Zug, 29.06.2020

Applause for the care workers - and then that’s it?

Care workers deserve more than just applause. The Zug cantonal council sees this differently with regard to the nursing staff in Zug, however. Bonuses for the care workers are a matter for the employers, it said. This makes the words of thanks sound hollow, and is simply embarrassing, writes Harry Ziegler,

Remember when the whole of Switzerland applauded? Clapped to thank those who risked their own lives to care for the people who were fighting for their lives because of the corona virus? Emotions were running high at the time,– out of fear for one's own life and– in the worst case – the possible need for an intensive care place for yourself.

There is no sign of these emotions, of this gratitude, now. On Thursday, 25 June, the Cantonal Council of Zug clearly rejected a proposal by the Alternative Party – the Greens that aimed to provide a bonus to the caregivers of Zug. Of course, all the speakers expressed their thanks for the sacrificial work of the care workers. But: the organisation of such bonuses is not the task of the state, it is the task of the employer, it was stated.

Harry Ziegler

But how are employers – hospitals, for example – supposed to provide bonuses while the services they are supposed to hold in readiness,  such as the establishment of larger intensive care units or the ban on earning money, are not financed because the carrying out of planned non-urgent operations has been prohibited? The federal government rightly imposed all this – but now does not want to pay for its ordinances, or at least only marginally.

After all, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be the required CHF 2,300 bonus, and the municipalities would not be obliged to participate as proposed. But with a profit of CHF 175.4 million in 2019, a financial gesture from the canton would certainly be appropriate. As a result, however, the thanks and the applause for the care providers are just one thing: embarrassing!