Monthly Meeting - 2008-03-11

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Public meeting minutes for 2008-03-11 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2007-12-11 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2008-04-08


Contents

Attendance

  • Adam (facilitator)
  • Mark
  • Len
  • Ryan Y
  • Ryan G (scribe)
  • Ifny
  • Sean
  • Bernie
  • Matt
  • Richard (minutes checker)
  • Kim (regulator)
  • Ashley
  • Sim
  • Pete
  • Chani

Agenda

old biz

  1. AGM

new biz

  1. ubuntu sig
  2. asterisk (phone in general: price information)
  3. hr recomendation -- collectivizing
  4. first aid
  5. financial report
  6. directors insurance
  7. ebay
  8. massive budget
  9. adoption class
  10. project proposal
  11. wiki
  • Concensus briefing: Ifny

OLD BUSINESS

AGM

  • new board members
  • increase board size from 3 to 7
  • increase size of the membership from 5 to 11 (new directors)

mobo branding: etching

  • provided cases for tests
  • no word back yet on progress

free the net letter

  • accept draft
  • letter not provided to FG until day before due date
  • letter sent to Free The Net, not recieved til late, not included in their package due to miscommunication

esabc manufacturers

  • ESACB handles provincial programs for recycling (receive fees from computer sales)
  • FG meeting with ESABC to add reuse elements to provincial recycling program.
  • we'd have to send all our stuff to provincal vendors? lose circuit board fees
  • negotiation includes opportunity for us to become collection depot, get fees similar to salvation army this would minimize loss of revenue from recyclabes
  • trying to impress upon them we have good community relations
  • Negotiations continue

NEW BUSINESS

Presentation: Ubuntu Vancouver: Kim

  • Canada Ubuntu mailing list: no vancouver group
  • Big turnout at first one meeting (off of a vanlug meeting)
  • Common topic: freegeek
  • Good synergy between two groups, hardware group, software group
  • benefit by working closely
  • looking for a purpose for uvancouver
  • maybe a windowless wednesday once a month could be a combined WW + Ubuntu Vancouver
  • Suggestion: fix ubuntu hibernation
  • Suggestion: membership talk about whether uvan can use our space for meetings
  • Suggestion: forward or send ubuntu people back and forth
  • Suggestion: Could fit in with the way our workgroups split off, or have ubuntu workshops.
  • Ubuntu introduction was well attended (not tied in with WW)
  • Offload some of our stuff onto uvan (someone from that group could handle our software stuff)
  • good synergy, but we should not just offload training and software unto external group
  • who will lock the door if we provide space?
  • Where to go from here?
    • - start having meetings and see where people who show up want to go
  • Suggest discussion move onto education mailing list
  • Approval for last thursday of march 27th meeting
  • ubuntuvancouver at uac.ca?

Presentation: Photo documentary assignment: Matt

  • full time student focal point - diploma program in photography
  • wants to document what we are doing in the community as volunteers over a few weeks
  • focus on volunteers and volunteer work @ FG
  • 50-60 good images for a slide show
  • offer us the images for use / promotion
  • assignment for school work
  • not for personal use: he retains copyright but we have full use
  • needs release forms for each volunteers in photos for freegeek promotional use
  • wants to know if we manipulate images (besides resizing images)
  • images would not be permitted to be used outside of context
  • discussion ensued about potential for copyleft measures for images, consider releasing images under CC license
  • Use of images is for assignment only. Not for portfolio or
  • advertising etc. But legally, he can use whatever he wants without contract.
  • Commit: Matt will submit written proposal to mailing lists including waver forms and copyright wishes.
    • Concensus to move forward after proposal submitted.

Mark: Asterisk update and phone

  • did we decide to get a second line? decided to hold off and see about asterisk
  • second phone line pricing: telus extra 41.11 ($115 for installation),
  • voip trunk net voice (we can get a DID (phone number)): 4.95 mo + 0.01 per minute
  • unmeasured line 29.95 per month + 15% discount (non for profit)
  • part of the same connection as montreal, toronto, etc. cheap calls back east
  • Asterisk moving along quite well
  • Different types of connections work well
  • Moving on to logic part: how to route incoming calls, voice mail, etc
  • Have voicemail + transfers within a week
  • Is there any emergency issues? Yes, if we go entirely voip.
  • Depends on power, and Internet. Would lose 911.
  • Reliability Issues: get dedicated trunk; we get a phoneline
  • Do we know what our requirements are? We definitly need 2 lines
  • We don't require a contract for VOIP: discount, no installation costs
  • Sim: Can we get a written proposal for the mailing list?
  • Is the static gone? yes
  • Serious needs and budgeting considerations: extra costs need to be very clear
  • require budgetary needs
  • Commit: Mark to post full proposal to mailing list. Discussion to ensue in finance group.


Shop requirement for First Aid training: Sim

  • legislated requirement to have first aid person with first aid level 1
  • one day course, valid for 2 years
  • requirement by work site BC: under workers compensation act
  • Proposal: send all paid employees to first aid
    • costs slightly less than $100 per person
    • also pay our people at the hourly rate for training
    • one day 8 hour course
    • occupational first aid: paper work around injuries, etc
  • Discussion:
    • Can a trainer come to the site, is it more cost effective?
    • Possibility, but not for just 3 people would probably cost more.
    • this training should be a part of job descriptions
    • rough overall expense 600-700 for four employees
    • Vetted by budget: Can budget go over this to make sure
    • certification documentation should be added to the wiki
    • HR spreadsheet should be set up for awareness and records of training and skills
  • Commit: proposal to be vetted by finance. staff should attend sessions on a rotating basis (one person per month or every couple months).

Directors Insurance Report: Ifny

  • Discussion:
    • Close to being in place. waiting on meeting with insurance company.
    • they know our intentions. They want resumes of our directors (or
    • just a brief description). We'll use the introduction from the
    • AGM. Also need to submit the report of the AGM to Victoria. 2
    • weeks from time of paper work. Waiting on estimate. Cooperators
    • insurance broker.

ebay: Ifny

  • Proposal:
    • set up FG Vancouver ebay store for light and mobile items: processors, etc. Small high volume items.
  • Discussion:
    • adds another revenue stream
    • Paypal takes 2%
    • Ebay takes a flat fee for ad placement (25 cents) + percentage of sale price
    • Does anyone forsee a problem selling on ebay?
  • Commit: to establish FG ebay store. David will coordinate collective volunteer effort. Store must include link to our site. Consensus.

Geek Box Adoption Class: Ifny

  • Adoption classes available for volunteers who have completed 24 hours. This is the class on how to use their built computer. A lot of these people are beginners.
  • Main way to get a free computer here. Trying to get classes going regularly. Need to put together a list of syllabus.
  • Portland has adoption class (getting started), one hour all you need to know to setup your computer and basic use (this is the required course). Other more advanced classes.
  • Discussion:
  • Could this be offloaded with uvancouver? No, this is a freegeek issue, our volunteers and process. Don't want to offload onto 3rd party.
  • How often does class run? In the past individually as people graduate. More people graduating, so running more class. Maybe one per week. Maybe split syllabus between multiple clasess so there is no information overload.
  • Problem that some volunteers can only come in on weekends and saturdays are very busy.
  • Commit: Interested teachers join education mailing list. Need help with takehome documentation. Discussion of adoption class logistics will continue on mailing list.

Wiki: Sim

  • For Information:
    • Hosting wiki on shop computer is wrong and illegal violation of
    • contract with Telus. Terms of service forbid this service. Sim
    • move wiki to webserver that is running our drupal. URL scheme changed: bookmarks broken. User accounts are gone.
  • wiki.freegeekvancouver.org
  • shop wiki still up. Add a redirect.
  • All users must recreate accounts.

Financial Report: Sean

  • didn't meet our store budget projections: 1100 short
  • smash recycling budget projections: 1500-1600 over
  • total feb profit 1800.
  • running profit 3600 end of february
  • major march expenses: rent, first salary
  • total assets,
  • 5800 liabilities
  • owe David for line of credit
  • includes taxes
  • total equity 8800
  • profitable in traditionally non profitable months
  • January 3800 for scrap
  • February sold just under 6000 in scrap (copper wire, steel, etc)

Proposal: payment in full of David's line of credit for free geek.

  • Discussion:
    • Stop incurring interest on this loan. We have the money. David has indicated that we would be amenable to reloaning this line of credit if we needed it.
    • We are paying variable interest rate (7.25). Compound interest monthly on the cycle days. We're in a growth area.
    • David is only liability besides tax liability. Hard to project future growth and expense. Concern of not having access to emergency funds for paying salaries.
    • Would like to see a backup if Davids concerns change and the line of credit isn't available anymore.
    • No terms of loan with David: more of a liability than just the money
      • => good to get off the books.
  • Commit: Sean transfer money to David by end of the week after more detailed interest calculation and logistics decided between Sean and David.
    • Sean will post an update that it has been completed. Passes.
  • Proposal: Monthly financial reports should be made available on wiki.
  • Discussion: Membership has expressed desire for regular financial reports on several occations.
    • Numbers we don't want public include prices we pay for aluminum, etc. or our payments. Our recyclers deserve
    • We don't want to screw our sources if they are giving us a better deal. No real reason for this to be transparent.
    • How do we report recycling numbers? Just give our recycling revenue and not include tonnage. People can find out these details by becoming more involved instead of casual observer.
    • Just produce basic balance sheet. General broken down expenses. Produce baseline and go from there.
  • Commit: Sean will post general numbers monthly to wiki. More detailed information is open and available to interested people.

Massive Technology Trade Show

  • Massive tech trade show to convention centre. good for us in the beginning.
  • Getting prominent booth this year, close to entrance and media tent.
  • Proposal:
    • Is it okay if we have a budget for Massive? Last year was a little over $500 including booth price ($180).
    • Shoot for something similar this year ($635). Print fliers $20, have new photos of our space. Buttons $80 for 200 local artist; Charge $1 for buttons.
    • May have truck expenses (apple blossom trees?). Embark on trial for freegeek tshirts ($200 budget); sell for $15: hemptown.com.
    • We already budgeted $400 for this at the beginning of the year.
    • Break buttons and fliers out into advertising budget?
    • Stickers popular at swap meet
  • Proposal increase budget by $100: leave to revenue to decide.
  • No objections.

HR Recomendation

  • Interim HR group struck to review structure, current challenges and opportunity.
  • Interviewed current volunteers and people at FG.
  • Overall structure deemed acceptable, some duties were formalized, shifted between roles.
  • Full report available on wiki.
  • Originally budgeted for 3 staff (roughly $1500 / person / month => 4 ppl $6000 / month).
  • Upon review became obvious that 4 people are required. Three are unable to keep up with what's needed: blocks a lot of areas.
  • Current income doesn't support 4 staff. We need another 1000 /mo in revenue to pay for 4th person.
  • Proposed positions:
    • Recycling Coordinator: generally shipping receiving decide what's reusable
    • Reuse Coordinator: take care of reusable pieces; network admin devel
    • Revenue and Finance: deal with income and payment
    • Communications Person: tie roles together and manage outreach, etc; volunteer coordinator
  • 1st 3 done by people pretty much already here. Ryan (reuse), David (rev, finance), Ifny (comm).
  • Discussion:
    • Generally expected that we could deal with these numbers from new revenue streams.
    • Revenue person can find new revenue areas to pursue and maximize.
    • Revenue has gone up since Sim has been volunteering in the warehouse; store looks better; helps a lot.
    • David does well at meeting targets, met january but not february.
    • but a lot of volunteer difficulty, and worst retail month.
    • Pattern has been growth, continually; have pretty much always been in the black.
    • Risk of not hiring 4th employee by burning out current employees.
  • What are other fg staffing models
    • Portland: 3 people formed staff collective and did first hires and join collective on probationary basis.
    • Collective decides who gets hired. Had to approach directors for money with budget etc.
    • Now staff has HR create new job description, run by council, and HR does hiring.
    • Ultimate say of hire is the staff collective because they have to work with the people.
  • Contingency options available:
    • Staff collective can take measures to reduce wages or take unpaid vacations to reduce wages if necessary.
    • Try a 3 month review and see how it goes.
  • what if money dries up or we're short?
    • Try a 3 month review to come back to this.
  • Convene contingency meeting within 3 months for this test. Risk taken by people who are hired.
  • Ryan enthusiastic about plan and thanks HR group for proposal.
  • Thinks risk of not having 4 people is much greater. This should be adopted.
  • Concern: too much focus on generating revenue to make this happen rather than core FG tasks and mission?
  • HR Group address this specifically in document. Identify revenue as a support role.
  • Identifies staff roles that are dedicated to our mission.
  • Revenue is important for us to meet our mission statement.
  • Proposal: to accept the draft proposal with a review meeting after 3 months. PASSED
  • Recomendation: develop effective HR policy; how we hire, fire, grievancy and employee evaluations; define role of employee relative to other roles; define exactly what it means to be an employee within a particular sphere of influence (eg. running as a concensus and incorporating views of others)
  • Recommendation: create another HR interim group to develop this new structure
    • Collectivizing
  • Portland has the staff collective. Full time staff post and decide hires.
  • Staff collective means that staff have final say on whether someone gets hired or not. Defines staff as political body.
  • Group of people who are responsible for operations as a whole.
  • Collective can take recommendations for 4th position and accept.
  • General membership doing hire is hard. Having directors doing hiring set bad precedent. HR doing hiring not good (should be done with staff).
  • Staff prerogative to collectivize. HR group in conjunction with staff will determine role of collecitve in hiring process.
  • Staff articulate role and define collective, decide and bring to list.
  • 3 people solid candidates for jobs. Suggest that its a foregone conclusion who 3 of the 4 positions will be.
  • Propose: credit these positions by acclimation so we don't leave people hanging. Forming a staff collective of the first hires.
  • Introductions to the staff collective on probationary basis, including first 3. Done in conjunction with HR group.
  • Commit: Hire Ifny, Ryan and David: PASSED
  • Commit: Interim HR group to meet and establish hiring process. New/different members welcome. Draft policy complete and sent to lists March 18, 2008.
  • Contingency General Meeting and vote on March 20, 2008. Concensus achieved.
  • Commit: Post job ad after draft hiring policy established. Task not Assigned***

Commits

  1. Commit: Matt will submit written proposal to mailing lists including waver forms and copyright wishes.
  2. Mark to post full proposal to mailing list. Discussion to ensue in finance group.
  3. proposal to be vetted by finance. staff should attend sessions on a rotating basis (one person per month or every couple months).
  4. to establish FG ebay store. David will coordinate collective volunteer effort. Store must include link to our site. Consensus.
  5. Interested teachers join education mailing list. Need help with takehome documentation. Discussion of adoption class logistics will continue on mailing list.
  6. Sean will post general numbers monthly to wiki. More detailed information is open and available to interested people.
  7. Commit: Hire Ifny, Ryan and David: PASSED
  8. Commit: Interim HR group to meet and establish hiring process. New/different members welcome. Draft policy complete and sent to lists March 18, 2008.
  9. Contingency General Meeting and vote on March 20, 2008. Concensus achieved.
  10. Commit: Post job ad after draft hiring policy established. Task not Assigned***
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