Student nurses and midwives will earn €2 less than minimum wage this year as the HSE makes further cuts.
Fourth-year students will earn €6.49 an hour, the national minimum training wage, for the first 12 of their 36 week placement reports TheJournal.ie.
This will increase to €6.92 for the second term of their placement before peaking at €7.79 for the final 12 weeks.
When stretched to a yearly context a student nurse would take home €15,869 before tax, while a minimum wage worker doing the same hours would pocket €17,542.
This is part of a cost cutting scheme by the HSE that, when announced in 2010, aimed to see a student nurse’s wage be cut to 50% of that of a qualified nurse by this year. That figure drops to 40% in 2014 with pay being abolished entirely in 2015.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives association has said it will challenge the pay rate, believing that it stands outside minimum wage requirement regulations.