Employees of the state of Washington who obtain a COVID-19 booster shot would be eligible for a bonus of $1,000, according to a proposed agreement.
According to a story in The Seattle Times, the agreement between the state and the Washington Federation of State Employees includes not only a retention bonus in the amount of $1,000 but also wage rises of 3% in 2024 and 4% in 2023.
This month, Governor Jay Inslee made the announcement that all pandemic emergency orders will be lifted by October 31. This includes vaccination requirements for state employees working in health care and education. However, he has stated that a vaccination requirement will continue to be in effect for employees working for the majority of state agencies.
The vast majority of workers were threatened with termination if they did not complete the first round of their immunization series by the end of October of the previous year. Before beginning their formal employment, newly hired state workers were required to get vaccinated.
At the beginning of this month, Inslee was quoted as saying, “We want to have healthy people so people don’t miss work.” “The vaccination is still a very significant component,” the author writes.
Nearly 47,000 workers are represented by the Washington Federation of State Employees, and the tentative agreement will likely have an impact on approximately 35,000 state employees. The union said that it will “assist in addressing severe personnel shortages and difficulties with workplace safety.”
The union stated that the compensation package was the most generous in the history of the union; nevertheless, the contract still needs to be ratified by both parties.
The office of Governor Jay Inslee has declined to comment on the particulars of the tentative deal that was announced by the union.
According to a statement made by Jaime Smith, a spokesperson for Inslee, the decision to offer incentives for boosters “reflects the input and recommendations we heard from employees and labor partners.”
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