The Union of Students in Ireland is encouraging students and their friends and family to contact their local representatives and members of the Oireachtas Committee on Health in relation to the issues facing student nurses and midwives.
USI has been raising the need to support student nurses and midwives, alongside the Irish Nursing & Midwifery Organisation (INMO), and our member Students’ Unions and the students they represent, for many months.
What has happened so far?
Solidarity-PBP submitted a motion in November calling on the Government to pay student nurses and midwives undertaking placement during the current pandemic, and to work on the introduction of financial supports on a more sustainable basis. This motion was supported by the entire opposition. The Government voted unanimously against this motion and tabled an amendment which deleted references to paying student nurses and midwives.
Labour has also recently published a bill aimed at convincing the Government to pay student nurses and midwives.
The Government has since stated that they are currently reviewing the allowances available to student nurses and midwives, and that they will also be eligible to claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) if they were forced to give up part-time employment whilst on placement due to fears of cross-contamination. To date, there is little information available on what this review will take into account and when it is likely to take effect.
What can I do?
- Share the USI graphics that provide key facts about student nurses and midwives and the issues they are currently facing.
- Sign and share the INMO petition – and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
- Email your local representatives, particularly those in the Government parties (Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party) and encourage them to do more to support student nurses and midwives.
How do I contact them?
You can find the full membership of the Oireachtas Committee on Health below. You can also find TDs in your constituency here. The easiest way to contact them is via email, but you could also contact their constituency office.
Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health
Séan Crowe – Sinn Féin (Dublin South West)
Colm Burke – Fine Gael (Cork North-Central)
Cathal Crowe – Fianna Fáil (Clare)
David Cullinane – Sinn Féin (Waterford)
Bernard Durkan – Fine Gael (Kildare North)
Neasa Hourigan – Green Party (Dublin Central)
Gino Kenny – Solidarity-People Before Profit (Dublin Mid-West)
John Lahart – Fianna Fáil (Dublin South-West)
Roisín Shortall – Social Democrats (Dublin North-West)
Frances Black – Independent
Lorraine Clifford-Lee – Fianna Fáil
Martin Conway – Fine Gael
Annie Hoey – Labour Party
Seán Kyne – Fine Gael
Government Representatives who have previously raised this issue
The following representatives from Government parties have previously raised the issues surrounding student nurses & midwives in the Oireachtas. If they represent your constituency, or the constituency where your college is located, we would encourage you to contact them and urge them to continue to raise these issues within their party:
- Neale Richmond (Fine Gael, Dublin Rathdown) - Raised as Written Q on Tuesday 17th November
- Richard Bruton TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay North) - Raised as Written Q re. Pandemic Unemployment Payment eligibility on Wednesday 7th November.
- Senator Micheál Carrigy (Fine Gael, Longford) - Raised in Seanad on Tuesday 10th November
- Willie O’Dea (Fianna Fáil, Limerick) - Raised as Written Q on Thursday 12th November.
- Cathal Crowe (Fianna Fáil, Clare) - Raised in Oireachtas Committee on Health on Wednesday 11th November.
- Niamh Smyth TD (Fianna Fáil, Cavan-Monaghan) - Raised in Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party Meeting on Tuesday 2nd December. Also raised as Written Q on Tuesday 8th September.
- John McGuinness TD (Fianna Fáil, Carlow-Kilkenny) - Raised in Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party Meeting on Tuesday 2nd December.
- Dara Calleary TD (Fianna Fáil, Mayo) - Raised in Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party Meeting on Tuesday 2nd December.
- James O’Connor TD (Fianna Fáil, Cork East) - Raised in Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party Meeting on Tuesday 2nd December.
- Jackie Cahill TD (Fianna Fáil, Tipperary) - Raised as Written Q on Wednesday 21st October.
- Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (Fianna Fáil, Carlow-Kilkenny) - Raised in Dáil on Thursday 1st October. Also raised on Wednesday 9th September.
For top tips on how to lobby your representatives, see here.