1,260 for 2011-2013 graduates and  1,200 for 2014-2015 graduates. We know that these pay anomalies directly impact on the decisions of nurse graduates to take up posts in the Irish health system and there is no point in the Department of Health and HSE embarking on expensive  recruitment/retention initiatives for nurses when this glaring pay anomaly is allowed to continue .

‘We are calling on Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Pascal Donoghue to act to end this pay discrimination against 2011-2015 nurse graduates.'

Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535