May Day Solidarity Pandemic Payment to healthcare workers should be considered

16 April 2020

Labour Party Leader, Alan Kelly TD, has called on the Government to issue a one-off €1,000 pandemic payment to healthcare workers during the May Day Bank Holiday as a solidarity gesture.

Deputy Kelly said:

“As each day passes during this pandemic, we become more grateful for the amazing work our healthcare staff are doing to help fight Covid-19.

“While we all show our appreciation where we can whether that be through local initiatives or social media campaigns, the State needs to take on showing our gratitude in a meaningful way that will make an impact on the lives of our healthcare workers.

“I am proposing, that as a gesture, the State gift our healthcare workers a €1,000 pandemic payment to honour the work that healthcare workers have done to slow the spread of this virus and for all they are doing and will continue to do to try keep us and our loved ones safe.

“This €1,000 pandemic payment would show healthcare workers that we appreciate them putting their lives on the line. We know that our healthcare workers have gone above and beyond – exposing themselves to Covid-19, many isolating themselves from their families, paying extra for childcare so they can continue to treat payments, working extra shifts often without adequate PPE and witnessing their colleagues get ill from this virus.

“With the May Day Bank Holiday approaching, the day in which we honour workers, I propose introducing this payment in the first week of May as a symbolic gesture of gratitude for all the work our healthcare workers have done and will continue to do to keep us safe over the coming days, weeks and months.

“The Government have pushed off issues around pay for frontline staff until the current Public Sector Pay Agreement expires later this year. No reasonable person could deny that those who are working to keep us safe at this time don’t deserve some kind of immediate gesture from the State.

“We know that some sectors, such as the retail sector, are offering bonuses to staff who are working at this time. Workers in our health service should see some kind of similar tribute to their work.

“If countries like France can show this kind of gesture to their healthcare workers, we too should be able to make a once-off solidarity gesture to show our healthcare heroes that we appreciate them.”

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