McDonald criticises pay rise for judges as student nurses remain unpaid

Mcdonald Criticises Pay Rise For Judges As Student Nurses Remain Unpaid
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald hit out at Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil this afternoon.
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By Digital Desk Staff

The leader of the Opposition has criticised the Government for its approval of a pay rise for judges while student nurses remain unpaid.

The Irish Examiner reports that Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald hit out at Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil this afternoon over the matter.


Opposition party whips and the judiciary have been given a pay increase by the Cabinet, one week after the Government rejected a motion to pay student nurses.

"Last Wednesday, your government voted against paying student nurses and midwives, you then justified this decision by saying that they don't get paid because they don't do real work,” Ms McDonald said.

"We're standing here today talking about student nurses working without pay on the same day that you will increase pay for super junior ministers and judges.

"These aren't normal times the ask of student nurses is always incredible, but it is extraordinary during a pandemic.”


Ms McDonald shared messages she had received from student nurses, with one describing how she had sat with women crying because their baby had been feeding all night.


Another described how she "lives at home, unable to afford student housing and she comes home every night from work fearful that she has contracted the virus and could pass it on to her immuno-compromised dad."


Cabinet approves pay increase for judges and party...
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In response, Mr Martin said Sinn Féin and others were attempting to politicise the issue and that the change from an apprenticeship model of nurse education to a degree model had been sought by the nursing profession.

"This debate has been very much politicised and characterised by short-termism,” he said.

"Essentially, what the deputy is saying is that we should return to the apprenticeship model. I do not believe that is a good idea."

Mr Martin added that the exploitation of student nurses would not be tolerated by Government and that first year students were not supposed to be treating Covid-19 patients or any patients “full stop”.

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