Sligo councillors told agency healthcare staff still waiting on €1,000 Covid payment

Some healthcare staff are still waiting on Covid payment.

Sligo Champion

A motion from Councillor Gerry Mullaney calling on Sligo County Council to write to the Minister for Health requesting that the €1,000 promised to front line workers during the Covid pandemic be paid to all staff including agency employees was adopted at the May monthly meeting.

Cllr Mullaney said the Minister had promised the money and now there was a section who had worked for agencies who were having difficulty in securing this €1,000.

Cllr Arthur Gibbons said he had raised the issue last October and the payment was eight months overdue at that stage. He said it just showed how much they were appreciated during the Covid pandemic and how little they were really thought of.

He said he could not understand why they did not use the same system to pay the €1,000 as they did for giving the booster shots. Sixteen months later, it was “an absolute disgrace.”

Cllr Rosaleen O’Grady said frontline workers delivered a service when there was no vaccination for Covid at the time, either for them or service users.

The country was asked to stop and clap them for the wonderful service they gave and now “we can’t even pay them the miserly €1,000 that they have been promised.”

The money needed to be paid to the frontline workers in all sectors who did a fabulous job during Covid.

Cllr Tom Fox said eaten bread was soon forgotten so it was important that these workers be looked after.

Cllr Donal Gilroy said he wanted to know how many in this region had not been given the €1,000. The company the HSE engaged to carry out the payment was scrapped by the Minister. The vast majority of workers had been paid.

His own daughter worked during the summer holidays, yet someone who had worked full time in another nursing home did not get the payment.

A lot was put down to local management not feeding the names through.

Cllr Marie Casserly said it was unbelievable to think that workers were still waiting on these payments. It was a token payment to a group of people who had gone above and beyond the call of duty to make all of our communities safe.

She wanted the Fianna Fáil members to ask the Minister directly on this matter.

Cllr Thomas Walsh said he got a reply some time ago that the private agencies and the private nursing homes were the last to be paid. He said there was a delay in the list being submitted from the private sector and presumed there were not too many left to be paid.