Essential workers like nurses and grocery store employees would get a $25,000 raise for working through the pandemic under new plan from Senate Democrats

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Essential workers like nurses and grocery store employees would get a $25,000 raise for working through the pandemic under new plan from Senate Democrats

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  • Essential workers like nurses and grocery store employees would get a $25,000 "pandemic premium pay increase" from a newly proposed plan from Senate Democrats.
  • The plan to provide a COVID-19 "Heroes Fund" is intended to be part of a potential fourth coronavirus bill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
  • The fund would also provide a $15,000 "recruitment incentive" for healthcare and home care workers, as well as first responders, to "attract and secure" a workforce to fight the coronavirus.
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Essential frontline workers including nurses and grocery store employees could get a $25,000 raise if a new plan from Senate Democrats becomes law.

The plan calls for the creation of a COVID-19 "Heroes Fund," to "reward, retain, and recruit essential workers."

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The fund would provide a $25,000 "pandemic premium pay increase for essential frontline workers," until the end of 2020, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. Schumer said doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and transit workers are among those who could benefit, though the plan leaves room to include more.

Essential workers set to receive the increase would get an additional $13 per hour on top of their regular wages, capped at $25,000. The full raise would be available to people making less than $200,000 per year; those making more would be capped at $5,000 in bonus pay.

The fund would also provide a one-time $15,000 hiring bonus for people who enlist to work as healthcare or home care workers, or as first responders, where "severe staffing shortages [are] impeding the ability to provide care during the COVID-19 pandemic."

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The plan includes provisions for federal employees such as Postal Service and TSA workers to receive the premium.

Details of the plan are subject to change as it is intended to be a part of a potential fourth coronavirus bill, and would need to be approved by Congressional Republicans and the president.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said she would support another stimulus package, and said last week that she'd like to send more direct payments as part of the next bill.

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