Security guards, housekeeping, receptionists and others could see much bigger paychecks in the future. Under SB525 Minimum Wages: health care workers, workers at large healthcare facilities would earn $23 per hour starting next year, $24 per hour in 2025 and $25 in 2026. That applies to all staff, including nursing assistants, medical coders, launderers and hospital gift shop workers.
Employees of independent rural hospitals and places that serve high rates of Medicare and Medi-Cal patients will only see minimum pay of $18 per hour next year, and won’t see $25 per hour until 2033. Other smaller facilities, including urgent care clinics and skilled nursing facilities, would be required to pay their employees $21 per hour next year, reaching $25 per hour in 2028.
Months of negotiations with unions and lobbyists succeeded in changing the minds of the detractors of SB525. The California Hospital Association and the California Dialysis Council swung their weight behind the bill last week.
Gov. Newsom is taking a wary approach to this bill, reviewing costs to struggling rural medical facilities and to the state of California. The burden of the additional expenses could result in higher medical bills for patients in those areas. A previous analysis estimated an additional $974 million to pay for raises at state owned facilities in the first year alone.
The fate of SB525 now lies with Gov. Newsom. He has until October 14, 2023 to sign or veto this bill.