Said the East Derry MLA: and former Mayor of Derry and Strabane Council: “At the start of December, my SDLP colleague Colin McGrath MLA wrote to the Joint First Ministers and Health Minister to urge them to follow Scotland’s lead and award our amazing health workers a one-off recognition payment of £500.
“I am delighted today that Minister Swann has confirmed he will take up our proposal. While this is certainly not all that our staff deserve, I hope it goes some way to show our appreciation and gratitude to them, for almost a year of dedication and sacrifice.”
“It is important now that this payment is not subject to a tax burden and the health workers get to enjoy it fully without being subject to taxation.
“This cost should be met by the British Government.
“While it is no replacement for fair pay and terms and conditions and we will continue to fight for those rights, this payment is positive news and will provide a boost to our healthcare staff, going above and beyond to keep us safe.”
SDLP MLA Colin McGrath, who has been pushing for this payment for many months, said: “I am delighted that the Minister of Health has adopted our proposal.
“I know this will be a huge morale boost to our incredible health workers.
“I raised the idea of a one-off extraordinary payment at Health Committee and in the Assembly and it is fantastic it has come to fruition.
“While this is not everything our amazing staff deserve, it is a small but significant token of our deep appreciation.”
“I also want to remind our citizens that the individual action they can take to show their appreciation to our health workers is to stay at home, save lives and prevent our health service being overwhelmed.”Tags: