Monthly Meeting - 2009-08-11

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, August 11th 2009 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2009-07-14 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2009-09-10


  • Facilitator: Jessica M-P
  • Scribe: Alex F
  • Consensus briefer: Ashley S


  • Jessica M-P
  • Alec S
  • Simon P
  • Alex F
  • Michel L
  • George L
  • Devenne D
  • Patrick C
  • Chris H
  • Mike MM
  • Ifny L
  • Justin H
  • Ali H
  • Dennis H
  • Ashley S

Old Business

Director's insurance

  • Still being worked on (some progress)
  • Needs to be discussed at HR

HR developing new staff discipline policy

  • No new progress

HR to publish a staff review timetable

  • Moved forward to next month

Contingency director meeting about director vacancy

  • Was to be held on Thursday August 6th, 6:15pm, for discussion on whether or not to fill the vacant director position.
  • Didn't happen, but was discussed at director's meeting
    • Directors have no recommended individual to fill the vacancy.
      • A few potential candidates have presented themselves, however.
    • Regarding the various options (fill vacancy vs other possibilities), the directors decided to let the general membership decide
      • It will be on the agenda for the September 2009 general meeting
      • Some directors should be present to give an overview of available options, and to monitor the meeting for liability issues

Consensus: General membership will decide whether we fill vacancy at September meeting.

Operations meeting: Discuss mailing list replacement

  • Seems like best thing to do is a full migration.

Consensus: Operations will figure out how to procede.

Contact pending hardware grant recipent organizations

  • Someone was supposed to inform pending hardware grant recipient organizations that we are backlogged, and ask if they still want grants.
    • Moving forward. Contacting blitz on Thursday Aug 13th.
      • Will plug requests into Roundup.
      • Will be ongoing.
      • Have started training for processing.

Q: Who is responsible for grant program coordination?

  • Staff decided hardware grants workload moved to Jane (Education Coordinator) assisted by Ifny.
  • Ifny will train Jane on their own schedule (no deadline set)

Directors to talk about confidentiality agreements at director meeting

  • Not spoken about at director's meeting
  • HR coincidentally discussed nonspecific liability issues
    • HR is moving to implement better data protection and policies.
    • HR did not discuss the idea of confidentiality agreements with volunteers.


Directors report

  • Director's meeting took place
    • Discussed some issues, not all laid to rest as of yet.
    • Trying to arrange to meet staff via staff meeting/staff mailing list
  • Have yet to finish director's orientation (That is, the organization and previous directors getting new directors up to speed)

HR Report

  • Steven's review has been finished.
  • Jane will be gone for most of September.
  • Jessica finishes contract Sep 9.
  • Stephen's last last day is Aug 15.
    • There will be a dinner at Nirvana restaurant (add address).
  • New staff agreement written TITLELINK
    • Part of conditions of employment.
    • Existing staff have signed (and have been financially compensated).
    • (add link, on wiki)
  • 3 paid interns
  • New formalized process for holiday time.
  • Upcoming build coordinator vacancy. Hiring "soon" (no deadline set for job posting)

Store report

  • Revenue: $13703
    • Projected: $12000
    • Projected for September: $16000

Pickup report

  • Very slow this month
  • Brought build fodder out of storage
    • Only museum items remain in storage

Operations report

  • Gloves now mandatory in warehouse. No more sharing of gloves, either.
    • Selling gloves by donation.
    • Sparked much discussion and suggestions...
      • Suggestion: Nitrile gloves for some non-warehouse tasks
        • Should they be used for retrieving warehouse items? (ex: build fodder)
          • Pro: Maybe they'll protect hands physically?
          • Con: Someone says they shred easily
        • Should they be used for working inside computers (ex: build station)
          • Pro: Good for keeping toxic computer dust off hands
          • Con: Mobility hindrance
        • Should they be mandatory or "suggested but optional"?
      • Should we just buy lots of tweezers?
    • Decision: Gloves item will go to operations meeting
  • Now receiving around 35 tons of equipment per month.
  • We have 2 storage units, holding build fodder, pickup backups and museum equipment
    • We want to shut down storage because it is an added expense
  • Tyler going through museum items
  • 'Time and motion' assessment underway
  • Time and motion: seeing how long something takes to be processed.
  • Risk assessments for volunteers stations upcoming (when?)
    • Concern expressed over our OHS (occupational health and safety) group not having directors as members (since liability issues are involved)
  • OHS is largely concerned with enforcement and complience with extant saftey regulations in the province.

Ashley commit: Harangue directors to involve themselves in OHS.

Communications report

  • Radio-Canada hung out at FGV, did french-language TV piece.
    • Story to be aired sometime after September. Will be on Television Radio-Canada (french CBC).

Staff report

  • Staff have been trying to make the space more clear (using signage, schedule board, list of go-to-people, etcetera)
  • Talking about developing new (unpaid) internships
  • Free Fridays are rad (sez all staff)
  • Interns are having a good time
  • interns finish August 29th
  • Intern appreciation day: 29th of August after work

Volunteer coordination report

  • Unpaid volunteer support intern position being developed. will be advertised internally and externally
    • Jessica will post it when she feels like it
  • Warehouse is getting cleaner, more organized, improving volunteer happiness, safety

Miscellaneous report

  • Free Geek potluck went well, lots of people, staff, directors attended

New Business


  • Q: Is having a hardware museum in line with Free Geek Vancouver's mandate and fundamental principles?
    • Yes. The museum could potentially be used for education purposes and is in line with our education mandate.
    • Yes. The museum could potentially be used to garner a profit in various ways
      • Noted that certainly not everything we do needs to be profitable!
    • No. Exhibits are not our business.
  • What should we do with the items?
    • Currently, there are around 3.5 skids of museum material (ancient/rare tech items) all in storage.
      • Estimated storage cost: around $280 per month. We can downsize the storage unit to a smaller one.
      • It's been sorted through but not catalogued.
      • It currently is not serving any purpose.
    • We should document and photograph the items.
    • We should not keep collecting items because we will have too much.
    • We should keep collecting items and maybe get it to pay for its own space.
    • Alec wants to put something together for the Culture Crawl, to demo the level of public interest.
      • Free Geek is just outside the boundaries of the culture crawl.
      • Alec is seeking a place to showcase items within boundaries of the crawl.
  • We could donate our museum to an existing museum because there is no connection to mandate.
  • Cataloguing the museum with documentation and photos would expand the possibilities
    • Equipment rentals given as example
  • If we keep the museum, where should we put it? (storage is costly)
    • Warehouse Coordinator wants to keep museum items out of warehouse.
    • Maybe we should keep renting storage to ensure museum stuff is not forgotton?
      • On the other hand. it should be in a format where items can be retrieved easily for cataloging
  • For the most part it seems like the general membership wants to keep the museum and have something interesting done with it.
  • We should try to assemble a workgroup and otherwise gauge interest
    • We have volunteers that have approached us about making a museum.
    • Decision: Send out invitation to various individuals, and tech and history groups (including fg-general, hackerspace, librarians, historians, etc) for people to come strike up a workgroup to do something about the museum.
      • Commit: Ifny will write up an intro on the wiki, and deal with communications for groups that will be contacted
  • Commit: Steve Jr., Jax, maybe an intern, and will inventory and catalog it and move museum to smaller storage for time being. Ifny and Mike MM will facilitate

Free Fridays

  • Back in April we decided to have free fridays, keeping only receiving and the store open so staff could catch-up on their duties and projects
  • Staff got trained, ie about the laptop station, card sorting, etcetera
  • Brainstormed on new ideas
  • Tried to let desperate volunteers in. Didn't work.
    • Decided to let volunteers in only for "specialized" tasks as per requested by a staffmember
      • Making signage given as example
  • Meeting/work catchup balance: Started out spending a lot of time on meeting. Got to have lunch together, know each other better. Proper time for reviews.
  • Going into 4th month
    • Decision: Free Fridays extended until end of year

Distribution of meeting tasks

  • People aren't being diligent about their meeting-related tasks.
    • This is the second month in a row that no agenda was posted far enough in advance.
    • Minutes have been consistently published late, or unchecked.
    • This was in part due to temporary outage of all mailing lists.
  • Proposal: Collect several meeting attendees' voluntarily disclosed emails for sending of unchecked minutes for checking.
    • Would give the minutes-checking process some redundancy and decentralization.
    • Staff list still need to review it before it goes out (unchecked minutes needs to be sent to fg-staff specifically)
    • Some hesitation. Not discussed in depth.
  • Proposal: Distribute task of assembling an agenda via wiki or mailing list
    • May hinder anonymity in submitting items
  • Apologies from staff given for dropping the ball on mentioned problems.
  • General direction: 'We'll do better. No need to make drastic changes'
    • Current process documented somewhere on the wiki
    • Maybe we should have facilitator training sessions.
      • There are guidelines on the wiki to help facilitators know when deadlines are.
        • From now on, the previous month's facilitator should make sure to help the new facilitator.
    • Avenues of agenda assembly discussed:
      Option 1: Edit meeting page on wiki
      Option 2: Email fg-general
      Option 3: Email facilitator
      • Decision: All 3 options should be available, documented, and mentioned by the facilitator every month
        • Some say this is what is already documented. Whatever the case, we haven't been doing it
      • Decision: Several days prior to a meeting, a facilitator should merge all agenda items into wiki, then copy it to fg-general.
  • Commit: Alex will edit the wiki to make tasks and responsibilities crystal clear.

Next meeting

  • Thursday the 10th of September
  • Facilitator: Chris
  • Scribe: Ali


  1. Consensus: General membership will decide whether we fill vacancy at September meeting.
  2. Consensus: Operations will figure out how to procede.
  3. Ashley commit: Harangue directors to involve themselves in OHS.
  4. Commit: Ifny will write up an intro on the wiki, and deal with communications for groups that will be contacted
  5. Commit: Steve Jr., Jax, maybe an intern, and will inventory and catalog it and move museum to smaller storage for time being. Ifny and Mike MM will facilitate.
  6. Decision: Free Fridays extended until end of year.