It is rumored that the government will be more generous on nurses' pay claims than other public sector pay claims in order to alleviate staff shortages in A&E. However, there is reason to believe that very high Irish nurses' pay by EU standards,an average of about €55,000 a year, undermined hospital budgets,resulting in reduced recruitment and nursing staff shortages in A&E. These staff shortages have resulted in highly stressful working conditions which make it difficult to retain staff and recruit new staff.
Logically, cuts in pay would solve understaffing but that's not politically possible.Pay cuts of about 20% could be used to increase recruitment of maybe 30% more nurses,young nurses in the low pay grades. One possibility is to confine any pay increases to the nurses in A&E but that would meet heavy resistance from unions that enforce equal pay for all regardless of specialties shortages.
THe future will see continuing chaos in A&Es until the public becomes so angry the government will be forced to stand up to the health service unions. In the next five years, the illnesses of an ageing population will overwhelm some A&Es and result in frequent denials of services to the seriously ill.