San Francisco AIDS Foundation to Lay Off Employees, Cut Salaries
Facing a $2.5 million budget deficit, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation announced on Tuesday that it will lay off 28 employees and institute a 10% pay cut for managers as part of a "belt-tightening" effort, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Heredia, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/19). The foundation's budget will be reduced to $20.7 million for the coming fiscal year, down from $24 million, and the organization's remaining 82 employees will see their salaries frozen. Pat Christen, the foundation's executive director, will see her $185,000 salary decrease by 12%. She said that most of the foundation's "core services" -- including housing assistance, benefits counseling, client advocacy, needle exchange and treatment information -- will remain intact, although clients may have to wait longer for services (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/19). "Our priority has been protecting essential client services and restructuring the agency so as to make the most leveraged use of our community level and public policy efforts," Christen, said, adding, "We want to assure that our ability to serve those that rely on our programs is protected for the long run" (San Francisco AIDS Foundation release, 6/18).
Lack of Funds, Cost of Ride Take Toll
Christen said that a drop in donations after Sept. 11 and the "costly launch" of AIDS/LifeCycle, a new AIDS charity ride the foundation launched along with Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, necessitated the cutbacks, which will take effect on June 30. In October, the two groups cut their "longtime" association with Pallotta TeamsWorks, the organizer of the California AIDS Ride, and launched their own charity ride. That led to a "protracted and costly legal battle" over allegations of breach of contract, further hurting the foundation's finances (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/19).