Independent Sector Calls For Minimum Wage Hike

Independent Sector’s (IS) Board of Directors has thrown its support behind the campaign to raise the current federal minimum wage and called for nonprofits to pay staff a “living wage.”

The IS Board of Directors is the latest voice, joining President Barack Obama among others, to call on Congress for an increase in the minimum wage. Calling the current value of $7.25 “not enough” to allow families to live comfortably, the Board called for immediate action on the federal and state levels.

The Board said that the organization does not have a specific number in mind for the proposed hike, saying only that it should be enough to provide families a “living wage.” President Obama said during the State of the Union that he wanted to see the minimum wage hiked to $10.10 by 2015.

“No one wants to back wage levels so low that supplemental public aid programs are necessary for people to get by,” said IS President and CEO Diana Aviv. “Our charitable community has long been dedicated to ensuring that all people have the opportunity to earn wages that make it possible for them to support themselves and their loved ones.”

The Board of Directors also called on organizations across the country to increase wages, though they acknowledged this can be a difficult move for some nonprofits. Because of this, Aviv made called on both donors and the government to increase their financial support.

“We also recognize that for some organizations, the choice between providing care to vulnerable communities and raising wages is very real and difficult,” said Aviv. “To obviate such choices we encourage donors to increase their gifts and governments to increase their reimbursement rates.”

The Board of Directors’ statement praised those organizations that continue to support their mission despite what they called “insufficient” federal and state reimbursement rates and “stagnant, if not declining revenue.”

Nonprofits that are interested in working with IS on the campaign to raise the minimum wage are encouraged to contact IS by sending an email to [email protected]