By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
A PUBLIC Hospitals Authority official confirmed that the remainder of honorarium payments for COVID-19 front line workers will be made to qualifying employees next week.
Lyrone Burrows, PHA deputy managing director, told The Tribune yesterday the monetary award would come by next Tuesday through cheques.
The payments were to be made this month.
He confirmed the delay after an internal memo dated October 25 sent to employees said the honorariums would not be paid out as part of the October pay package.
Asked for the reasoning behind the delay, Mr Burrows said: “System challenges in obtaining a reconciliation spreadsheet of all employees paid versus unpaid at the conclusion of September resulted in the inability for the balance of employees requiring an honorarium to be validated to meet the October deadline for inclusion in the October pay package.
“Our workaround is to provide (the) same through cheque payment which is expected to be completed by next Tuesday at the latest.”
An internal memo to PHA employees said to date, the authority paid out $6,001,398.40 to eligible recipients of the first wave COVID-19 honorarium payments. In addition, PHA said out of the approximate 3,700 employees on their pay sheet, 3,200 received an honorarium with just over 500 now being assessed for eligibility. “We are in the final stages of reviewing time and attendance records on each of these employees to validate eligibility according to the criteria provided,” the memo read.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, these amounts will not be paid in the October pay package as originally planned, but management is attempting to ensure that cheques are issued by month’s end to all remaining staff meeting our honorarium criteria.”