A method adapts scheduling priorities in a CDMA wireless communications system to conserve battery power in mobile terminals operating within the system. A base station, within the system, receives battery power level information and other setup information from mobile terminals operating within the service area of the base station during call setup procedures. Based on the battery power level information and other setup information, the base station adapts scheduling priorities for the mobile terminals to expedite wireless transmissions from those mobile terminals reporting low battery power levels. The base station schedules the transmissions from low battery power mobile stations to be clustered together in a low-power time slot which is separate in time from the scheduled transmissions from high battery power mobile stations. The base station transmits a power control message to the low battery power mobile stations, to reduce the transmission power required for those mobile stations during the low-power time slot.