Health

Who is the hero?

Hartford, Connecticut — Eligible from agricultural workers and nursery staff to janitor and truck drivers when the U.S. government allows frontline workers to pay so-called heroes as a possible use of pandemic bailouts. Suggested a possible profession.

State and local governments struggled to determine who needed to qualify among the many workers who faced the rampant coronavirus pandemic before vaccines became available. Should it go to a small pool of essential workers like nurses or spread it to others, including grocery shop workers?

“We’re in a bad position because the local government is trying to pick winners and losers, or recipients and non-recipients, so by default we’re saying it’s important or unimportant.” Says Jason Levesque, Republican Mayor of Auburn, Maine.

A year and a half after the pandemic, such decisions have political implications for some leaders, including unions working to expand eligibility, leaving workers confused. I feel that.

“It sounds like a money issue, but it’s a sign of gratitude,” said Prison Officer Ginny Rigi, who was infected with COVID-19 in Connecticut last year. “Every day, every day, it’s very difficult to describe in words the actual feeling of stepping into the place. It hurt us. It really was.”

Interim Federal Regulations, released six months ago, allow state and local COVID-19 recovery funds to be spent on premiums for key workers up to $ 13 per hour in addition to regular wages. The amount cannot exceed $ 25,000 per employee.

The rule also allows subsidies to be provided to third-party employers with qualified workers. These workers are defined as those who are at high risk of “regular face-to-face interaction or regular physical handling of items that have also been handled by others” or exposure. To COVID-19.

The rule tells state and local governments that “many important workers have not yet received additional compensation for work done over months and are retroactive if possible. Encourage “priority in payment of insurance premiums” and at the same time prioritize low-income qualified workers.

As of July, about one-third of U.S. states used federal COVID-19 relief aid to reward workers deemed essential in bonuses, according to an Associated Press review. ..

The list of state allocations for risk and premium payments as of November 18, provided by the National Assembly of Parliamentarians, states that funds are usually reserved for civil servants such as state soldiers and prison officers. is showing.

In Minnesota, lawmakers still have $ 250 million in aid to reward heroes, but are struggling with how to distribute it. The Special Committee was unable to make a compromise and instead sent two competing recommendations throughout the legislature for consideration.

Republican Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, a member of the Commission, said: Last month’s meeting.

Senate Republicans in Minnesota want to offer a $ 1,200 tax-exempt bonus to about 200,000 workers who say they have taken the greatest risk, including nurses, care workers, prison staff, and first responders. ..

However, House Democrats have spread the money more widely by providing about $ 375 to about 670,000 essential workers, including low-wage food service and grocery store employees, security guards, and janitor. I would like to.

Earlier this week, Democratic Chairman Melissa Hortman pointed out that Minnesota Public Radio had a “pretty natural midpoint” after the political impasse seemed to be alleviated by another issue, and frontline labor. He said he believed that he could reach an agreement on his wages. During the duel proposal.

Connecticut has not yet paid the $ 20 million federal pandemic fund that state legislators set aside for key Connecticut state officials and members of the Connecticut State Guard in June.

As negotiations with union leaders continue, the Connecticut AFL-CIO trade union has given Democratic Governor Neddramont, who will be re-elected in 2022, a $ 1 hour hazard to all essential public and private sectors. We are pressured to offer pay. Workers who worked during a pandemic before vaccination became available.

“The Governor needs to reassess his priorities and show that these workers, who endanger themselves and their lives, are top priorities. Ed Hawthorne, President of Connecticut AFL-CIO. “These workers have appeared in Connecticut. It’s time for the governor to appear for them.”

Lamont spokesman Max Rice said the numbers quoted by organized labor were “impossible.”

Meanwhile, the administration is in talks with state employee unions to classify the work done by state employees during the pandemic and whether they may have shifted to more or less risky other responsibilities. Judging, it can also affect whether they receive or not, he said more or less money.

“We want to recognize the workers who continued to work every day because they had to do and had no choice. And they were from people working in state-owned medical facilities in bad weather. In the meantime, we plow our roads and even reach out to those who need to work directly, “he said. “The next part is that we have to come up with a decision about who all those people are, and that has a verification process.”

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Hartford’s Clarissa Johnson long-term union of New England Healthcare employees during a rally on July 23, 2020 at the State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, calling for new legislation to protect long-term caregivers and consumers. March with caregivers. State employees who worked long hours during the COVID-19 pandemic are still waiting for a “hero pay” from the $ 22.5 million federal pandemic fund secured by the state budget.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_AP21320797854508.jpg Hartford’s Clarissa Johnson was a long-term care member of the New England Healthcare Employees’ Union on July 23, 2020. March with. An important Connecticut state employee who worked long hours during the COVID-19 outbreak during a rally at the State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, calling for new legislation to protect caregivers and consumers. We are still waiting for “Hero Pay” from $ 22.5. Millions of federal pandemic funds secured on the state budget. Associated Press Photo / Jessica Hill

Some states and cities are still discussing hazard pay

Susan Hay

Associated Press

Who is the hero?

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