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  • Board of Supervisors adopts incentives to encourage COVID-19 vaccines for employees

    Aug 16, 2021 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors at its Aug. 16 meeting voted 3 to 2 to pay county employees $300 and give them three extra days off as an encouragement  to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees already vaccinated also will receive the incentives as a reward. 

    The Board of Supervisors also considered adopting a program of financial disincentives that would have increased health insurance costs for unvaccinated employees by $1,573 per year, but decided to revisit the proposed disincentives at their Sept. 7 meeting. Supervisors Adelita Grijalva and Rex Scott suggested that delaying the proposed disincentives would give staff an opportunity to examine data on how well the new incentives are working.
    The Board of Supervisors considered mandating vaccines for county employees at its Aug. 10 meeting, but voted down the proposed mandate 4-1.

    The County offers a number of incentives to encourage employee vaccinations:
    • Use of up to 90 minutes of paid work time for each required vaccine shot, if the appointment is during regular work hours;
    • Use of Federal Emergency Paid Sick Time (FEPST) leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (if available) for vaccine-related symptoms/side effects;
    • Face less-restrictive travel guidelines with an immediate return to work after conclusion of travel, so long as the traveling employee has experienced no symptoms; 
    • Permitted to return to work earlier after experiencing onset of COVID-19 symptoms, with a receipt of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and remaining symptom-free for 48 hours; and 
    • Qualification for 50 Healthy Lifestyle Activity points that equates to a $5 savings on an employee’s health insurance premiums every two weeks
    • The Pima County Health Department is offering multiple, free COVID-19 vaccination sites across the region. Find the full list at the County’s COVID-19 vaccination webpage.
    Pima County has approximately 6,800 employees. Employees are able to contact the County’s Human Resources Department to request a card they can wear with their County ID that says “I am vaccinated against COVID-19.” As of Aug. 13, more than 2,700 employees have requested the card, though more employees may be vaccinated who have not made that request.

    Employees who believe they qualify for an exemption to the vaccine mandate may complete an exemption form. They then will be contacted by Human Resources.