A quick look at how $15-an-hour minimum wage will affect Californians

A quick look at how $15-an-hour minimum wage will affect Californians

As California is on the way to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year of 2022, let’s have a look at what that the increase would mean for the Golden State’s government employees and taxpayers.

Hundreds of interns, student assistants, workers at conservation corps will enjoy an increase in their base salaries. Entry-level seasonal firefighters will also start at the state’s minimum, enjoying gains that they wouldn’t have received otherwise.

Most states increased salaries in the range of 1 per cent to 3 per cent annually over the past decade. But, the law signed by California Gov. Brown signed will hike base pay roughly 10 per cent annually. In July last year, the minimum wage jumped from $9 to $10 per hour.

Labor unions will also try to make the most of the increase. AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “When we raise the floor in wages, we raise the ceiling. … Those of you making 16 or 17 or 18 dollars an hour, the next time your union goes in to negotiate, they’re going to ask for 19 and 20 and 21 dollars and up!”

J.J. Jelincic, a member of CalPERS Board, said an increase in base pay creates tremendous pressure for increases at least a few rungs up, noting that nearly twelve thousand state employees are already earning $15 to $20 per hour.

Higher salaries will mean higher costs to taxpayers. An estimate by the Department of Finance suggested that taxpayers will have to foot the bill for additional $235 million in fiscal 2022-23 when the $15-an-hour minimum wage will kick in.