SIPTU has written to the Minster for Health, James Reilly, and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, requesting that they halt attempts by the HSE to recruit 1,000 nurses and midwives on 80% of the staff nurse salary scale. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “SIPTU has written directly to the two Ministers responsible for public health services and public sector pay. We have requested that they intervene directly in the proposed recruitment of 1,000 graduate nurses and midwives on 80% of salary.”The HSE has stated that it will begin a recruitment drive on Friday, 11th January, to fill the 1,000 posts from the graduate class of 2012. The graduates will replace agency staff. Successful candidates will be offered a salary of €21,700 per annum against the current rate for new entrants of €27,234 which is paid to all nurses and midwives employed since 1st January 2011.There was no consultation with SIPTU prior to the announcement by the HSE in December of this proposed recruitment drive.Kevin Figgis, added: “The current salary for new entrants has already been cut by 10% for all new public servants and there is no justification in a further cut being imposed on the graduate class of 2012.”“We have advised the Ministers that if graduates are employed on existing salary scales for nurses and midwives savings can still be accrued against the current expenditure on agency fees. We are calling for the current plan to be suspended to allow for consultation with SIPTU and for all alternatives to be examined in detail.”