Answer to Phil Prendergast’s question

Labour MEP Phil Prendergast (http://www.labour.ie/philprendergast/) tweeted the following yesterday:

What happened to equal pay for equal work? @Labour at cabinet need to stand up to Reilly

Prendergast developed this further in her local Tipp Tatler Magazine (http://tipptatler.ie/2013/01/phil-prendergast-mep-supports-student-nurses-and-midwives-campaign-to-protect-pay/)

Phil Prendergast MEP is appalled by Minister Reilly’s push to further decrease graduate nurses and midwives pay. This action aimed at vulnerable unemployed young peoples in the caring profession is indicative of Reilly’s behaviour since he took office.

If the proposed cut is implemented, annual graduate pay for nurses will have decreased by 34% since 2009.

Prendergast “fully support the efforts of all those who are campaigning to uphold the standards of healthcare and appropriate pay of all nurses and healthcare professionals in Ireland.

Minister Reilly proposes to offer 1,000 graduates a 2 year contract on 80% of nurse’s salary, reducing pay to €22,000 per annum.

“‘Already, we have seen adverse effects on healthcare provision in Ireland since the economic crisis, which is exacerbated by increasing workloads for all healthcare professionals. Graduates will be expected to perform the same work as their fellow nurses and a pay reduction of 34% since 2009 just doesn’t make sense.

Furthermore, the pay cut will only further incentivise our educated youth to immigrate and seek work elsewhere.

This proposed cut is distinctive of those made by Minister Reilly, yet his actions are supported by the government.”

I became aware of this tweet as I drove into work this morning and found myself swearing at the radio as that gobshite Eamon Gilmore justified hiring graduate nurses on 80% of the current starting rate. His answer to the tweet from Phil Prendergast amounted to saying those graduate nurses should just be glad to have any job, backed up by all the “we are in an economic crisis and we all have to make sacrifices” bullshite.

This is an “economic crisis” which has seen the 300 richest people in Ireland see their wealth increase from €50 billion to €62 billion between 2010 and 2012 (according to the Sunday Independent as reported in their “Rich List” in March 2012). And the corporations of Britain and the USA, the two biggest multinational investors in Ireland, are making record profits that are getting higher with each year of the “crisis”. While in the same period the living standards of ordinary working people have been decimated with a whole new category of “the working poor” being introduced into the discourse of liberal commentators.

So I replied to Prendergast in a tweet of my own:

nurses and other workers sold out at the altar of corporate profits and incomes of the rich





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