Wednesday, August 28, 2013

California Nonprofit, Union Spar Over New Contract

A new contract between a Berkeley, Calif., nonprofit and the California Professional Employees (CAPE) union is being held-up because of disagreements regarding a potential pay raise for the organization's workers.

According to a report in The Daily Californian, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) -- which provides food and shelter for the homeless -- and CAPE began negotiations for a new contract in January, but have yet to reach common ground on pay. The union is demanding a 2-percent pay raise, an amount that BOSS Executive Director Donald Frazier said would bankrupt the organization.

"They’re asking me to increase the deficit, and I’m just not willing to do that," The Daily Californian quoted Frazier as saying. "BOSS is not equipped to do that." BOSS has an annual budget of more than $5 million, according to its most recent federal Form 990. The organization has 90 employees, most of whom are members of CAPE.

In an interview with The NonProfit Times, Frazier said they got an extension of the current contract until August 31. As to what happens after that, he said that it's hard to say at this point, but that it's possible they will get another extension of the contract so they can continue negotiations.

"I've asked the union to work with me for one year. We can certainly do a two-percent increase eventually, but we need to stabilize financially first," said Frazier.

A representative from CAPE took issue with Frazier's statement, saying that employees at BOSS have not received a pay raise since 2006. Christoper Graeber, who is CAPE's business representative, reportedly said that the only concession BOSS is offering is to give workers an extra day-off each year.

Graeber reportedly described the wage increases sought as "minimal," and expressed disappointment that Frazier is refusing "to bend at all."

You can read the full story in The Daily Californian.

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