Healthcare workers ‘insulted’ by lack of offer for their contribution during pandemic

Unions say healthcare workers should be recognised for their work during the pandemic.

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

HEALTHCARE workers are “deeply insulted” they were not offered financial recognition for their efforts in the fight against Covid-19 at talks today.

Their unions said HSE representatives claimed they had no mandate to make an offer at a meeting at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Union sources said the claim for recognition could mean a financial reward or additional leave, but this is up for discussion.

In a statement, the HSE staff panel of trade unions said they are seeking special recognition for staff since late last year.

They said health service employers in France, Northern Ireland and Denmark have offered staff bonuses or pay increases in recognition of their work and sacrifices over the past year.

“Both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have indicated that they would support some recognition, but no offer has yet been presented,” said the statement.

The chair of the council, Tony Fitzpatrick, said healthcare workers have given their all in the fight against Covid-19.

“They have adapted rapidly, worked far beyond their normal responsibilities, and thousands have caught the virus in the line of duty,” he said.

“Our members are deeply insulted that the Government are still not making any proposals to recognise their efforts.

“We are now facing into a fourth wave of Covid, with no sign of meaningful recognition of the ongoing efforts made by healthcare workers since the onset of the pandemic.

“After all the hard work and extreme risk, it beggars belief that the HSE has once again come to the table empty-handed.”

The union panel includes the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Siptu, Fórsa, the Irish Medical Organisation, the MLSA, Connect, and Unite.

A further meeting is set to take place on August 5 at the Workplace Relations Commission. has contacted the HSE for a comment.