SF Supervisors Reject Bid to Boost Pay for Nonprofit Workers

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March 3, 2015; San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted down an effort—previously reported upon in the NPQ Newswire—to funnel an additional $3.4 million of the city’s budget surplus to local nonprofit agencies, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The measure would have taken money from a $21.6 million surplus predicted for the current budget year, adding to the existing increase the 1,400-plus nonprofits with city contracts received last June and matching the 2.25 percent raise city workers received.

Supporters of the increase said that it was a matter of equity, since nonprofit workers handle some of the city’s toughest jobs, from working in homeless shelters to providing services to people on the street. But opponents argued that city money should only be allocated during the upcoming June budget hearings, not in the middle of the budget year, and that there may be better uses for any budget surplus remaining at the end of the year.

The supervisors agreed to consider ways to provide automatic cost-of-living adjustments to the nonprofit contractors so they wouldn’t have to come back every year for additional money.

“It’s all about the affordability crisis in San Francisco,” a representative of the Service Employees International Union said at the hearing. “These are largely working-class jobs, and all we’re asking is…recognition that nonprofits have costs and need to provide a living wage.”—Larry Kaplan