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Reilly threat to extend failed ‘yellow pack’ nurses scheme is deplorable – Ó Caoláin

20 January, 2013 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the threat by Health Minister James Reilly to extend his ‘yellow pack’ nurses scheme to other workers in the health services ignores the failure of that scheme and typifies the Minister's ‘cavalier attitude’, in contrast to his silence on the €20 million golden handshake for the head of the IMO when James Reilly was on the remuneration committee.

Commenting on the Minister's interview in the Sunday Business Post, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

“Health Minister James Reilly has failed in his effort to get graduate nurses to accept yellow pack jobs at greatly reduced pay rates in our health services. The boycott of the scheme has worked but rather than accept the scheme’s failure, Minister Reilly shows his cavalier attitude and threatens to extend it to other workers in the health services.

“I led a Sinn Féin delegation which met with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association during the past week and I can assure the Minister that the nurses are determined to continue to resist this attempt to drive down wages.

“The Minister’s statement that nurses can either take these jobs or emigrate or work in fast food outlets is appalling. Thanks to the futile austerity regime of Minister Reilly and his Fine Gael and Labour colleagues, thousands of nurses, trained in Ireland at great expense, have already emigrated.

“Contrast the Minister’s attitude to these front-line workers in our public health services to his silence on his role in the Irish Medical Organisation remuneration committee which awarded a €20 million golden handshake to the IMO's former chief executive.” ENDS

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