The French government has agreed to give a pay rise of $9 billion to its health workers. It agreed the deal on Monday with labour unions. The extra cash means that nurses and care workers will get an extra $208 a month in their pay packet. Doctors who work in the public sector will also get more money. France's Prime Minister said the pay rise was to recognise the efforts of health workers during the coronavirus pandemic. During the outbreak, millions of French people applauded and clapped their nurses and doctors. This caused the government to reward them with a rise in pay. The Prime Minister told reporters that: "No one can deny that this is a historic moment for our health system."
Monday's announcement and signing ceremony was on the day before Bastille Day on July the 14th. This is a day to honour a turning point in the French Revolution in 1789. It is the national day of France. Around 1,400 nurses, doctors and carers attended a ceremony in Paris' Place de la Concorde. However, some unions asked health workers to stay away from the celebration as a protest. The unions said the government needed to do more to protect staff and keep them safer during the pandemic. The Prime Minister said the government would do more. He said: "It is a way of catching up for years of delay, for which each and every one of us has their share of responsibility."