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HSN input was essential in the living wage and living health debates, which mandated minimum compensation levels and health benefits for employees working on City contracts. HSN successfully urged the Board of Supervisors to create a Task Force to undertake a comprehensive study of the living wage proposal. Several HSN leaders served on the Living Wage Task Force. Their insistence that the City reimburse nonprofits for living wage costs led to the inclusion of this important pass-through in the final Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO). HSN also provided legislative comment as the City developed implementing regulations, and works to educate our members about compliance issues.

San Francisco's nonprofit living wage rate has now been surpassed by the minimum wage. If you are paying the San Francisco minimum wage, you are in compliance with the wage requirements of the MCO.

In 2001, the Board of Supervisors introduced a living health initiative. HSN's review of the draft legislation uncovered several provisions that were especially onerous to nonprofits. HSN put together written recommendations, met with Board members, and had a visible presence in Board hearings. As a result, the final Health Care Accountability Ordinance (HCAO) incorporated several HSN-sponsored modifications, and Mayor Brown promised to reimburse nonprofits for compliance costs. HSN also participated in the Health Commission's process to develop minimum standards for the mandatory insurance coverage, and provided input into the City's implementing regulations.

While fully supportive of the HCAO's goals, HSN remains critical of several problematic provisions. In 2004, HSN participated in a series of stakeholder meetings that led to a new set of minimum standards that provide more flexibility and affordability to employers, while ensuring that employees continue to receive a comprehensive health insurance plan with no premium or deductible. The group (including nonprofits, labor, health care activists and City staff) also reached consensus on a series of proposed HCAO amendments that address all of HSN's major problems with the Ordinance. These proposals will come before the Board of Supervisors soon.

A change to nonprofits' MCO rate is also likely to occur soon. Nonprofit contractors are currently required to pay employees at least $9.00 per hour. The City's FY 05-06 budget includes about $1 million in funding to support a nonprofit minimum of $10.50 per hour in January 2006. The proposal requires Board of Supervisors approval in order to take effect.


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