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Student nurses agree to ‘guarded engagement’ with review on pay and conditions proposed by government

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said that student nurses and midwives have agreed to engage with the government-proposed, independent reviews of their allowances and conditions. Student nurses were cautiously in favour of “guarded engagement” with the independent reviews, they said.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly offered two reviews – details of which were finalised today. The INMO and students say they will feed into the review and reserve a final judgment until the outcomes are published. The first review will focus on the immediate short term. It will report back to Mr Donnelly later this month for implementation next month, and be chaired by independent education expert Professor Tom Collins.

The second review will look at longer-term issues beyond the pandemic. It will be held in January and February, with a view to implementation in the next academic year, starting September 2021.

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said Student nurses and midwives have overwhelming public support as over 70,000 people have pledged their support to students via a petition.

He said the student members have given a cautious response to the minister’s proposed reviews and also that the reviews’ actual proposals will determine student members’ response.

The government has come under sustained criticism in recent weeks for not paying some student nurses, and earlier this month it voted against a motion by the opposition to pay them. Student nurses and midwives are given allowances for working but only fourth-year students are paid a salary for their work.

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