City council gives tentative okay to give $400 vaccination bonuses to city workers in Denver – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-09-14 18:52:43 –

Legislators had some problems with the proposal, including concerns about how quickly the idea came to them.

It’s not an incentive. It’s a reward.

In this way, the city’s chief financial officer, Brendan Hanlon, has put together a proposal to give city workers the required COVID-19 vaccination a $ 400 bonus.

But it wasn’t a convincing argument for members of the Denver City Council, as members of the Finance Commission unanimously postponed the two bills on Tuesday and voted to pass the bonus to city workers. bottom. Instead of forwarding it to the entire city council, lawmakers voted to discuss the two bills when they meet again on September 28.

The bill will allow the city to spend $ 5 million from the city’s reserves to pay bonuses and amend city legislation to allow the government to fund it. A proposal to give a bonus was announced last week.

The decision was made after almost an hour of conversation. They praised the work done by city employees during the pandemic, but some council members said that the administration of Mayor Michael Hancock was enough to raise the head of the city council members about the idea. I felt I didn’t do it.

Councilor Joron Clark even said he and his colleagues felt they were being cornered to approve it. He didn’t like how the bonuses were organized. It said it would treat those who got it a few months ago the same as those who went out and got it just before the mission demanded it.

“I think there are many ways this has been done and this has been presented as a slam dunk to me,” Clark said.

Councilor Paul Kashman was a little more sudden.

“I don’t think this is well thought out,” Kashman said.

Last month, the Hancock administration announced a vaccination order for all employees in the city. Workers must be fully vaccinated by September 30th.The city has more than 11,000 employees, with at least 77% of full time Workers are vaccinated, According to recently available figures.The vaccination rate for the entire city is 80 percent among eligible people.

About 7% of City officials apply for tax exemption It is based on religious or medical grounds. Those who have been approved for exemption are also eligible for the bonus. Karla Pierce, assistant director of the Employment and Labor Laws section of the city law firm, said successful exemptions would continue to be eligible for bonuses under federal law prohibiting discrimination against employees based on religion.

About 400 to 450 city officials are exempt, according to Pierce. Councilors Kendra Black and Robin Nichi were both critical of religious exemption and its potential misuse. Mr Pierce said these requirements were scrutinized.

“I feel like paying someone for their religion, and that’s not the case, I don’t think it should be in the business we do in government, your religion I will pay you for my beliefs, “Kniech said. “We should pay those who have taken positive steps to prevent the transmission of COVID.”

CFO Hanlon said the $ 400 bonus is based on Treasury rules regarding maximum compensation. He said vaccination was not an incentive, but a reward for city officials who had already received the injection. He said it was not intended to make up for the money lost on the day of the forced furlough.

Full-time, part-time, uniform, private and on-call employees are eligible for additional money. Other elected officials, including Hancock and city council members, are not eligible for bonuses as they are treated as salaries, and the salaries of elected officials cannot be changed within the period.

The city’s reserve fund, where the bonus is paid, is the money the city has set aside for unexpected costs. According to city documents, if $ 5 million is finalized by the city council, the fund will have a balance of $ 17.4 million.

City council gives tentative okay to give $400 vaccination bonuses to city workers in Denver Source link City council gives tentative okay to give $400 vaccination bonuses to city workers in Denver

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