Almost a dozen school nurses say they're not being paid for the days the city closed their schools due to the swine flu outbreak. Most of the nurses in question got sick themselves or have children who became ill, but not one of those troupers called in sick during the crisis when the schools were open. One Queens school nurse tells the Daily News, "You couldn't leave people when they were that scared. It was chaos. I had a thermometer in each pocket—you had to be like an octopus."

A Health Department official says that nurses who accepted assignments elsewhere would be paid for the closed days, but the nurses insist they were told to stay home because they might be contagious. Later, they were told they would have to use vacation days for the times their schools were closed.

It seems that all other school employees were paid for the days the schools were closed, but these ten nurses technically work for the Health Department and are paid by the hour, unlike their salaried counterparts who work for the Education Department. (Those nurses are being paid for the forced days off.) Another unpaid nurse tells the News, "It was such a slap in the face. Given how hard everyone worked, it just isn't right...We would have taken anything, a cookie, a thank-you."