Ireland’s student nurses and midwives have reiterated calls for fair pay, as a report on their situation comes before cabinet today.
The Collins Report heard testimony in December, but INMO student representatives say that the frontline situation has changed completely since then, as a new wave of the pandemic continues.
Last weekend, placements for first to third year students were suspended for two weeks, while final-year interns continue to work for €10.70 per hour.
Over 40 INMO student representatives met on Monday to discuss the suspension. The students expressed frustration at being “left up in the air”, facing uncertainty over the coming months.
They called on the Minister for Health to return to a scheme similar to that in March, which includes:
- Offers of healthcare assistant contracts for all students whose placement is suspended,
- Moving interns up to healthcare assistant pay in recognition of their increased workloads and risk,
- Clarity on what will happen to placements over the coming months.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“Our student members tell us they feel left up in the air. Last minute decisions are being made about their placements, with no clear plan in place for the future.
“They are thanked for their work so far, but the thanks ring hollow when their reasonable demands for fair remuneration go unanswered.
“Many students tell us that they want to make a direct contribution to the fight against COVID, and are seeking healthcare assistant contracts while their placements are suspended.
“Our interns rightly feel abandoned. They continue to work for miserly wages, facing increased workloads, huge COVID risks, and weakened support.“