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*** NO REPRODUCTION FEE *** DUBLIN : 6/02/2014 : Pictured (l-r) at the launch the ‘Everyone Loves Nurses’ campaign organised by The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) were student representatives and student nurses. The launch was held ahead of a larger demonstration that will take place in a fortnight at the HSE. The starting salary for newly graduated nurses is now €22,000, a drop of €4,000 from the past starting salary of €26,000. This works out as €6.49 per hour. This is less than the current minimum wage of €8.65. The same graduate nurses can earn far more abroad, up to €43,614 in Canada. USI and student nurses from across the country are telling Minister James Reilly, who previously said they can “emigrate or work in a fast food service if unhappy”, that they’ve had enough. USI President Joe O’Connor said: “The message to Minister Reilly today is loud and clear; change the starting salary level back to €26,000 for newly graduated nurses. Follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #everyonelovesnurses. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

MEDIA CONTACT : Gráinne O Reilly, Communications and Research Executive, Union of Students in Ireland mobile : 087 677 6636 tele : 01 905 2100