Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says nurses are being offered three-month contracts despite the fact that the Minister for Health had previously said that newly-qualified nurses would be offered permanent posts.
He says: “Earlier this year the Minister for Health Simon Harris stated that nurses who qualified here this year would be offered permanent positions in the health service. However, it has come to my attention this week that nurses in the Saolta Group have been offered three-month contracts, which does not give much in the way of security of employment and would certainly encourage nurses to seek employment abroad where the contracts are much longer.”
The Independent TD said that hospitals have not been given extra budgets to allow for increased salary costs.
Deputy Fitzmaurice added: “Minister Harris said this year that all nurses who qualified this year would be guaranteed a job. Clearly the Minister has been talking out of the two sides of his mouth on this issue. On the one hand he wants to keep nurses in the country and on the other he will not provide the budget to pay for them and then offers them a three-month contract, which is frankly useless.”
Deputy Fitzmaurice has called on Minister Harris to make a statement on this “urgent matter.”