Monthly Meeting - 2009-01-13

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, January 13th 2009 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2008-12-09 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2009-02-10


  • Attendance
  • Consensus Briefing

Old Business

  • Credit card update
  • Accountant update
  • Bookkeeper update
  • Store suggestion: warehouse clipboard
  • Staff raise


  • Staff
  • Financial
  • Operations
  • Intergalactic

New Business

  • Upcoming Events
  • Welcome Build Coordinator
  • Sort out the staff vacation pay mess
  • Volunteer and Staff Discounts
  • What is happening with the Hackery space (was not discussed in depth)
  • What to do about our tenants (Pedal) and our need for more space
  • 2009 Budget
  • New position (the "Education Coordinator" part of our Envirofund Grant)
    • what is needed, what it should consist of
  • Set date for upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM), and bylaw deadlines
    • New bylaws - where are we now; next steps
  • Discussion: organizational flow & governance structure
  • Other items discussed (not noted on mailing list)
    • Proposal to reuse information software



  • Megan - Facilitator
  • Erik
  • Rick
  • Ifny - Consensus briefing
  • Alex - Minutes checker
  • Len
  • Adam
  • Bernie
  • Sean H - Scribe
  • Audrey
  • Karen
  • Steven

Credit Card Update - Sean H.

  • Still need accountant
    • See accountant update
  • Still need credit card policy
    • Put discussion to the general list
    • No response yet
    • Debit card as possibility - MC/Visa
      • ~$7/month
      • Probably can't be used for truck rental deposit
      • Likely no transaction record
      • Could be good way to cover expenses instead of having to reimburse driver

Accountant & Bookkeeper

Accountant Update

  • 2 contacts currently
  • Message left with first contact
    • Waiting to hear back
  • Message still to be left with second contact

Bookkeeper Update

  • Was some disagreement at HR meeting over whether bookkeeper should be rolled into Hardware Grant coordinator
  • Advertise need for bookkeeper on mailing list, maybe other locations
  • Discussion needed on whether the position would be part time, full time, contracted or volunteered

New Discussion

  • PROPOSAL: Contract an accountant and bookkeeper as soon as possible
    • AGREED: Accountant first priority
  • Accountant:
    • Search in progress
    • AGREED: Take an accountant ASAP, not as part of a staff position
      • COMMIT: Sean to research accountants and make recommendation
      • COMMIT: Rick and Karen to supply additional contacts
      • COMMIT: Call an ad-hoc meeting once Sean has someone to recommend
  • Bookkeeper:
    • Upcoming budget meeting to discuss exact bookkeeping needs
      • To be discussed: should they be part-time? Volunteer? full time?
      • Whether also doing miscellaneous 'office tasks'
    • Something should be done about lack of contacts
    • COMMIT: Rick and Karen to supply additional contacts
    • COMMIT: Sean H. will pursue contacts
    • COMMIT: Sean to put call out this week...
      • in minutes (Why hello there avid reader.)
      • general mailing list
      • Craigslist
    Noted that we should do proper checks to ensure credibility (references, work history, etcetera)

Warehouse Clipboard - Adam

  • Suggestion to keep clipboard in warehouse for spotting items of particular value
  • Potentially keep a volunteer to handle eBay on the fly
    • eBay takes a lot of work
    • Hasn't worked well as a volunteer task in the past
  • Taking all good stuff for eBay could build resentment amongst locals
    • Not usual protocol
    • eBay items tend to be items not easily movable in store
  • AGREED: Allow decision on clipboard to move to store meeting
  • AGREED: Allow decision on ebayer to move to store meeting

Staff Report - Megan & Ifny

  • Ryan's last day - Jan 15th
    • Sayonara Party - Princeton, Saturday night
  • Reviews
    • 2 upcoming
  • Workshops
    • Non-Violent Communication (NVC) - next week
    • Horizontal organizing/Anti-oppression
    • Consensus
  • Staff doing reasonably well - had a good break
  • Got nice holiday cards over the winter
  • General HR meeting required

Financial Report - Sean H.

  • Loss in December
    • Revenue - ~$10300
      • Store ~$10000
      • No recycling
    • Expenses - ~$12700
      • Wages ~$9100
    • Net Loss ~-$2400
      • Store closed over Christmas
      • Still paid staff
      • If open, likely would have covered costs
  • Profit in Q4
    • Revenue - ~$47500
      • Store ~$36000
      • Recycling ~$10300
      • Some cash donations
    • Expenses - ~$44200
      • Wages ~$32900
      • Rent ~$6100
    • Net Profit ~$3300
      • November's profit carried over Oct/Dec losses
  • Unofficial 2008 financial report
    • Revenue - ~$162400
      • Store ~$43400
      • Recycling ~$111100
      • Donations ~$1900
    • Expenses - ~$137300
      • Wages ~$85500
      • Rent ~$25600
      • Supplies ~$3000
      • Utilities ~$5600
      • Transportation ~$8000
    • Net Profit ~$25000
      • Strong store growth to end of year
      • High prices for copper etc early in year, dropped dramatically
      • Wages are main expense, grew staff through most of year
  • Year end balance
    • Assets ~$37400
    • Liabilities ~$4400
      • Mostly sales tax owing store sales (PST/GST)

Operations Report - Sean H.

  • No meeting last month due to the holiday

Intergalactic Report - Ifny

  • Toronto
    • Ifny met with Terry & John - Toronto co-founders (Canada Geeks)
    • Canada Geeks has been dissolved completely
      • Not FG affiliated anymore
      • Website offline
    • Robert is no longer involved with Free Geek or Canada Geeks
    • Toronto will regroup
      • Decisions to be made about what they will do next
  • Ottawa
    • Ifny tried to meet with Ottawa applicants but they didn't have time.
  • IRC discussion on trademark application process
    • Application in process (in Canada)
    • Control of the name is important to protect FG principles
    • TM Held by the Mothership (aka Free Geek Portland)
  • Franchise mailing list changing to Intergalactic

Upcoming - Ifny

  • Intro to Ubuntu - 28 Jan, 2009
  • Education Meeting - 11 Feb, 2009
  • Director's social/potluck (insurance) - 23 Jan, 2009
  • Gov Meeting - 21 Jan, 2009
  • Code Sprint - (Social programming todo activity)
    • Do a code sprint for FG website
    • Fix some bugs
    • Minor changes
    • 24 Jan, 2009 (maybe too early)
    • Bring to software workgroup
    • FG beta site to be set up for code sprint
      • Need someone to administrate/local users/subversion/etcetera
      • Need to find out about external servers
    • COMMIT: Ifny will put get in touch with Sim about it/put Audrey in contact
    • Ryan's replacement to be discussed at software workgroup meeting
  • Acceptance ceremony for FG Vancity enviroFund grant - 15 Jan, 2009
    • Sean, Samuel & Ifny going
  • Richard Stallman coming to Vancouver - UBC 6/7 Feb 09
    • FG trying to help put together an event
    • "Quik, hid ur Vis n alikes"

New Build Coordinator

  • Name is Stephen
    • Hired with Vancity grant funding for build program
    • UNIX user since 83, Linux in early 90s

FG Space and Tenants

  • PEDAL sublease expired Dec. 31, 2009
    • They did not renew as per sublease terms
    • 30 days before expiration of their sublease they could have...
      • renewed for an additional year
      • gone month-to-month
      • given notice
    • Instead they let their sublease expire and are now squatting
    • Back in Sep. we went to their board/staff meeting
      • We reminded them about the conditions of their right of renewal
  • FG Contingency meeting was held last week
    • Pedal has breached its contractual obligations and lost right of renewal
    • We decided to write a letter of inquiry to PEDAL, (did get written and delivered)
      • Requested information concerning intentions with the space
      • Requested timeline
  • PEDAL staff responded to the letter
    • Said they are looking for new space
    • Will let us know when they find one
    • No timeline, and otherwise vague
  • Is giving 60 days notice acceptable?
    • Much conversation, we did a round, everyone present was asked if they agreed
      • Most people agree on 60 days, or do not object
    • We're under no obligation to give any notice, since they have no contract
    • Letting their sublease slide is not acting in good faith
  • AGREED: Give PEDAL 60 days notice

Staff Vacation Pay Mess - Sean H.

  • Previously FG has given 2 weeks paid vacation
    • Was supposed to apply after staff have been working a year
    • Some staff took their vacations before they were eligible
    • How should we fix this?
  • PROPOSAL: Someone who leaves receives any vacation pay owing
  • PROPOSAL: Work a year, get amount owing
    • Keeps problems out
    • FG needs to make a policy and stick to it
    • Makes sure that people have given enough time to earn their time off
  • PROPOSAL: Could pay percentage out on each cheque
    • Puts pressure on staff (to not overspend)
  • Okay to let people take vacation as they earn it
    • Staff could take vacation time 6 months after start date
  • Winter closure pay
    • AGREED: To be decided each year/as funds permit
  • PROPOSAL: Compensate/give extra vacation time for extra work?
    • FG needs to support staff by not allowing them to work extra
    • FG doesn't allow staff to work overtime or book hours
  • Whether staff takes time off is both a financial and staffing issue
  • Should we give 3 weeks paid vacation per year?
  • AGREED: Staff can start to take accrued vacation time after 6 months
  • AGREED: "Accrued time" to be pro-rated based on 3-weeks/year
  • AGREED: Staff shall receive, in total, 3 weeks paid vacation per year
  • AGREED: Sick policy is needed

Information Software

  • PROPOSAL: Educational software should separated from other software because
    • It is a waste to destroy/recycle it
    • It is a waste of people power
  • Past difficult decision on this topic
    • It is currently recycled
    • Licensing is a very difficult legal issue
  • Not a lot of time to discuss here now (big agenda)
  • Member bringing topic was encouraged to...
    • Read mailing list archive
    • Bring issue to general mailing list
    • Present at meeting again if desired

Store Discount

  • AGREED: Need standard volunteer discount
  • AGREED: Volunteers entitled after a minimum of 12 hours during 90 days prior to purchase
  • AGREED: Amount to be equal to 40% off of the final bill, rounded up
  • Staff discount to be determined later

Budget Meeting

  • Needs to happen before next general meeting
  • Budget meeting set for 3 Feb, 2009
    • Draft budget will be discussed and amended
    • Submissions accepted
    • Final to be submitted to next general meeting
  • COMMIT: Sean Hill to prepare draft budget prior to budget meeting

HR Meeting

  • Need to discuss next hire, hiring policies, staff reviews
  • COMMIT: 22 Jan, 2009, at 14:00 (during day)

Education Coordinator Position

  • Covered by funding from Vancity grant
  • Person might start later, work later in the evening sometimes (facilitating workshops)
  • Focus on training
  • Develop free software classes for outside organizations
  • Slight alteration of positions desired:
    • Build Coordinator should take HW grants, instead of Education Coordinator
      • Need to check with Vancity to make sure this is ok
  • AGREED: We will hire this position ASAP. HR Contingency can write the description.
  • COMMIT: HR develop posting -> Check alterations with Vancity -> Approve posting at general meeting
  • COMMIT: HR Contingency meeting to develop position 15 Jan, 2009 16:00

Staff Wages

  • Pushed to budget meeting

Next Meeting

  • Facilitator - Sean H
  • Scribe - Stephen