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Nursing Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 July 2020

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Questions (1057)

Alan Kelly


1057. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health his views on whether the remuneration of nurses in the HSE is fair and comparable to nurses on both a European and global level. [14893/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In 2018, the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) published a report on the recruitment and retention of staff in the public health service. This report included the findings from external experts on international pay comparisons for each cohort, including nursing. The report concluded that Ireland is competitive relative to other markets in terms of security benefits such as pension, maternity leave, sick leave and long-term disability benefits, though it also found that there was a case for providing additional incentives for qualified nursing and midwifery staff to remain in the public health service.

The report recommended increases to certain fixed allowances and an extension of those allowances to other working areas for nurses and midwives. It also recommended accelerated career progression for Staff Nurses, reducing the length of service requirement for Staff Nurses wishing to progress to Senior Staff Nurses. These measures were accepted by Government as part of the overall 2019 Nursing Agreement. That agreement included additional measures that improved pay and allowances for certain nursing grades, including the creation of an Enhanced Nurse Practice scale as well as further extending the application of the location allowance to those nurses working in medical and surgical areas. In addition, it also provided for the setting up of an Expert Review Body on Nursing and Midwifery and this is due to commence its activity on 30 July 2020. I look forward to reviewing the report of the Expert Review Body in due course.

While noting the PSPC's findings on international comparisons, the remuneration measures arising from the Nursing Agreement should further assist in making a career in Nursing in Ireland more attractive.