Several cities within the U.S. are debating whether or not to supply or re-establish hazard pay for staff on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The discussions come as extremely the contagious Omicron variant has unfold all through the U.S., inflicting circumstances to spike in current months.
In Portland, Maine, metropolis officers are contemplating whether or not to convey again hazard pay for staff, the Portland Press Herald reported this week.
The Portland City Council is anticipated to vote on an modification to the town’s masks mandate ordinance this month that may re-establish hazard pay so long as the masking requirement is in place.
“I’m not sure how it will be voted on,” Portland City Councilor Victoria Pelletier, who’s sponsoring the modification, instructed the newspaper.
“But if we have a mask mandate we need to be talking about hazard pay and if we’re asking individuals to show up and overexpose themselves to the pandemic, we need to make sure we’re providing them that level of pay and investing in them,” Pelletier added.
In Evanston, Illinois, metropolis officers are mulling a proposal that may require hazard pay for grocery retailer staff throughout declared states of emergency, akin to a storm, or a surge in COVID circumstances. The proposal at present being thought-about by Evanston’s metropolis council would apply to grocery shops with 500 or extra workers, in response to the Chicago Tribune.
In Macon, Georgia, the Macon-Bibb County Commission debated this week whether or not to offer hazard pay to county workers. According to Georgia information station WMAZ, Superior Court Clerk Erica Woodford requested for $50,000 for hazard pay for her workers, noting that they have not stopped working throughout the pandemic. A vote on the matter has been postponed to a future assembly.
In late January, officers in Seattle moved to permit hazard pay for grocery staff within the metropolis to proceed. In December, former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan vetoed a invoice that may have ended the profit for grocery staff, noting the rise in COVID circumstances attributable to the Omicron variant.
“When organized labor and the grocery stores worked with city council to eliminate hazard pay, they could not foresee the coming and rapid rise of Omicron that has taken hold today,” Durkan wrote to the town council on the time, in response to Washington information station KING.
According to the station, metropolis councilors declined to override the previous mayor’s veto of the laws, extending the coverage which requires grocery shops with 500 or extra workers to pay frontline staff an additional $4 per hour.