The Phoenix City Council has voted 6-3 to authorize incentives of up to $2000 for its workers – but only if they have gotten the COVID-19 vaccination, which has been approved by the state.
This comes about a week after they were forced to temporarily suspend their vaccination demand for Phoenix municipal employees.
All of the payments would be reimbursed in full under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan proposed by Vice President Joe Biden.
Bonuses would be awarded exclusively to municipal employees who have been vaccinated before January 18, 2022.
This covers both full-time and part-time workers; however, elected officials, executive staff, and managers would not be included.
Phoenix had previously said that more than 13,000 workers would be required to get vaccinated or face losing their jobs, but that decision was put on hold last week when a federal court judge temporarily halted the plan.
Now, council members are hoping that by offering a financial incentive, more individuals would take advantage of the immunization.
The money, according to Betty Guardado, councilwoman for District 5, “will come in handy for a lot of folks that are out there keeping us secure.”
Although some council members were anxious to give the green light, others were less enthusiastic, stating that the money should be distributed to all staff who were on the job throughout the epidemic.
“They put their lives and the lives of those around them in danger to defend us,” said Sal DiCiccio, a councilman representing District 6.
“This is intended to express gratitude to those folks who have done so much for us, but it has now become politically charged.”
Employees may now submit their vaccination card in exchange for a $75 safety reward, while the city is not forcing employees to disclose their vaccination status at the time of submission.
More than 7,500 workers – or 51 percent of the city’s total workforce – have turned in their time cards so far this year.
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