As we've been campaigning to restore overtime protections for salaried workers in our state, we've encountered a somewhat surprising voice speaking out in opposition to workers' rights.
A handful of nonprofit executive directors and nonprofit industry groups have been siding with the business lobbyists and trying to convince the state that people working extra hours without extra pay is just the way things are. They're trying to argue that this can't possibly change. And some of them are even saying that the people who work for them actually like it this way!
Nonprofit workers: how many hours do you work in a typical week? Take our survey and let us know about your job in the nonprofit sector.
It’s pretty common for people who work on the front lines at nonprofits to put in long hours, with low pay to match.
That can be tough, but for many nonprofit workers, the sense of purpose can help make it worthwhile: the idea that the work is for a good cause, that everyone is pitching in together with shared values to make the world a better place.
So it's more than a little bit disturbing when some of these nonprofit executives sound almost exactly the same as the lobbyists for the big retail & restaurant chains. They’re all making the same points, arguing that employees who put in long hours for low salaries don't want more time or more money. They somehow don't seem terribly concerned about the impact of long work hours on workers' health & their families, or the effects on productivity, or the high cost of high turnover. But they've all definitely been expressing plenty of upset with the idea of having to value their employees' time.
This doesn’t sound quite right to us, so we thought we'd reach out to our supporters who work at nonprofits to hear more about your take on hours, salaries, and overtime in your line of work.
Right now the state is only hearing from a few people who say they're speaking on behalf of everyone in the nonprofit sector. Let's make sure they hear from the people doing the work too.