Saturday, February 25, 2006

New Study on Corporate Welfare

New Report Shows Non-Profits Pay Low Wages

There is a new study released by the state welfare department that gives a good overview of the companies that are using state programs in place of paying decent salaries. This was well reported in the Plain Dealer and on many blogs. The top 40 employers included service employers, restaurants, temporary labor companies, and non profits. Most of the reporting has included the fact that Wal Mart and McDonalds top the lists. Wal Mart is #1 in the State of Ohio in employees on Medicaid, #4 in individuals receiving cash assistance, and #2 with employees receiving Food Stamps. This is good information, but hardly shocking. It is also not shocking that Minute Man, Manpower, and Kelly Services, Custom Staffing are also on the lists.

What I found amazing was the number of non-profit organizations on the list
16. Goodwill 2,216 people
21. YMCA 1,648
25. Cleveland Clinic 1,486
29. Interim HealthCare 1,250
30. University Hospital of Cleve. 1,191
38. Salvation Army 648

Food Stamps
14. Goodwill 1,536 people receiving assistance
26. YMCA 932
29. Cleveland Clinic 844
35. UH of Cleveland 620
38. Salvation Army 574

This list should be the non-profit Wall of Shame list. How do they help people if their own employees cannot survive on the wages and benefits that they pay. How humiliating is it that three health care providers do not provide health to their own employees? The big issue with Goodwill is that it is intended as a training program for disabled individuals, but these individuals never get out of training wages. Perpetual training is not a real service to society. We have complained about Salvation Army for years and their notoriously low wages. I have known men who worked at the shelter and had to stay their periodically because they did not earn enough money. Check out this nice report that Ohio Policy Matters helped get released.

Also, check out Roldo's Squeaky Wheel blog. There are a number of interesting posts about poverty that were recently added.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.


jaws said...

Just a question: Is the Cleveland Clinic really a non-profit? I'd been under the impression that it was a for-profit entitty

Jeff Hess said...

Shalom Jaws,

You ask a question that perpetuates a misunderstanding among most people. There is no such thing as a non-profit entity. The proper name is not-for-profit. What's the difference?

A not-for-profit organization must plow all of its profits back into the organization itself. That is, it cannot pay those profits out to investors in the form of stock dividends. Typically, profits are used to increase salaries, improve the physical plant of the organization and to expand services.



Frank A. Mills said...

The report is mixing apples with oranges and calling them fruit without making any distinctions:
Some not-for-profits, such as Goodwill, are in existence for the purpose of providing training for the marginally employable, including those with physical and mental handicaps. These are people who would be on the welfare rolls in any event, but now with another source of income, i.e., Goodwill's "sheltered Workshop," depend a bit less on welfare. Many not-for-profits, exist, or have programs (example: YMCA), to provide employment for the marginally unemployable (due to physical and mental reasons). Because, for workman's comp, etc., these marginally unempoyable -- sometimes severely -- people are counted as "employed" and thus effect the statistics. Without organizations providing such as Goodwill providing even limited employment for these folks, the drain on welfare would be even higher.

Clevehomeless said...

The Cleveland Clinic is having charitable status issues with their clinics in the suburbs, but the main organization is a charity. The County Treasurer has also raised issues with the two large hospitals not paying property tax because fo their charitable status. He is asking for a voluntary contribution in lieu of taxes.

As to the training programs wages for disabled individuals, why should these men and women always be paid a lower wage? They are taking jobs that need to be done (It is not only make work.) They do not usually get a break on their housing costs or food or other expenses because of their disability. So they have to pay the same as the rest of us why not make a living wage?


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