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Overseas news: Irish nurses appreciate NZNO support.

THE PRESIDENT of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), Claire Mahon, has thanked NZNO for its support over the INMO's campaign against an Irish government initiative to slash new graduate nurses' pay rates. Health Service Executive (HSE) has offered 1000 new nursing and midwifery graduates from throughout the European Union two-year contracts at 80 per cent of the current salary for new graduates. The INMO is urging new graduates to boycott the initiative and has organised protests against it.

In a letter of support to Mahon last month, NNZO chief executive Geoff Annals condemned the move, saying it would encourage the replacement of experienced nurses and midwives with recent graduates by offering differential wages for the same work "and cynically opens the door to graduates from European countries experiencing similar economic crises". It would also strike at the heart of Irish health care, and the quality and sustainability of the Irish health workforce, he said.

Announcing the initiative in December, the HSE) said it would allow the HSE to reduce its reliance on agency nurses and overtime, which was "unsustainable". (1) The HSE subsequently extended the initiative to 2010 and 2011 graduates and the closing date for applicants, after a poor initial response to the initiative.

Responding to NZNO's support, Mahon said the boycott was working despite the government's and the HSE's attempt to break it. "This may turn out to be a long battle but, with such international support, I think our graduates realise it is now a battle for the future of the nursing profession," she said.

The New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association has also offered its support to the INMO's campaign, saying the government initiative would "pit nurse against nurse" as they worked alongside each other doing the same job, with the same responsibility for lower rates of pay. In its letter of support to the INMO, the association said the damage the initiative would cause to the nursing profession would be "immeasurable".

For details of the INMO's campaign, go to


(1) Wall, M. & Cullen, P. (2012) HSE to recruit 1000 graduate nurses on less pay. The Irish Times; December 12, 2012. Dublin: The Irish Times Trust.

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Title Annotation:New Zealand Nurses Organisation; sector reports
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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