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'Without us, the city doesn’t move' | City of Charlotte workers rally for vaccination incentives

City leaders announced all employees must share their vaccination status. Now some worry that could lead to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Those who work for the City of Charlotte are hoping to bring better pay, increased safety and expanded benefits to the forefront as the city considers what's next for its employees in the fight against COVID-19.

Members of the Charlotte City Workers Union held a rally Wednesday asking that some considerations be taken before the city makes any decisions about possible mandatory vaccinations for all city employees.

“It’s the choice and some people have had negative side effects from these vaccines," said Nichelle Dunlap-Thompson, a former city worker.

So far, the city has not made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, but officials did ask all city employees to share their vaccination status.

RELATED: LIST: Mask & COVID-19 vaccine mandates for colleges in the Charlotte-area

Some employees say they aren't anti-vaccine, but instead would like to receive incentives to get the shot and have the city show greater appreciation for the hard work they do.

“Us being essential workers, we carry the load," Charlotte Water employee Craig Brown said. "Without us, the city doesn’t move.”

Some of the requests include $250 given to those who get the vaccine, along with expanded 80 hours of leave time if they get sick or have to quarantine, and additional security for life insurance policies and pension benefits.

“One of the ways they can appreciate us is to reinstate the 5% hazard pay for essential workers," City Workers Union Vice President Kris Barrows said. 

And finally, city employees say they would like a voice in the room when major decisions are made.

Charlotte City Workers Union says they have reached out to the city about these requests, but are still waiting to receive feedback.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

RELATED: 'Vaccines save lives' | North Carolina leaders urge COVID-19 vaccinations as cases climb

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