A Donegal TD has said that young nurses and midwives are getting a raw deal and he belives it’s time to tackle the “excessive pay and pensions of a tiny minority at the top”.
Pearse Doherty was speaking after Liam Doran of the INMO delivered a presentation in Leinster House on the government’s proposals to reduce the basic pay of graduate nurses and midwives.
The Sinn Féin TD for Donegal South West said: ““The presentation was attended by members of the Psychiatric Nurse’s Association and the Irish Nurse’s Organisation, who have highlighted their concerns and the inherent inequality of the Government’s proposal.
“While the case for public sector reform is accepted by those inside and outside the public and civil service, this reform will not be achieved by driving down wages for those at the coalface providing essential public services for our communities.
“The case for finally tackling the excessive pay and pensions of a tiny minority at the top is now unanswerable. Government ministers, special advisers and senior civil servants all need to have their pay cut.
“The government is prepared to legislate for pay cuts for low paid public sector workers but it consistently refuses to legislate on the issue of the runaway gilt edged pensions of former Taoisigh and some of the Taoiseach’s former colleagues. Why that contradiction? Surely, if the Government is to be fair there must be fair play all around.
“The protection afforded to high rollers in the public sector contrasts starkly with the plans of the Minister for Health to slash the pay and conditions of graduate nurses and midwives. The government is expecting these graduates to accept yellow pack jobs and greatly reduced pay rates within the health service. What happened to equal pay for equal work?
“In the course of the negotiations for an extension of the Croke Park agreement, will the Government defend pay equity? Will it defend equal pay for work of equal value? Will it finally deal with the glaring issue of the tiny minority within the public and Civil Service who are overpaid and over-pensioned?
“The position of equal pay for work of equal value is fundamental in any profession or job and must be defended. We had hoped the Labour Party, the supposed defender of worker’s rights, would share our position. The government can slash the terms and conditions of a graduate nurse but protect its own pay and perks at every turn. By any standard, young nurses, midwives and the health service are getting a raw deal.”