Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (240)

Terence Flanagan


240. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health his plans to review the pay for graduate nurses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15617/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There are no plans to review the pay for graduate nurses. Under the Haddington Road Agreement, nurses participating in the Nurse Graduate Programme are paid 85% of the starting pay of a Staff Nurse in the first year and 90% in the second year. In addition these nurses would also be in receipt of allowances and other premium payments.

A major objective of the programme is to put in place more cost-effective service delivery arrangements, having regard to the high rates of expenditure on agency staffing and overtime. The scheme will enable the health services to offer 1,000 graduate nurse positions for two years, at a time when job opportunities in the public service are very limited. Therefore it supports the retention of recently qualified graduate nurses and midwives within the Irish health system and enables them to gain valuable work experience and development opportunities post-graduation.