By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis says it will pay an honorarium to frontline workers who have been working since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020.
In a Cabinet-Post Briefing on Monday (Sept. 12), Cabinet Secretary Dr. Marcus Natta revealed that the payment was approved to recognize frontline workers for their service to the country.
“The government continues its efforts to recognize our frontline workers; that is, the essential workers who have been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and who have been called to meet the basic needs of the people of the federation and all inbound and outbound travelers to and from the Federation.
As such, Cabinet has approved the payment of an honorarium to frontline workers for the services provided to their fellow citizens and residents,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
The previous administration had approved honorariums for members of the National COVID-19 Task Force that included former Minister of Labour Wendy Phipps and former Attorney General Vincent Byron who both received $27,000 each in payments.
Phipps confirmed that honorariums were paid to COVID-19 Task Force members ranging from $500 to $27,000, and said the decision to pay honorariums was discussed and approved by the Cabinet between late last year and early January.
The payment of honorariums to Task Force members sparked strong public debate over the rate at which they were paid with people saying frontline workers such as doctors and nurses should have received honorariums as well.
Dr. Natta said “persons who previously received any form of compensation for work directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be eligible for an honorarium under this initiative.”