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Employee pay raise, vaccine incentives and body cameras in Pima County

Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 20:27:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County Supervisors took a few actions on employee pay, vaccine incentives and body cameras today.

County employees on the county health insurance plan will be losing about $45 a pay period if they are not vaccinated, effective November 2021. A county memo says people with valid medical or religious exemptions will not be subject to the surcharge.

This comes after Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting with Administrator Chuck Huckelberry saying they may never be able to persuade those who remain unvaccinated. He mentioned an internal survey of unvaccinated employees' reasons for not getting the jab.

“75% cite side effects of the vaccine,” he said. “And the odd response, given these are government employees, 39 percent say they don't trust the government. That is a little odd, but it is what it is.”

Supervisors unanimously approved a 5 % raise for most employees. Supervisor Christy stated he normally prefers merit-based raises, but these are unusual times.

“These are unusual and confrontational times with some of my colleagues and the county administrator seeming to work overtime to pressure, penalize and evoke punitive measures to force vaccines on county employees,” he said.

“We need to show appreciation for county employees.” The board also approved a ten-year $26,578,000 Axon Enterprise contract for new tasers, body cameras and data services.

"It’s expensive,” said Huckelberry. “But I believe the sheriff thinks it is necessary. And the replacement of the tasers I think is simply getting a more modern piece of equipment and ensuring a little more safety with whether or not it can be mistaken for a weapon.”