MOIRA Wynne (34), a staff nurse at a Dublin hospital, is recently married and would love to be able to buy her own home with her new husband and start a family.
But with an average salary of €34,000 – and the prospect of more pay cuts on the horizon – this is not possible.
"I'm renting at the moment because I can't afford a mortgage. To get a mortgage, you have to show you can save, and I have nothing left to save at the end of the month.
"I feel like I'm putting my life on hold for work.
"We definitely couldn't afford children given the cuts I've already taken, and now the proposed cuts," she added.
A loss of premiums for working nights, weekends and public holidays would mean a pay cut of just over 10pc for Moira – on top of the 14pc pay cut she has already experienced. However, she argues that working these unsociable hours should be worth extra pay to acknowledge how nurses miss out on valuable time with their families.
"I missed a birthday party for my sister at the weekend.
"My whole family was there, but I couldn't go because I was working.
"I accept that I chose my career, and that my career comes with working nights and weekends, but nurses don't expect to be penalised just because we work these unsociable hours 365 days a year."
She compares working a week of nights to "losing a week of your life".
"You don't see people. You just get up, go to work, come home, have something to eat and then go to bed.".