SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A new law signed Friday in California will raise the minimum wage for health care workers to $25 an hour.
The new law is the second minimum wage increase Newsom has signed. Last month, he signed legislation raising the minimum wage Fast food workers Up to $20 an hour.
Both wage increases are the result of years of lobbying by labor unions, which have considerable influence in the state’s Democratic-dominated legislature.
“Californians saw the courage and dedication of health care workers during the pandemic, and now that same fearlessness and dedication to patients is driving the historic investment in workers that make our health system stronger and more accessible to all,” said Executive Director Thea Orr. Service Employees International Union of California.
Salary hike for healthcare workers is reflected A carefully crafted compromise In the final days of legislative caucuses between the health department and labor unions to avoid some expensive ballot initiative campaigns.
Several city councils in California have already passed local laws to raise the minimum wage for health care workers. The health care department qualified for referendums asking voters to block the increase. Labor unions responded by qualifying a ballot initiative in Los Angeles that would have lowered the maximum salary for hospital administrators.
The legislation Newsom signed Friday would block those local minimum wage increases.
Newsom’s signing into law was somewhat unexpected. His administration had previously expressed concerns about how the bill would affect it The state’s struggling budget.
California’s Medicaid program is a major source of revenue for many hospitals. The Newsom administration has warned that the pay hikes would increase medical bills for state hospitals by billions of dollars.
Labor unions say raising health workers’ wages would allow them to opt out of the state’s Medicaid program and other government-supported programs that pay for food and other expenses.
A study by the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center found that about half of low-wage health care workers and their families use these publicly funded programs. The researchers predict that those savings will more than offset the costs to the state.
The $25 minimum wage has been a point of contention between Kaiser Permanente and unions representing about 75,000 workers. The workers left strike For three days last week. Both sides a Temporary contract Friday.
The strike comes in a year of strike action across many industries, including Transportation, Entertainment And Hospitality. The Health care The industry is facing fatigue from heavy workloads, a problem that has been greatly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.