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NZNO joins nursing and midwifery colleagues throughout the world in supporting the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's boycott of the Post Qualification Nursing & Midwifery Graduate Initiative  which would see 1000 recent graduates being contracted to work fulltime for two years at 80 percent of salary. Read NZNO's letter below, or download the PDF.

24 January, 2013

Ms C Mahon
President
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation
The Whitworth Building
North Brunswick Street
Dublin 7
IRELAND
 
Tena Koe
It is with dismay that the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) has heard of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE)'s Post Qualification Nursing & Midwifery Graduate Initiative which entails 1000 nursing graduates from 2010- 2012 throughout the European Union being offered two year contracts at 80 percent salary.
The derisory and flawed rationale offered by Health Minister James Reilly that the reduced rate "will save money and stop the flow of newly qualified nurses to overseas positions" (Cionnaith, Wednesday, December 12, 2012), does little to disguise this blatant attempt to place an unfair burden of spending cuts on the nursing and midwifery workforce. This approach will incentivise the replacement of experienced nurses and midwives with recent graduates by offering differential wages for the same work, and cynically opens the door to graduates from European countries experiencing similar economic crises. This will strike at the heart of Irish healthcare and the quality and sustainability of the Irish health workforce.
We note that this initiative comes on top of others that have effectively cut salaries by 34 percent for newly qualified nurses and midwives in three short years. This is not to be countenanced, not only because of the inherent injustice and risk of poorer health outcomes, but also because targeting female-dominated professions directly attacks the already inequitable status of women in employment. Regrettably, this appears to be part of a global reversal of the trend towards gender equity since the global financial crisis (Employment Trends Unit of the ILO Employment Sector, January 2012) and is another reason to resist such actions.
NZNO warmly supports your campaign to prevent the implementation of this short-sighted and unjust initiative; we trust that your graduate nurses and midwives will remain strong and united in their boycott of the contracts, and that they will be supported by their European colleagues. We hope that you will advise us of any actions we could take that would assist your cause.
In solidarity, kia kaha! (be strong!)
 
Geoff Annals
Chief Executive
Phone: 494 6372
Email: geoffa@nzno.org.nz
 
REFERENCES
Cionnaith, F. Ó. (Wednesday, December 12, 2012). Government to appoint 1000 nursing graduates on reduced pay. Irsih Examiner .
Employment Trends unit of the ILO Employment Sector. (January 2012). Global Employment Trends for women. International Labour Organization.