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Committee postpones vote on $400 vaccine bonus for Denver employees

The city said it doesn't expect the money to motivate unvaccinated employees. They're calling it a reward.

DENVER — Criticism  from City Council members Tuesday delayed consideration of Mayor Michael Hancock’s proposal to give $400 bonuses to city employees vaccinated against COVID-19 .

The council's governance panel punted the proposal to a Sept. 28 meeting after over an hour of debate. City staffers were expected to amend the measure, which would use $5 million from the city’s general fund to give $400 “rewards” to city employees who comply with a COVID-19 vaccination mandate by Sept. 30, before it returns to the panel.

Bonuses would be offered to employees who are fully vaccinated and workers deemed exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Criticism from council members Tuesday centered around bonuses for workers who obtain exemptions to the city's vaccine mandate. The city allows exemptions on the basis of religion and medical conditions.

“We should be paying people who have taken active steps to prevent the transmission of COVID,” said Councilwoman Robin Kniech. “Why are we not asking those who are unvaccinated to earn (the bonus) by doing other things that prevent the spread of COVID?”

>Read the full story at Denver Gazette.

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