Rhode Island’s largest union has approved a new contract guaranteeing a $3,000 COVID-19 vaccination bonus, the Associated Press reported.
Public servants across the state will be able to get the bonus if they provide proof that they have been vaccinated against coronavirus. The bonus is only part of a contract approved by Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Unions. The new contract would increase employee pay by 2.5 percent, extend bereavement leave, and increase the amount of days employees use to care for a sick family member. It won a landslide victory by 97 votes to 1,963 on Thursday.
Longtime Council 94 chairman J. Michael Downey said, “It’s the most powerful ratification I’ve come across in the years I’ve been here.” Providence Journal,
Those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine will not be the only group to receive the bonus. Workers whose religious or medical exemptions are approved will also be given an additional $3,000.
“Our employees continue to provide services while meeting the increased demands caused by the pandemic,” James Thorson, Rhode Island’s director of administration, said in a statement, “and it is important that we recognize those efforts and provide the state with a choice of choice.” Create an employer
Recently, unions have made a significant impact on the workforce. Police unions in cities such as Chicago and New York City oppose vaccination mandates enacted by their local governments. In contrast, the AFL-CIO, United Food and Commercial Workers, and Service Employees International recently petitioned the Biden administration to expand their vaccination mandates to other workers across the country.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Council 94 represents approximately 3,800 workers.
Union and state officials said the bonus would help retain stressed public employees.
“This was done so that we can retain your government employees,” said Council 94 vice president Lynn Loveday.
The program has an estimated cost of $9.6 million, and will be funded by federal relief dollars.
Democratic Governor Daniel Mackie told WPRI-TV that the contract was “fair for workers and fair for taxpayers.”
Bonus drew criticism from some Democrats and Republicans who said it was unfair and appeared to condemn unvaccinated.