State Pays Out Second Round of Health Care Worker Retention Bonus
By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
New York State processed the second round of Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus (HWB) program payments to eligible workers at city agencies.
The majority of employees in line for the second cycle of state-funded retention bonuses are FDNY Emergency Medical Services workers in Local 2507 and officers in Local 3621.
“We’re glad the governor recognizes FDNY first responders in Local 3621 and Local 2507 for the sacrifices we’ve made to serve the people of New York City during the pandemic,” said Local 3621 President Vincent Variale. “The union advocated for this benefit and it makes sense that our members are covered because they’re frontline responders to emergency health crises.”
“Additionally, the union fought hard to win the maximum payout of $3,000 for this vesting period, free from state and city taxes,” he said.
In 2022, New York State began processing payments of the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus covering the first two vesting periods, from Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022. As an incentive to retain experienced health care workers, the state allocated $1.3 billion in the FY 2023 budget to fund the HWB program.
The program pays a bonus of up to $3,000 for two vesting periods to eligible workers who earn an annual base salary of less than $125,000 and remain in their positions for at least six months. It covers eligible full- and part-time employees, temporary, and contracted workers. Any employees who were suspended, on leave, or retired during the vesting periods are ineligible to receive the bonus.
In this second round of payments, eligible employees can anticipate payment as follows:
MAYORAL AGENCIES: Eligible employees who worked one or both periods, Oct. 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, and April 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2022, received their Health Care Worker bonus payments on or before Feb. 10, in a supplemental check. The majority of employees in this group are EMS workers in FDNY. Eligible Department of Health (DOHMH) employees will receive their check for the second vesting period.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: The state designated the titles of Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists, and Health Aides as eligible titles. These employees received checks on or before Feb. 10.
HEALTH+HOSPITALS: Eligible employees received their checks for the second vesting period, April 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2022, on or before Feb. 10.
If you believe your work was involved in direct patient care and you did not receive an attestation letter from your employer, please contact your agency’s HR department first, and then your union representative. For program details, contact the Health Care Worker Bonus Call Center at 866.682.0077.
The HWB program continues until March 31, 2024, with a maximum of two vesting periods per employee. DC 37 continues to push for the expansion of eligible titles and employers.