California’s minimum wage increase begins Jan. 1 to $15 per hour

PASO ROBLES – California’s minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2022, to $15 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $14 for employers with 25 or fewer employees. In 2016, California became the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide by 2022 for large businesses, and by 2023 for small businesses. State law requires that most California workers be paid the minimum wage.

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District will implement this change on January 1, 2022, for over 200 employees. PRJUSD created an implementation plan that will impact the lowest-compensated ranges for numerous job classifications. The total annual cost will be approximately $120,000.

The following considerations were discussed in making this decision:

“We needed to look at all positions affected by the increase to $15.00, analyze the impact of the increases on other classifications and employment categories (balance positions and classifications/ranges and maintain our career ladder system which also values the complexity of work and job requirements.) We also looked at the overall district needs and fiscal priorities.” Jennifer Gaviola, Deputy Superintendent.

The Implementation Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 14, 2021, with unanimous support. Superintendent Dubost stated, “We are very encouraged about this plan as it impacts our lowest-wage employees who directly serve our students: ALL Paraeducators, After School Care, Food Service, Campus Safety, Library Media Tech 1, Maintenance I, Playground Supervisors, K-5 Clerk, and Preschool Assistants. This plan is aligned to the intent of the minimum wage increase state law and supports our district goals of recruitment and retention.”

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is one of the first in the area to propose and approve such an expansive minimum wage implementation plan for their employees.