Campaign for wage increases for city-funded nonprofit workers, IHSS home care workers and CalWORKs parents in community service jobs
Our City is facing a pending crisis of the implosion of its social infrastructure. There are nearly 5,000 non-profit workers who are performing public services under City contract. These include desk clerks and janitorial staff at supportive housing, and staff at homeless shelters, after-school and summer programs for youth, senior programs, homeless support, violence prevention and mental health services.
The Office of the Controller issued a report on May 4. “The City and County of San Francisco contracts with over 600 nonprofit service providers to deliver $1.2 billion in safety net services to vulnerable residents each year,” according to the report. “Low wage levels have led to difficulty hiring and high turnover, impacting client services and service provider stability.” Some nonprofits are reporting a staff turnover as high as 40 percent.
There is a mass exodus of workers from these low-wage positions because they are struggling to keep make ends meet with rising inflation and an increased cost-of-living. With the sky-rocketing cost of gas, many can no longer afford the hours-long supercommute to work in San Francisco.
The Minimum Compensation Ordinance, which covers city-funded nonprofit workers, IHSS home health care aides and CalWORKs parents in community service jobs, provides a minimum rate increase on July 1 of each year based on the prior year’s increase in the Bay Area Consumer Price Index to keep up with inflation. But the wage increase can be deferred unless the City appropriates additional funds to nonprofits and the Controller certifies that such funds are sufficient to pay for the increase. However, raising the mínimum rate up to $17.90 per hour is not enough. There needs to be much more funding to increase their wages and the wages of those who are already earning above the mínimum rate.
Now is the time to put money in the budget to push up the wages of those who are providing valuable services to the residents of San Francisco. This will have a ripple effect creating a healthier economy for all of us. It is the right thing to do.