Over 70 San Francisco nonprofit workers, their clients, and advocates delivered hundreds of postcards demanding a fair budget for the city’s nonprofits and workers on May 24. Workers marched and chanted from the majestic San Francisco City Hall staircase to the Mayor’s Lee’s office.
The over 750 postcards– featured the testimonials of non-profit workers– were delivered to Mayor Lee’s office. Most told of the struggle of trying to make ends meet.
“I can’t afford to live in the community I serve,” wrote Devan Rosene, a 5-year employee at the Sharder House which is part of Progress Foundation. The Shrader house is an acute diversion unit where workers stabilize patients during a psychiatric crisis. Workers at Shader House serve the homeless population and the most vulnerable in San Francisco.
Tens of thousands of vulnerable San Franciscans at approximately 800 residential, mental health, and other social service agencies around the City rely on the work of nonprofit workers who are demanding fairness and equality in Mayor Lee’s Budget.
In front of Mayor Lee’s office, nonprofit workers held a short program and workers told their stories of struggle. They testified about the inequality between the city’s non profit worker and the for-profit contractors automatically receive a cost-of-doing-business allowance in their contracts. Non-profit workers are seeking a 3.5 percent cost-of-doing-business in Mayor Lee’s budget revise out in June.
The City of San Francisco grants routine annual cost-of-doing-business increases to for-profit contractors. Nonprofits who are subcontracted by the city, on the other hand, are not granted the increases on a routine basis. Without those regular increases, workers are unable to keep up with the rising cost of living in the Bay Area.
Meanwhile, the City’s budget nears $10 Billion for 2017—the largest in San Francisco’s history.
Alysabeth Alexander-Tut, SEIU 1021 Vice President of Politics, wasn’t shy to pinpoint how the city manages to help so many people on the cheap.
“San Francisco brags about the work we do. The Mayor says we are the most compassionate City in America. Yes, we help the most vulnerable in the City. Mayor Lee, you do it off our backs–the backs of low-wage workers,” said Alexander-Tut.