Words: Eva O’Beirne
It was announced in January that healthcare workers would receive a 1000 euro bonus, but the majority of those eligible have not been paid.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has called on Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to ensure that the payment is given to nurses, midwives and other frontline workers.
Last January, the Irish Government announced that frontline public healthcare workers who worked in an environment in which they were exposed to Covid-19 would be given a one-off tax-free bonus of 1,000 euro.
District previously spoke with Róisín O’Connell, the Student/New Graduate Officer from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation at the time the bonus was announced. Róisín detailed that, although the bonus is better than nothing “it has to be the first in a series of steps to acknowledge the sacrifices of healthcare staff. Even the new bank holiday, realistically won’t affect us. It’s a 365, 24/7 job.”
And now, four months later, even the first step to acknowledge what frontline staff have gone through hasn’t been taken.
The INMO said that hospitals are still waiting for funds from the HSE to be able to make the payments.
“Despite Government announcements and statements directly to the media that the pandemic recognition payment for frontline workers would be paid immediately, those who work in healthcare settings are still waiting for the bonus to be paid,” said INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha to the Irish Examiner today.
“This payment has only been made to staff in two hospitals, with many hospitals stating that they are waiting on the HSE to give them the funds to allow them make the payment. The red tape around this payment must be removed and the promised payment made.”
“This announcement was made back in January, yet the Minister’s own department still has not made any moves to ensure payment to Section 39 employees, agency staff and those who worked in private nursing homes.”
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