Mercy employees frustrated about not receiving COVID-19 bonus pay

KNWA

In this KNWA/KFTA EXCLUSIVE... Mercy employees voice their frustrations about not getting their coronavirus pay incentive, after risking their lives for weeks fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines.

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Hospital employees at Mercy are frustrated about not receiving the Arkansas COVID-19 bonus pay for working the frontlines.

I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why across the board as a healthcare provider… why it’s not the same.

ANONYMOUS MERCY EMPLOYEE

Back in April, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced health care workers on the frontlines can get bonus pay for taking care of those battling this deadly virus.

I don’t get breaks, I usually work through lunch, and I’m working almost 10-12 hours just to keep caught up with everything going on.

ANONYMOUS MERCY EMPLOYEE

In June, Governor Hutchinson was asked by a Rogers Mercy employee about why they weren’t getting this incentive.

They are increasing our stress and taking away from our security to be able to care for these people.

ANONYMOUS MERCY EMPLOYEE

Fast forward to July, and now they’re asking KNWA/KFTA the same question.

For whatever reason, we still haven’t gotten answers as to why we still haven’t got our COVID assistance at Mercy.

ANONYMOUS MERCY EMPLOYEE

According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), Mercy applied for these funds on June 15 and received the money on June 25.

“This goes out as part of the regular payment cycle, and the next payment cycle after when Mercy got the money is on July 17,” DHS Chief of Communications Amy Webb said. “You’ll have to ask Mercy in terms of when and how or why they decided to submit when they did.”

KNWA/KFTA has been asking Mercy for answers since Monday, July 6, and as of July 9, we still haven’t gotten a response.

Department of Inspector General Secretary Elizabeth Smith said if a provider doesn’t pass the payment to its workers, her office investigates.

“We are hopeful those providers will be passing on those funds to employees and that’s what we’ll be looking for,” Smith said.

On July 17, several Mercy employees will be doing the same — looking for that additional compensation in their paychecks.

Asa was trying provide some sort of a small bit of security for us as a healthcare system, as a healthcare provider, as a frontline worker, to say we know you are putting your life on the line for us to protect us so here’s a little bit of a thank you.

ANONYMOUS MERCY EMPLOYEE

Smith said if an employee believes they haven’t received the continuity pay they expected, to call the Arkansas Department of the Inspector General, so they can assist in that investigation.

That number is 501-682-8349.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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