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Leaked public sector pay commission report fails nurses - Louise O'Reilly TD

31 August, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the leaked content of the Public Sector Pay Commission (PSPC) Report regarding nurses is disappointing and that it completely follows the government lead on the crisis facing nursing and midwifery in this State.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Firstly, it is little wonder that the content of this report has been leaked to the media to soften the ground for a report that looks like it will do little if anything to address the recruitment and retention crisis in our health service.

“It is being reported in today’s media that the PSPC will recommend increases and some allowances and greater access to promotional posts, however, reports indicate that it will find no case for the issue of pay to be addressed.

“How they have arrived at such a conclusion is beyond me. Nursing representatives made a compelling case to the commission and their concerns were made very clear regarding the crisis in recruitment and retention.

“The crisis is evidenced from the fact that there has been a 5% decrease in nurse numbers from 2008 to 2018 despite the population growing by over 400,000.

"The outworking of this is that conditions have worsened, hours have become longer, the environment has become characterised by high stress levels, and a particularly acute aspect is that nursing and midwifery has become an extremely high risk occupation in terms of aggression and physical assault.

“While the PSPC, the government, and Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly may feel that there is no need to address the issue of pay, we in Sinn Féin stand on the side of nurses and we also stand by the unanimously supported Dáil Private Members Business motion which called for the issue of nurses and midwives pay to be addressed.

“Furthermore, I object to the PSPC overreliance on the figures and evidence from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform which claims Irish nurses pay to be comparatively high.

"The International Council of Nurses which is affiliated to the World Health Organisation collected data on the purchasing Power Parity of nurses working in the public-sector hospitals in 8 States including Ireland with the figures showing that Irish nurses and midwives are better off financially if they move overseas.

“If these leaks are correct then the recruitment and retention crisis affecting nurses and midwives is just going to escalate."

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