The Soapbox and Toolbox for New York State's Nonprofits

October 6, 2015

How Will Nonprofit Employers Be Affected by a $15 Minimum Wage?

In September Governor Cuomo announced that he is launching the nation’s first campaign to extend a $15 minimum wage statewide. NYCON is gathering information on how this proposed increase may affect nonprofit employers - of all types and sizes. 

Background Articles

Cuomo Pivots Again as He Seeks a $15 Minimum Wage NY Times
New York Gov. Cuomo Backs $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage With Biden at Side Wall Street Journal
$15 Minimum Wage May Be Coming to New York The Atlantic

See the NYCON Survey results below:

Quotes & Trends

For orgs that currently have employees under $15:
-97% answered “We would reduce our workforce” 
-92% answered “Our financial viability would be threatened” 
-80% answered “The State should increase all contract amounts and reimbursable rates to fully offset for the additional costs incurred”
-82% answered “The State should at increase all contract amounts and reimbursable rates to at least partially pay for the additional costs incurred”

Selected Quotes:

"We have 16 contracts with municipalities and would pass increased costs on to them or cancel those contracts so the municipalities would have to offer the services themselves (as mandated by the state) at an even higher cost.” 

“We employ many young adults & the cost of this increase will be greater than the community could bear if we increase the fee for services. We also offer childcare funded by the State DSS, so they will have to increase the payout amounts or lose licensed childcare providers that they mandate.”

“The state cannot expect non-profits to bear the burden of increased labor costs to provide services, the State needs to reimburse for the true cost of services provided. This practice of under compensation is already taking a serious toll on many non-profit organizations in the child care sector.”

“This increase does not only impact those that are currently under $15 an hour as increases are given - increases will need to be given to all employees or at least most especially those that are just above $15 and have many years of service.”

“Non-profits would need additional funding for non-profit organizations to stay financially viable if the minimum wage is increased. This will drive smaller non-profits out of existence and many do very important work and support the NYS economy. We have over 35,000 visitors a year who through Cultural Tourism spur the economy both locally and statewide. We support many other community groups….and we handle funds for community projects..”

“Unless state funding of nonprofits is increased to match the wage increase, it will be impossible for many non-profits to survive. Also, many of those people currently working (at or below $15/hr) are able to qualify for services because they are under the poverty line. With the increase they would no longer be eligible for services so they would add to the "working poor" or cut their work hours so they would to still be eligible, which defeats the purpose. This would be counterproductive by far! The solution to this is to create job opportunities, not to raise the base income of the poor."

“The suggested increase would be highly detrimental to our organization, and as mentioned previously, may threaten our very existence. Other methods to assist low wage earners should be considered such as increasing the earned income tax credit. ”

“Is the Governor going to change his policy of only allowing a 15% A&OH rate for the nonprofits? How are all the additional responsibilities going to be performed with fewer staff positions and more oversight, checking and tracking required to meet all the changing rules and regulations. Not to mention the changes in software licenses and costs, technological upgrades and interoperability required.”

” We NPOs are acculturated to produce a lot for a little. We need to re-think this at all levels as burnout is high and we often cannot afford annual increases. Some grants allow for COLAs that are not added to the annual salary. I have lost several great employees to better paying jobs. They cannot afford to live in our region making less than $15/hr. 

Proposed Minimum Wage Increase & NYS Nonprofits

Oct 6, 2015 · 8:17 AM


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NYCON develops and promotes an effective and vibrant charitable nonprofit community throughout New York State.  We strengthen organizational capacity, act as an advocate and unifying voice, help to inform philanthropic giving, and conduct research and planning to demonstrate relevance and impact.