ALBANY, N.Y. — Back in January, Gov. Kathy Hochul made bold promises to health care workers and hospitals across the state. Recruit more workers and $3,000 bonuses.
On Wednesday, the governor provided details of that promise, eight months after the initial announcement.
“Throughout the pandemic, including the early days when many were hunkered down at home, our healthcare workers and first responders have shown up day after day to save lives,” Gov. Hochul said. “Health care workers are the foundation of our medical system, and we need to acknowledge the sacrifices they have made to bring us through these challenging times.
The $1.3 billion program allocates money to increase recruitment efforts for health care facilities. Additionally, it'll pay out bonuses to those health care workers earning less than $125,000 per year.
"Since the onset of the pandemic, frontline health care workers across the state risked their lives to ensure our friends, neighbors, and relatives received the best care possible. And they did this over and over again, often volunteering to support their co-workers and helping their often very ill patients. I applaud Governor Hochul for ensuring that these frontline caregivers receive much deserved compensation for their selfless sacrifice and service," said Erie County Medical Center Corporation President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., PhD
Those workers also need to remain in their position for at least six months. According to the governor's office qualified employees who work:
- At least 20 hours but no more than 30 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $500
- At least 30 hours but no more than 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,000
- At least 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,500
The maximum amount a health care worker can receive is $3,000. It is not guaranteed all qualified workers will receive the maximum amount.
Employers can submit employees who qualify for the benefit on the new portal created by the state.
"Our bonus program is about more than just thanks," Gov. Hochul said. "This is an investment in health care and with it we will retain, rebuild, and grow our healthcare workforce and ensure we deliver the highest quality healthcare for New Yorkers.”