SEATTLE (AP) — Under a tentative deal, Washington state employees would receive $1,000 bonuses for receiving a COVID-19 booster shot.
The agreement between the state and the Federation of Washington State Employees also includes 4% salary increases in 2023, 3% salary increases in 2024 and a $1,000 retention bonus, a reported the Seattle Times.
Govt. Jay Inslee announced this month that all emergency pandemic orders will end on October 1. 31, including state vaccination mandates for health care and education workers. But he said a vaccination mandate will continue to be in effect for workers at most state agencies.
Most employees were due to have their first round of vaccinations in October last year or be made redundant. New state employees had to be vaccinated before their official start date.
“We want to have healthy people so people don’t miss work,” Inslee said earlier this month. “The vaccine is still a very important thing.”
The Federation of Washington State Employees represents nearly 47,000 workers with about 35,000 state employees affected by the tentative agreement. The union said it would “help address widespread staff shortages and workplace safety concerns”.
The union called the deal, which has yet to be approved by both sides, the highest pay in union history.
Inslee’s office declined to comment on the details of the tentative agreement announced by the union.
The booster incentive offer “reflects feedback and recommendations we’ve heard from employees and social partners,” said Jaime Smith, a spokesperson for Inslee.
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