Catherine Stachowiak – Thursday, September 14, the Kern Valley Health District board of directors met at Kern Valley Hospital, discussing among other topics on the agenda, an update on legislation, which mandates hospitals pay higher minimum wages to healthcare workers.
Chief Executive Officer Tim McGlew gave an update on SB 525, which was amended in assembly at the legislative negotiations, September 11 regarding the potential $25 minimum wages for medical professionals. The legislation was passed, in the local senate, on September 14.
Negotiations broke hospitals clinics and health care providers down to three categories in the final legislation.
Major medical centers would start workers at $23 this June, going up to paying employees $24 minimum wage next year, and then eventually raise the minimum to $25 hourly, over time.
The second category negotiated, which the Kern Valley Hospital fits, was California’s most vulnerable providers, rural hospitals.
“We will start, if approved, on June 1st, at $18 an hour.”
Thereafter the amounts paid out to employees would be an annual 3.5% increase of the hourly wage.
According to two sites, Cal Hospital and Legiscan the minimum wage after 2024 would be increased by 3.5% annually until it reaches $25 in June 2033; it would be indexed thereafter to the lower of inflation or 3.5%.
The two sites stated that for hospitals that do not fall into one of the other two categories, they would pay workers $21 in June 2024, $23 in June 2026, and $25 in June 2028.
The minimum wage after 2028 would be indexed to the lower of inflation or 3.5%. In addition, local governments would be prohibited from enacting local laws relating to wages or compensation for healthcare facility employees.