A one-off payment of €1,000 to public healthcare workers has been described as “the right thing to do” by the general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
Workers who served onsite in a clinical Covid-19 exposed environment during the course of the pandemic are to receive the tax-free payment under a plan passed by Cabinet this morning, according to RTÉ. Healthcare workers in nursing homes and hospices will also be included.
The payment was “a small thank you” and the right thing to do to recognise the “extraordinary sacrifice” of healthcare workers, INMO’s Phil Ní Sheaghdha told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha stressed that the payment should include nurses in the public sector, in nursing homes, general practice nurses and student nurses who had worked with no pay in difficult circumstances.
“We’re all fighting the same fight.”
The payment had come “later than we would have liked it”, but along with an extra bank holiday, it went “a long way” towards recognising the claim that had been made by the INMO in seeking 10 days leave in recognition of efforts during the pandemic, Ms Ní Sheaghdh said.
Meanwhile, the Mandate trade union called for the payment to be extended to retail workers, especially those in the grocery sector who had worked through all the lockdowns.
Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland called on the Government to include all nursing home staff in the payment as they had been “at the forefront” during the pandemic.
There must be no ambiguity whatsoever about who was included in the payment, he said.