Monthly Meeting - 2013-11-19

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, November 19th 2013 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2013-10-08 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2013-12-10


Contents

Introductions

Attendance

Sean H., David R., Tim A., Mike F., Brian M., Adrian W., Roaxanne K., Michael D., Marcus D.

Explanation of roles

Facilitator: Mike F.

Scribe: Adrian W.

Consensus briefing

Consensus briefer: Mike F.


Reports

Finance

  • Nothing to report

Budget

  • Nothing to report

Grants

  • Nothing to report

Operations

Build / Production

  • Adrian:
    • Build is still lacking sufficient numbers of builders.

H & S

  • Brian:
    • Committee has changed now that Chris Hooper is no longer on the board. It now includes Mike F., Mac, Robert P.
    • Shelf racking is incoming, server room will follow shortly

Warehouse

  • Mike F.:
    • Operations seem normal

Software

  • Michael:
    • A nagging issue with our distro of Ubunutu 12.04.3 was fixed recently--thanks Tyler and Adrian! Customers will no longer have a useless error message pop up during oem-config.

Volunteers

  • Michael:
    • Seeing expected volunteer decline during Nov-Dec. High schoolers are now by far our most consistent and frequent demographic.

Laptops

  • Mike F.:
    • Is struggling as Mike F. hasn’t been there for 6 weeks due to Dave’s absence.
    • Suffering from lack of builders

Outgoing

Store

  • $12.7k net.

Wholesale

  • $5.4k net.

HW Grants

  • Michael:
    • Steady. Many organisations are still OK with P4s. Most organisations are more concerned with stable and usable software than having fast hardware.
    • NB: Our competitors are still shipping XP with their HW grant boxes, despite its upcoming EOL; one such box was delivered to us unmodified: completely faulty/corrupted XP install (HD wouldn't boot).

Communications

Education

  • Nothing to report

Events / Media

  • Free Geek Vancouver attended Sustaining our World on Sunday, October 27th at Britannia Community Centre (just a few blocks from Free Geek).

Intergalactic

  • Nothing to report

Staff / HR

  • Dave verbally spoke to staff and said that he would probably be on medical leave until Christmas.
  • The Board has authorized Marcus to take Dave’s position until he returns and to assist Dave indefinitely.

Directors / Governance

  • Justin S. has stepped down as Treasurer
  • Kricket has joined the Board as Director of Volunteers
  • Justin B. is still volunteer liaison

Old business

Motion to pass the minutes from the previous meeting

Passed.

New business

Staff TOIL/Overtime & Policy

  • Proposal: Discuss how TOIL/overtime is calculated; discuss validity and lawfulness of Free Geek Vancovuer's current staff handbook policy and current practice (especially in consideration of BC Employment Standards Act).

Discussion

  • Michael:
    • Staff Handbook specifies that staff are allowed to work overtime and will be rewarded with TOIL which is calculated at time and a half. There is no provision for pay out, though it doesn’t forbid it. The BC Employment Standards Act contradicts this. Our current practice also contradicts our own Staff Handbook.
    • BC Employment Standards Act: Employer must provide overtime or TOIL at a rate of time and half after 8 hours or double time after 12 hours.
    • Long standing practice at Free Geek has been to not award paid overtime. This appears to be illegal. After conducting research, the only possible exception that might apply to us regards IT professionals who develop software. This may only apply to Tyler. It does not apply to people who sell IT equipment (e.g., Tim).
    • Options appear to be either 1. Allow overtime and pay it out or 2. Not allow any overtime.
  • David:
    • Employment Standards Act doesn’t apply only in the case of unions. Typical action is that overtime is withheld until overtime owed is paid out. If it’s not paid out, court action can be taken and employer can be forced to pay out regardless of impact on budget.
  • Michael:
    • Tricky circumstance is that survival of Free Geek is preferred.
  • David:
    • Overtime can be paid out over time so that the organization can survive.
  • Sean:
    • The organization must decide on event planning. The Board has to decide on its priorities.
  • Brian:
    • How is overtime tracked?
  • Michael:
    • At payroll time, we report what TOIL we’ve accumulated and when we applied it.
  • Brian:
    • Have you been able to take TOIL whenever wanted?
  • Michael:
    • Can’t recall it ever being denied.
  • David:
    • There are policies that can be easily applied after current overtime issues have been resolved that will allow an organization to function effectively.
  • Adrian:
    • In regards to breaks, the Staff Handbook provides for two 15-minute breaks that are not currently given to staff.
  • David:

So that staff are not bother during breaks, a “hands off during breaks” policy can be emphasized during volunteer orientation.

  • Brian:
    • There are ways to make sure staff are not disturbed during breaks.
  • Michael:
    • Volunteers need the social skills to be able to follow certain policies.
  • David:
    • Is there a volunteer coordinator?
  • Michael:
    • Technically, there can't be a volunteer coordinator. I'm the “everything person”.
  • Tim:
    • Are we moving to a proposal?
  • Michael:
    • I propose that we submit this to Scott, though it might take weeks to receive a response.
  • Brian:
    • Take this issue to two channels. 1. Health and safety committee, as there’s lots of sharp stuff, lots of activity in the warehouse. Efficiency drops to 17% after 8 hours with no break. Breaks should allow staff to be less wound up after work. 2. Also, take it to HR.
  • David:
    • This is not a committee issue and not a proposal. This is a legal issue. Directors are at risk of being sued. Have a staff meeting. Flush current overtime. Stop overtime. Tell directors they have 2 weeks to sort it out or go to BC Labour Board. Directors have to listen. Directors can decide how to pay out. Bring issue as a collective, then step forward. This is a legal issue that puts the organization at risk.
  • Mike F.:
    • Is two weeks enough time? We have a good relationship with the board. Let’s not make it the directors fault, because it isn’t.
  • Sean:
    • Impress upon the board how important it is.
  • David:
    • The board should be thanking the staff because it’s saving the organization from intervention from the provincial government.
  • Sean:
    • There needs to be a definition as to what constitutes mandatory overtime and discretionary overtime. The Board has to decide how to expense. It needs to be clear about how and why regarding overtime, then there are fewer questions.
  • David:
    • Disclosure. I’m the co-founder of Free Geek. This issue has been discussed before. It’s not the staff’s fault. This doesn’t have to be an adversarial issue.
  • Mike F.:
    • Let’s make extra sure this doesn’t become adversarial, as it did in the past.
  • Tim:
    • The directors should make this a priority.
  • Brian:
    • The board needs to make allowances in the budget for this issue of overtime, breaks, and look for long-term resolution. Let’s work within the law and get this resolved. We need to start with a formal basis. We can come to an agreement that’s within the spirit of the law.
  • Adrian:

To what extent is the issue of misapplied overtime retroactive? Is there a statute of limitations?

  • David:
    • If there is a record, employee’s records tend to supersede employer’s record. There is no statute of limitations. I’m not a lawyer though.
  • Mike F.:
    • What was the resolution previously?
  • David:
    • My approach is to always pay out so that there’s not standing liability. The shortfall can then be made up.
  • Tim:
    • We can't predict all the legal and financial implications of this, and directors should therefore be involved at the earliest opportunity in discussing how we respond.

CONSENSUS

Who: Staff Will do: Meeting and proposal to directors, which includes specific TOIL numbers By what time: November 22nd, 2013 With what result: That staff clearly communicate the issue, and present a solution, as one entity.

Next meeting

When: Tuesday, December 10th, 2013: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Where: Free Geek Vancouver, 1820 Pandora St., back door

Roles

Facilitator: Mike F.

Scribe: Michael D.

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