Ex-Covid monitors still owed money

Eight months after the assignments of the COVID Monitoring Unit officially ended some officers still have not yet received all of the money that was promised to them.

With Christmas around the corner, and some unemployed, they are hoping Government holds up their end of the agreement.

Four individuals who asked not to be identified reached out to the Sunday Sun, stating that while they received some of the promised $1 300, they were frustrated they were getting the runaround about the remaining funds.

“Since March 31, I have been trying to get my money and nothing is happening. I worked over two years and some people only worked six months and got every cent, but I cannot get mine,” one woman said.

“I do not understand why they hired us to do a job and then treated us so poorly. The whole of Barbados hated us because we were doing a job that we were hired to do. Right now I am owed about $1 100 because they gave me some but I have been trying to get this rectified since March. It is Christmas, I am unemployed, I have three children, [I am] a single mother and a house owner,” she said.

One woman said she has been visiting and reaching out to various agencies but to no avail.

“I worked too hard, went out into the unknown many days and nights and there were many nights of doing reports. I have been to the Ministry of Health and the Treasury . . . . It seems a bit unprofessional and nobody seems to care so this is our next point [coming to the media],” she added.

Earlier this year, Government announced a one-off tax-free $1 500 lump sum payment for 2022 and 2023 for all who on March 31, 2023, were working in the Public Service and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

The agreement also included all temporary workers employed up to the end of March 31, 2023.

Another worker also highlighted the amount of sacrifices they made as she also expressed dissatisfaction that they had to ventilate the issue in the press.

“I spent hours doing cruises and events in COVID. I worked out in the communities with elderly and making sure the less fortunate were dealt with properly. Every time you call it’s a different story about the money owed,” she said.

When contacted, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Wayne Marshall said they valued the contributions of the officers and were looking into the matter.

“We appreciate the work that members of the COVID Monitoring Unit did throughout the height of COVID. We recognised that they went beyond the call of duty.

“We also recognised there are some concerns relating to payments. We are still evaluating the matter so that people can be paid as quickly as possible. We are certainly committed to ensuring that all who are due their payments will get them in a quick fashion,” Marshall said.


Leave a Reply