Sinn Fein spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has expressed shock at the reported annual salary of €292,000 for the new Secretary General of the Department of Health.
Teachta Farrell said: “This salary would be significantly in excess of the top scale of Secretary general I (PPC) of €211,742 and implies that a derogation from the rules must have been sought. I have written to Minister to McGrath to get him to outline the reasons for this.
“The government continues to state that we are all in this together. Yet when we weigh the treatment of top civil servants against that of our nurses, this seems to fly in the face of reality.
“November’s HSE employment report stated that there were 977 Nursing/Midwifery students working in our hospitals.
“This would be comprised of final year students, that upon the completion of their placement, would have to pay 100 euro to register and receive their pin.
“The increased cost of the General Secretary’s salary increase would almost cover the waiving of the registration fee for this entire cohort of student nurses. So it would seem that where the government are concerned, all our workers are equal but some are more equal than others.”