It’s official - Bavaria is paying a bonus of 500 euros to all nurses and care workers in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care facilities, and homes for the elderly and disabled. Emergency paramedics and paramedics are also to benefit.
This was decided by the Bavarian cabinet, in a video conference of course. Markus Söder, the Minister-President of Bavaria and leader of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), announced on Twitter that this bonus is intended as recognition for the tremendous achievements during the coronavirus crisis.
Söder is in good company. Many German politicians and associations would like to thank the nursing staff with special payments.
But for some it seems to be more of a competition:
“We in Bavaria don't just talk about it - we do it," emphasised Minister-President Markus Söder.
According to a government spokesman, the bonus is to be given to a total of 252,000 employees, costing the Free State of Bavaria 126 million euros.
However, this debate on how to thank those who keep the system running shows that something important has been understood.
Professions that are in high demand during this crisis, with staff considered 'key workers' or 'frontline workers', have so far been rather poorly paid – be it the nurse, the kindergarten teacher who looks after the children of key people, or the cashier in the supermarket.
Their work is crucial for our society, for us, day after day, year after year.
A bonus is a good start, but it shouldn’t stop there.