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Unlike the canton of Vaud, Geneva does not want to pay a premium for nursing staff due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Grand Council rejected a petition on Friday demanding a reward of 1,000 Swiss francs per person.

The petition began by a citizen “influenced by the dedication of the nursing staff who devote themselves physically and spiritually to the patients, endangering their health and sometimes risking their lives.” The left supported the initiative, while the right believed the petition was unfair because it only targets caregivers.

“This reward is unequal and unfair,” said Francois Perchi, MP for MCG. Senior Vice President Representative Stefan Fleury said he did not understand why the pharmacists, public transport workers and ambulance drivers, who were also on the front lines during the crisis, were not supported.

Nurses in Geneva are not getting a bonus. (Archive image)

The oath also mentioned the additional three days of leave that were offered to all employees of Hog University Hospital as an expression of thanks for their commitment. In addition, they would have benefited from free food and accommodation during this difficult time, as asserted by many right-wing MPs.

But to the left, turning down the reward is incomprehensible. “We clapped to the nursing staff and gave them a packed lunch to thank them,” says Francoise Neveler from the Ensemble a Ghosh party.

“You talk about justice, but what do you say to the nurses who live a few kilometers away in the canton of Vaud,” said Social Democrat Sylvain Tevez, criticizing the council’s rights.

In February, the canton of Vaud decided to pay a bonus of 900 francs per capita to employees of public, semi-public and private health and social institutions. About 14,000 people will benefit from this amount. State costs amount to 15 million francs.

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