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Labour – what ever happened to equal pay for equal work?

24 January, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD questioned Labour’s abandonment of the principle of equal pay for equal work and called on the Labour leader to intervene and protect new entrant nurses and midwives basic pay rates.

Deputy McDonald said:
“The Government’s plans to hire new graduates on a different pay scale and on a different contract to those nurses currently employed in the health service.

“This is a scam imposed without consultation with nurses given only an hour’s notice of the proposal before being broadcast on RTE.

“The Labour party leader stands over plans to slash by 20% the pay of nurses and midwives so as to create a new lower entrance grade.

“Whatever happened to equal pay for equal work?

“In a recent radio interview you the Labour leader defended his abandonment of his party principles by suggesting nurses should be happy to have a job in the first place.

“Is that now the Labour party position?

“I understand that the matter has now been raised in the talks on Croke Park 2 and will have to be resolved before any agreement can be reached.

“Will the Labour leadership intervene to reverse this flawed initiative? Or will the Labour party continue to act as a mudguard for Fine Gael’s race to the bottom agenda.

“Nurses and midwives are determined to resist this flawed proposal. They have come up with proposals for savings within the health services but the Minister and the HSE have refused to engage.

“Fine Gael and Labour have no interest in real reform. This is a low brow numbers game that will fundamentally undermine health service provision. It’s about attacking low pay in order to protect the pay and pension perks for those at the top.

“If Fine Gael and Labour want to get serious about the public sector pay and pensions bill they know where to start – at the very top.” ENDS

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