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Posted: Tuesday 4 October, 2022 at 12:50 PM

All frontline workers to receive honorarium…says PM Drew

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - In keeping with the promise made during the elections campaign, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew has announced that all frontline workers who did not benefit from the last honorarium would be in receipt of same.


    This comes as Cabinet has approved the payment to public workers who provided their skills during the pandemic.


    Confusion reigned earlier this year when a leaked list showed that heads of various agencies on the Task Force had received a one-off payment in varying amounts. 


    Two government ministers were included on that list.


    Now the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government is keeping its promise to have all payments made to those from the bottom all the way to the top of the ladder.


    In his interview with SKN Newsline, the Prime Minister announced that it is one of the promises his party made and has kept, noting that the Government already has a definition of who is deemed a frontline worker.


    “So basically it is, for now, across the board.We have the definition of who a frontline worker was or is as the process is winding down,” Dr. Drew said.


    He notes that those who fit the Government’s definition would be receiving the payment. 


    Doctors, nurses, police officers, cleaners and army personnel were some of the persons who worked during the pandemic to provide frontline services.


    “Now, we are looking at it to make it something across the board, flat. The reason why we said that the honorarium should be given, even during the elections: I am sure that persons would remember that I said that at some point that those who are at-risk should be given some sort of compensation. It was said what am I talking about, this is country above self…but only to find out after that persons had received significant amounts as an honorarium,” he added.


    Under the last payment, persons received sums totalling from EC$500 up to EC$27,000, which caused a public outcry over the decision to pay some of the frontline workers as a thank you message for their service, while others were not part of the list.


    When it comes to the level of compensation those workers will be given, Dr. Drew noted that more persons would be benefiting from the payout, with the number likely being a single figure across the board. 


    He was quick to point out that those who were on the frontline would likely benefit more based on the risk they faced.


    “For example, you have the cleaners at the hospital, the environmental workers who would have been in contact with COVID in different ways, they too must be considered,” added PM Drew.


    The Prime Minister did not give a timeline as to when the payment will be made to those persons.


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