HAVERHILL, MASS. (WHDH) - As Haverhill officials prepare for a vaccine mandate, they’re encouraging city workers to get vaccinated by offering $500 payouts — including for employees who have already gotten shots.

In less than two weeks, all 455 city workers will have to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. So the city is offering $500 to fully vaccinated workers and those who comply by March 4.

The business manager for Teamsters 170, which represents 125 workers at City Hall and at the water department, said the payment was a strong incentive to get vaccinated.

“Losing overtime hours and losing money and the cost of inflation and the way the country is going, the cost of everything … I think it just gives them a little extra cash to put in their pockets to maybe pay for a bill or take their family out,” said Jim Marks.

Michael Gagliardi, the business manager for the public works union, said only 40 percent of those workers are vaccinated but thought the payment would encourage more.

“These are employees that have worked through the entire pandemic, have never been able to work remote, have interacted with the public, kept the streets and roads clean, and maintained all the publics safety they were required through the entire pandemic. So it shows some appreciation of the work they’ve done through the pandemic,” Gagliardi said.

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