SAN FRANCISCO: Low-Paid Workers Get Raise, Health Benefits
Heading off a "November ballot fight over a living-wage law," San Francisco officials announced yesterday a plan that would give 21,500 of the city's low-paid workers a raise and basic health coverage, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The package applies to home health workers; employees in private firms and not-for-profit organizations with city contracts of more than $25,000 and employees of leaseholders at San Francisco International Airport. During the first year of the plan, all workers would be paid $9 per hour. In the second year, workers would receive $10 per hour. For the three years after that, employees would get annual wage increases of 2.5%. The second part of the plan would offer basic medical coverage to uninsured low-income workers. Any companies with city contracts or leases would have to choose between contributing $1.25 per-hour-per- worker toward health coverage, a yet-to-be-created city run insurance pool or paying $1.25 to the city's public health system. Noting that the majority of the city's 130,000 uninsured residents are low-income workers, Mayor Willie Brown (D) said, "They aren't eligible for public assistance, and 70,000 of them a year show up at our community health clinics." City officials could not estimate how much the program will cost or how many of the city's uninsured residents the proposal will reach (Epstein, 7/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.