By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Casper City employees are now eligible for a vaccine incentive that will not only be offered to them, but also extended to their family members, spouses and dependents.
Casper’s city council voted 6-2, albeit informally, on Tuesday in a working session to approve the incentive program, which offers $ 250 to city employees (full-time, part-time and firefighters and emergency services) who are either vaccinated or fully vaccinated by the end of the year.
However, unlike many statewide immunization incentive programs, family members, spouses, and other dependents of city employees can also receive $ 100 if they are. fully vaccinated by the end of the year. Employees who have already been fully immunized may also receive an additional $ 50 for receiving a booster.
However, the program is completely voluntary.
City officials hope that through the program, around 65% of the city’s staff will be vaccinated against the virus by the end of the year, they said at the city council meeting on Tuesday.
Councilor Bruce Knell was one of two council members who voted against the incentive program.
“I am 100% against using taxpayer money to bribe or coerce someone into getting the vaccine,” he said.
The money to pay for the incentive comes from both the city’s CARES Act relief funds and funds from the Casper-Natrona County Health Department.
In September, Laramie County School District 1, which includes Cheyenne, offered a one-time incentive of $ 500 to employees already fully vaccinated or ready to undergo bi-weekly COVID testing.
At the end of July, the City of Cheyenne announced that it would offer additional vacation hours for full-time employees or additional pay hours for part-time and seasonal employees who were fully immunized by October 31.
Cheyenne Regional Medical Center employees who are fully immunized by October 31st are eligible for the following: full-time employees can receive either 16 hours of paid leave or a bonus of $ 600, part-time employees can receive Eight hours of PTO or a bonus of $ 300 and PRN employees (those hired on call) will receive a bonus of $ 150.
Editor’s note: The original headline said the city was implementing a mandate, when it was actually implementing a vaccination incentive. It was a mistake and we corrected it. We apologize for the mistake.