Frontline workers must be recognised for ‘protecting the nation’, says McNelis

Former Mayor says Ireland should follow France, Scotland, and Canada and offer a pandemic bonus payment

A pandemic bonus should be paid to the State’s healthcare workers to “honour and recognise” the work they have done to slow the spread of Covid-19.

This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor, Niall McNelis, who has reiterated his party's call to the Government to pay such a bonus.

“Eighteen months ago nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants, cleaners, lab scientists, and multiple other workers across our hospitals and primary care system faced a nightmare scenario of a virus with no vaccine or cure,” he said.

“Many healthcare workers from Galway reported to the frontline of the fight against Covid-19, often with little or no PPE at the start, and have delivered care for the Irish people despite extremely difficult conditions. They had to self-isolate from their families, often for weeks, so they could provide frontline care. They are heroes but they’ve had enough of platitudes – they need to be compensated for their work.”

Such a payment has been made in other countries. France has given an average of €183 a month pay rise to healthcare workers. NHS workers in Scotland received a £500 bonus, while frontline workers in Canada have received a $1,200 bonus.

The former mayor believes Ireland should do the same, and noted that, in the retail sector, there were offers of bonuses to staff who worked on the frontline.

 

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