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First Irish Strike of 2007 ? The Nurses are off ! - Irish Job News - News on Jobs for Ireland

First Irish Strike of 2007 ? The Nurses are off !

2 January 2007 | Ireland | 16 Responses by paul savage.

Irish Nursers are today voting on whether to take industrial action in an effort to get better pay and working conditions. I guess why else would they be striking ? Anyway they are looking for a wages increase in the region of 10% and a reduction of their weekly hours from 39 to 35. The INO & PNA are balloting 40,000 nurses from today as if they will start their plan escalation of protesting. They plan to start initially with demonstrations and marches, then removing coverage at lunchtime with a work to rule approach and then eventually completely withdrawing their service.

Nurse pushing a chair

So should nurses get more pay, we’re thinking, yes sure. But there is an official way to go through this in Ireland, it’s the government public service benchmarking committee. Also if you reduce the working hours by just over 10%, then you will in theory need 10% more workers, or you will have to pay the nurses overtime for working these hours, which is in effect yet another wages increase.

EDIT: (11/04/’07) Some Links:

  • There is also an interesting read here that might be interesting for some of our readers. It’s a doctors take on all of this
  • And [here] is something from Donncha O’Caoimh, who talks about his hands on experience at the newly opened maternity unit of the CUH in Cork

16 Responses

  1. Akshaya said on 3 Jan 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Yes obviously nurses should get more pay.they all are serving THE COMUNITY.

  2. paul.savage said on 3 Jan 2007 at 6:24 pm

    True true. I have a few family members who are nurses and I know how hard they work. Here’s hoping they get what they deserve for all their hard work and dedication.

  3. Baz said on 2 Feb 2007 at 3:54 pm

    the 10 percent is a specific rise, relting to the fact that we supervise care workers on a daily basis who can actually have no qualifications, yet they earn 3000 per annum more than the nurse.

    alos the 35 hour week was supposed to be given to nurses over 20 years ago. nurses are now the only group of health professionals that work more than 35 hrs a week but yet get paid nearly 4000 less than similarly qualified workers

  4. tina said on 5 Apr 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Nurses on average earn above the average industrial wage. I could certainly like to decrease my working hours and increase my pay by 10%.

    I accept that nurses do demanding jobs that should be fairly rewarded. But I think this is holding the country to ransom and I utterly resent the strike action. If you want to turn public opinion against you, then by all means you’re going the right way about it.

  5. paul.savage said on 5 Apr 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Baz : are you sure that doctors don’t work over 35 hours ?

    Tina : nurses are highly skilled people so they do deserve a proper wage. But you are right, a strike may not be the best way to go about this.

    It doesn’t seem like the nurses are bringing anything to the table, they want more money and they want less working hours. But I think they need to offer something in return too. Isn’t that the way negotiations work ?


  6. tina said on 5 Apr 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I agree Paul, but I also know lots of highly skilled people on less than the nursing average of €38k per annum.

    I think your point of a shortfall in hours if nursing hours are reduced by 10% is a really relevant one. And on the other side i fully understand the resentment of higher paid nurses in the private sector, and more junior social workers on higher wages. I just think this could backfire badly on the nurses. The public like to think of nurses are being motivated by good, not money. Patients also have to cope with quite a lot in this country, and for someone who is gravely ill, or who is sick with worry over an ill child – this just makes them feel like they are utterly on their own in the healthcare system.

  7. Doctor x said on 8 Apr 2007 at 6:28 am

    A strike is definately not the best way to go about this. The nurses’ threshold to strike on this occaison has been far too low.

    Nurses work a 39 hour work week with protected breaks, junior doctors work anywhere from 60-110+ hours a week. Hell I’ve done 56 hour shifts myself without any guarentee of a break.

    It’s only a few nurses who are paid less than social workers they superwise, also I believe that whle nursing salary can scale considerably as they rise up the ranks, the same is not true for social workers.

    I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to rewrite all the points I made about the strike in my blog already.

  8. Femur said on 11 Apr 2007 at 10:15 am

    I don’t agree it is the governments faoult if some less qualified people get more but plenty of people work just as hard and get paid alot less. Nurses knew what work was expected of them before they started training, now they want to change the rules. Some guy who has a degree in IT was on the radio and his starting wage was €19,000 after 4 yrs of studying.

  9. Donncha O Caoimh said on 11 Apr 2007 at 4:41 pm

    I just noticed my blog is the 6th result for a search for Mary Harney 🙂

  10. Fiona said on 11 Apr 2007 at 6:21 pm

    I think that people don’t realise that if we get the 35 hour week which we are looking for, we get a decrease in our salary of 7.4% so in actual fact if we get our “10%” raise we are actually getting 3.6%. I understand the stress and responsibility involved in all work but as nurses we deal with constantly, we are so short staffed which exacerbates this furthermore. I put in an awful lot more than 39 hrs a week as do many of the nurses I work with. I do not think our demands are unfair, yes, certain procedures are in place for strike action I agree but nurses have been waiting for this for 27 years. we didnt just deciode last week that enough is enough.

  11. Monica said on 11 Apr 2007 at 8:44 pm

    I fully agree with Fiona re: puttin a lot more than 39hours in per week. Also I think the actual reason for the sought pay increase has been lost in the political hysteria how is it right that the nurse who supervises and is ultimately responsible for the actions of unqualified staff be paid less than said unqualified staff??????

  12. paul.savage said on 12 Apr 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Donncha : Maybe Mary will pop by the next time she google’s herself 😉

    Fiona : I didn’t know if was a pro-rata increase, but thanks for clearing that up. But I am still unsure.

    Some maths : Say nurses get €20/hour , for a 39-hour week that’s €780, and for a 35-hour week that’s €700, a decrease of €80, or 10.25% (€80/€780 * 100). Now if you increase the wages to €22/hour, you only get €770 for a 35-hour week ??

  13. red dog said on 14 Apr 2007 at 3:20 am

    nurses are not on strike.
    27 years – over quarter of a century is not what i would call a low threshold.

  14. gerilyn said on 6 May 2007 at 10:23 pm

    I Believe that nurses are the hardest workinf individauls we care for those who others would not touch. Where teachers and activest we care and comfort, with open hearts and love, and yet we are underpaid and under appreciated. I am a nurse in Las vegas and just went through a strike.

    I am in support of you, we work and average of 48-60 hour weeks, we have such a sortage. I believe in keeping nogotiations open striking did not help us, it hurt many people and severed many co-workers feeling towards the one who went on strike and thoes who crossed. Your las vegas nursing sisters support you

  15. Mary said on 10 May 2007 at 4:19 pm

    The nurses don’t seem to realise that there are a LOT of people who are just as qualified / more qualified than them working just as hard as they are and getting a much lower average wage. On top of that they have a fabulous pension scheme, one that is rarely matched in the private sector.

  16. Jim said on 7 Feb 2009 at 2:06 am

    I think there’s posters here who don’t realize the difference in work between a doctor and a nurse…

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