ARIZONA NEWS

Vaccinated Maricopa County employees to get $100, extra day off

Sep 1, 2021, 11:16 AM | Updated: 12:17 pm
(Twitter Photo/@Maricopahealth)...
(Twitter Photo/@Maricopahealth)
(Twitter Photo/@Maricopahealth)

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to offer county employees cash and time off as incentives to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The board voted 4-1 to give workers $100 and a day of recognition leave if they are fully vaccinated by Oct. 31.

Before the vote, Chairman Jack Sellers said there’s been a lot of discussion about how to increase vaccination rates at county agencies without issuing a mandate.

He said some departments where employees are in regular contact with the public have “very low vaccination rates.”

“If we ever want to move forward and get this pandemic behind us, we need to do as much as we can to encourage the vaccination in this county, and this is a step towards that goal,” he said.

All part-time, full-time, classified, unclassified, contract and temporary employees are eligible, including workers who already are vaccinated.

The offer is good for the approximately 10,000 employees in Maricopa County’s elected offices, appointed departments, Flood Control District and Library District.

Supervisor Steve Chucri, one of four Republicans on the board, was the only no vote. He said he believes the vaccine works but opposes the policy because he thinks getting vaccinated is “a very personal choice.”

“I applaud our human resources. I applaud our county administration and what they’re doing,” he said. “It’s just a personal thing for me on this one.”

Vaccinated employees will have until Nov. 10 to submit proof of vaccination to human resources.

The bonus is expected to appear in paychecks on Nov. 24, and the day off must be used by the end of 2022.

Hospitalizations related to the virus have nearly quadrupled in Arizona since the state’s third wave started in early July. People who aren’t fully vaccinated now account for almost all of the serious illnesses and deaths.

Free federally authorized vaccines are widely available and highly effective in preventing illness from COVID-19, including the more contagious delta variant that now accounts for most of the cases in the U.S.

For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events. Appointments may be required depending on the provider.

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Vaccinated Maricopa County employees to get $100, extra day off