Earlier today, WPRI reported that Governor McKee had reached a tentative agreement with AFSCME Council 94, the state’s largest of state workers union, that includes a provision for two separate $1500 bonuses for getting a COVID-19 vaccination. The bonuses will be paid to those yet to be vaccinated and paid to state employees who have already done so.
Rhode Island Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Cienki said:
“It’s estimated that AFSCME Council 94 has 10,000 active and retired members it represents. For argument’s sake, if only half of that number are active and receive the bonus, this would cost Rhode Island over $15 million.”
Cienki continued, “What this essentially does is give free taxpayer money to state workers who have already been vaccinated like the rest of us, while those who remain unvaccinated for religious or health reasons will undoubtedly remain unvaccinated.” She concluded, “Governor McKee can frame this as trying to get “needles in arms” as he so proudly repeats every time he is in front of a microphone, but let’s call this exactly what it is, a disgraceful attempt to buy support from the unions before a primary.”