Wicklow Ministers must end the exploitation of student nurses and midwives

Wicklow Sinn Féin has TD John Brady has called on Wicklow Ministers Harris and Donnelly to ensure that any student nurse who is working in the health service during the Covid crisis be paid for their vital work and to stop the exploitation of them.

Speaking in the Dáil deputy Brady said: Over4,000 student nurses and midwives have been working on the front lines throughout the pandemic, and the state refuses to pay them a wage for it. No right-minded Government sends people into the trenches on the front line without pay, yet this is what is being asked of student nurses during a pandemic. It is unconscionable.”

“Our student nurses and midwives have to eat, pay rent, pay bills and pay for travel- is neither fair nor sensible that they should not be paid for their work. They’ve made huge personal sacrifices and worked unbelievably hard, playing a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. These nurses have traditionally relied on part-time work in private nursing homes just to make ends meet, but that practice, rightly, is being discouraged because of the risk of covid-19 and our concern to keep people in congregated settings safe.”

“Student nurses are on the frontline with other staff working as hard as anyone to protect and save lives. Chaotic 12-hour shifts are the norm as they work alongside and are supervised by our excellent nursing and health service staff. Yet, for our student nurses, there is no remuneration for their work.

Deputy Brady continued “Student nurses and midwives had a good case for fair pay before the crisis, now the case is inarguable because they’re taking on the same Covid risk as anyone else in the healthcare service, I know this first hand as one of my daughters who is a student nurse contracted Covid when on placement.”

“I am calling on the Ministers for Health and Further Education, Donnelly and Harris both of whom happen to be Wicklow TD’s to listen to the student nurses and midwives and stop the exploitation of them and put a scheme in place to ensure they are paid for their work on the frontline.”

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