COVID

Haverhill city employees will receive $500 for getting vaccinated

City workers will receive the stipend if vaccinated by March 4.

COVID-19 vaccination being administered in Haverhill. David L. Ryan/Boston Globe

Haverhill’s city employees can expect a $500 windfall this year, but only if they are vaccinated for COVID-19.

Through the American Rescue Plan Act, Mayor James Fiorentini will be funding a $500 stipend for each employee who receives their COVID-19 vaccination by March 4, The Eagle Tribune reports. City employees who are eligible to receive the funds include staff working at city hall, as well as police, fire, library, water, wastewater, and highway department personnel. 

The stipend also applies to seasonal employees, temporary and probationary employees, workers returning from leave, and prospective workers. The $500 stipend will be pro-rated for part-time employees.

Elected officials such as the mayor and city council members will not be eligible to receive the stipend.

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Fiorentini estimated that the stipend will be available to roughly 455 city employees. 

“When I saw the numbers skyrocket, I knew I had to do something to protect the public and our employees,” Fiorentini told the Tribune, referencing the recent spike in positive cases. “We really want everyone vaccinated. The carrot is a $500 stipend while the stick is having to be tested weekly.”

In addition, all employees will be required to show proof of vaccination by Jan 23. or comply with weekly testing.

Weekly testing will be free, and those who choose testing in place of vaccination will also be required to wear a mask during working hours and maintain social distancing. They will not be eligible to receive the vaccination stipend.

Fiorentini said that employees who have yet to receive their second dose will be required to provide negative COVID-19 test results for the recommended interval between doses suggested by the vaccine manufacturer. 

“We’re dealing with the public and I don’t want to put anyone in danger,” he said.

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