The Government is being urged to introduce a May Day Solidarity Payment for healthcare workers, to honour the work that they are doing in helping to combat the Covid-19 virus.
Putting their lives on the line on a daily basis, Cork East TD Seán Sherlock stated that it would be a statement of appreciation for those on the front line.
“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,” said Deputy Sherlock.
“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”.
Going ‘above & beyond’
“The Labour Party is 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,” he continued.
“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 patients, working extra shifts often without adequate PPE and witnessing their colleagues get ill from this virus.
“With the May 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.
Pointing to the payment of bonuses to staff in other industry, Mr Sherlock noted that such a payment would show solidarity with healthcare workers.
“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, 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.”