'We're no snowflakes': Poor pay is the issue, not long hours or hard work, claim vet graduates
Young vets are on a collision course with Veterinary Ireland over starting salaries and conditions for recent graduates.
The Progressive Veterinary Network (PVN), an organisation representing 200 new and recent veterinary graduates, claims that "poor pay" has become a major barrier to employment.
Deirdre Ní Dhonnchú of PVN said: "The feedback we're getting is that there is a lot of annoyance and irritation among young vets who feel they are being portrayed as a 'snowflake generation' of vets that don't want to work or take up hard jobs in mixed practice.
"That is not the case, the conditions and salary are the two biggest things. The main employers are not willing to pay to get new vets into positions and to keep them in those positions long term so they are going to England and other places," she said.
Ms Ní Dhonnchú highlighted that anecdotal evidence from an on-going PVN nationwide survey on salaries suggests that large numbers of newly qualified vets are "starting out on flat-rate salaries ranging from €25,000 to €35,000" for a minimum 60 hours per week, but she claims this often stretches to 70 or 80 hours.
"You might be up five times during the night and still work as normal the next day with no extra pay or overtime or day off.
"Very few practices will give you a day off because if there are only two or three in a practice, they will say they can't afford to give you a day off," she said.
"The money isn't going up and the conditions aren't improving and that is what frustrates people," she said,