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Student focus - Nominations and some clarifications

Student and new graduate officer Dean Flanagan clarifies outstanding industrial issues affecting members

The nomination form for the Preceptor of the Year Award is now live on the INMO website and nominations have already been sent in for the prize. The award, sponsored by Cornmarket, will be given to an INMO member who helped inspire and motivate a nursing or midwifery student to reach their potential.

The accolade recognises the essential work carried out by preceptors and their fundamental importance to nursing and midwifery education. The winning preceptor will be invited to receive their award at the Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) in Kilkenny. The winner, and the student who nominated them, will be invited to attend the event with a guest. To submit your nomination please complete the nomination form at www.inmo.ie/7563. The closing date for applications is April 11.

First year visits
I am delighted to have finally visited all first year students in the various colleges nationwide. If you missed me while I was at your college, you can still join the INMO online at www.inmo.ie

In the next few weeks I will begin visiting internship students during their placement. In the meantime, you can contact me regarding any issues via email:deanflanagan@inmo.ie

Annual delegate conference
With the ADC getting closer, I look forward to organising the Student Section AGM for 2014, to take place at 11am on March 12 at INMO HQ in Dublin. Students from all years are encouraged to join the section, and on joining, will be given the opportunity to be nominated as a delegate to attend ADC in Kilkenny from May 7-9. The chosen delegate will represent student nurses and midwives at the event.

As a student member of the INMO, you can avail of free media training, which will equip you with valuable skills and enhance your CV. Email me for more information about this. Other benefits of becoming involved with the INMO Student Section include the chance to represent Irish nurses and midwives at the AGM of the European Nursing Students Association.

I have received a lot of correspondence regarding the recent media coverage of issues relating to the pay of undergraduate nursing and midwifery students undertaking rostered placements. Unfortunately, some of the coverage was inaccurate and failed to state that many of the issues are the subject of review by independent third parties.

I wish to clarify that the INMO has continuously sought improvements to undergraduate student nurse and midwife pay and conditions. The Organisation raised these issues directly with the HSE without resolution, and in late December, referred these outstanding matters to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC). The three issues are:

Incremental credit for 36 weeks spent on clinical placement in the final year of study

Incremental credit was always granted to student nurses and midwives during this period of work. In 2010, it was withdrawn, without discussion, by the Department of Health. The INMO has argued that this is incorrect and is seeking to have incremental credit restored and credited for this period. This would mean that an individual would be paid at the second point of the staff nurse and midwife scale following graduation.

Correction to the rate paid to student nurses and midwives during the 36 weeks of clinical placement in the final year of study

When the 39-hour week was reintroduced under the Haddington Road Agreement, the hourly rate of pay for student nurses and midwives fell below the minimum wage rate. The INMO raised this issue with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Department of Health. The rate was then corrected to the training rate, as set out in the Minimum Wage Act.

The INMO has continued to argue that the training rate is incorrect for a number of reasons. We have not obtained a resolution to this issue in direct discussions with the HSE, so it has been referred as a grievance to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

Salary while awaiting registration following completion of degree

The INMO has argued that the unilateral imposition of a pay rate of 85% of the first point of the staff nurse/midwife salary scale (€23,129 per annum) for those employed post-qualification and prior to formal registration, is incorrect. The rate that is sought for this six-week period is that which is paid to a FETAC Level 5 qualified healthcare assistant (ie. €25,578). Thereafter, on registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, the staff nurse/midwife salary scale would apply. The LRC has acknowledged the referral of these claims and it is likely that a conciliation conference will be held at the end of March.

These issues are the source of great frustration to our undergraduate members. The INMO will advise members on any developments on these issues as they occur.

Student focus - Nominations and some clarifications
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