Local healthcare workers react to frontline worker pay

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More than one million Minnesotans will receive frontline bonus payments from the state.

Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement on Monday that each Minnesotan that applied and was approved will be getting $487.45 in frontline bonus pay starting on Wednesday to recognize the sacrifices they made during the pandemic.

“I know there are people upset about it they think it should be more but I look at it as it’s 487 dollars that I didn’t have before so I mean I guess I’m happy with it,” Kelsey Schumacher, a former Mayo Clinic employee, said.

Schumacher said she applied for the money the first day the application opened.

“I was happy that mine was accepted. It’s nice that they did that but I will say to try to fill everything out, it was not user-friendly at all,” she said.

She hopes that other workers who also deserve the pay did not miss out on it because of the difficulty of applying.

“While we feel super appreciated with the monetary offer, many of us get into this line of work because we want to do service for the community and like I said, just super proud of the collective efforts,” Denise Daniels, Director of Olmsted County Public Health, said.

Daniels said over 90 percent of the staff at OCPH were activated to pandemic responses at some point during the pandemic.

“The extra pay is just a little icing on the cake but I don’t think anybody expects it,” she said.

The frontline worker pay bill was signed into law by Gov. Walz in April. It dedicated $500 million equally to frontline workers. State officials originally estimated about 667,000 people would be eligible for about $750 each. However, over one million Minnesotans ended up applying for the funds.