The City of Tulsa is considering putting federal virus relief money toward vaccination incentives, but only for city employees.
A working group is set to propose a $250 payment to employees who have been fully vaccinated or who get fully vaccinated. Employees in departments where 70% of workers get vaccinated would get an additional $250.
The incentives would be paid for from the city’s nearly $88 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan.
"So, it's really a way to say, 'We know that to deliver the services to the citizens of Tulsa, we need our workforce healthy and ready to work,' and part of that is getting vaccinated, wearing masks when they're at work," Councilor Lori Decter Wright said during a Wednesday committee meeting while discussing the proposal. "And so, we're leading by example in those ways. And I will say that the tribes have done this, right? Cherokee Nation, Muscogee, and even some other cities are looking at this same approach."
The city has taken several steps to protect workers from COVID on the job, including requiring masks inside city hall and offering paid leave to get vaccinated. The incentive must be approved by the city council and will come to them in the coming weeks.
The council recently approved $9.7 million in American Rescue Plan funds to pay for 4% employee retention bonuses and tiered signing bonuses.