Monthly Meeting - 2011-08-09

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, August 9th 2011 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2011-07-12 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2011-09-13



Alishams, Brian K, Mike M, Will K, Devenne D, Michael DB, Kevin V, Tim A, Chris H, Rod B, Wayne F, Joshua, Jess M-P, Jordan E

Explanation of roles

Facilitator: Alishams

Scribe: Tim

Consensus briefing

Everybody knows.



Luke: June was a slow month, but I think it was largely due to recycling revenue coming in just before and just after the month. Despite this, revenue is 9% overbudget YTD, and expenses are 3% overbudget. This translates to $7299.08 of excess profit YTD.




Build / Production

Geoff: I haven't been here much lately, but we have stuff ready to go.

H & S

Nothing to report.


Jess: Received the biggest cheque ever for circuit board for the last two months at over $20,000! Largely due to gold price soaring. Chris: Do we know the rates? Jess: it's not well-itemized. We make over 2k per week on cables etc. Kevin: We're filling up boxes pretty quick. Mike: Are there more motherboards because we've raised the standards that we keep? Kevin: Not really. Michael: We have lots of servers, and we're retaining expansion ports. Chris: Do volunteers know not to throw away dual cores by mistake? Jess: Rod has set it up so we don't do that hopefully, though mistakes happen. Rod: It's usually an event when the high-end machines come in.


Nothing to report.


Jess: We will be breaking 4000 volunteers on our database by the end of this month! We have had an increase in volunteers at orientations and therefore in the warehouse, probably due to recent outreach. Rod: More young folks showing up.



Retail - 13k net.


2.5k net

HW Grants

Jess: Same as before, they're done. We're on top of it. We could consider giving laptops to certain organizations that require them for specific purposes.


Nothing to report.


The open class room project will be in full swing come Sept... hopefully!

Events / Media

We will be attending Linuxcon in Vancouver on 17-19 August to represent Free Geek. Jessica was interviewed by CBC Radio regarding electronics recycling in B.C. Pride weekend was a roaring success with hilarious Free Geek booth photos to be uploaded soon.


Alec a former Director spent some time at FG PDX and will be posting a blog on the FGV blog regarding his experience.

Staff / HR

Our interns will be finishing at the end of this month, we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work and dedication and wish them the best for their futures. Chris: vacation pay needed to be adjusted to make it up to 6%. Applied retroactively for 12 months.

Directors / Governance

The lease for our building has been renewed for 12 months starting July 1. HST issue has been resolved. Bylaws have been passed. AGM is Thu18Aug.

Old business

Staff Bonus Q2

Luke's proposal: Option 1: Bonus Each permanent full time staff member would receive $1000 as a one-time bonus (paid interns excluded). This would be pro-rated for part-time employees as it was in April when we gave Q1 bonuses.

Option 2: Smaller bonus, and a raise We would give a bonus of $500, plus we would give a $1/h raise (again, paid interns excluded).


Each of these options would cost Free Geek approximately the same over the next 3 months. Option 1 gives employees more cash up front. Option 2 gives employees a bit more cash on every paycheque, lasting indefinitely.
Wayne speaks about the need to set criteria for awarding bonuses and raises, the differences and relative merits of the two options, and the need to balance retaining existing/attract new staff vs. risk aversion: We keep getting mixed-up on the raise vs. bonus. Bonuses are performance motivators, and incentives for new employees. Also there is an issue with the approval process. We need to have enough of a buffer so as not to jeopardize operations. We have a high cash reserve. Instead of being fear-based and saying we can't do this, we should set some kind of concrete criteria. There is some risk, i.e. what if we have a bad quarter coming up. The two middle quarters tend to be the lowest. That seems to be sound. How much should the bonus be? Perhaps we should have some kind of cap, rather than just having someone in finance recommend it. There is a relationship between bonus and salary. This is just to make sure we don't go over the same thing over and over again, as it needs to be addressed finally. We could do a one-time bonus, or an increase in salary. Is it the right thing to do? There might be some issues in the long term. We can figure out how much we can afford to give the staff additionally, and then figure out how to distribute it. Should it be an annual review? Risk-aversion is one thing, staff stability is the flip-side. How much revenue is the threshold for giving a bonus? Kevin: On separating bonus from salary. At the beginning of this year it was decided that salary would be decided at the end of the year. Why then are we discussing it now? Jordan: What do staff want? Geoff: I think we don't want to put the organization in a position. I like Wayne's idea of discussing the threshold to proceed. The nice thing about the bonus is that we're only spending what we have. Jess: It's unfair that we don't give anything to the interns. Jordan: Would doing so invalidate the grant that we get from Service Canada for them? Tim: I would prefer to have a raise if it doesn't put us in a position later. Jordan: It would also look better if we had to hire another person, aesthetically speaking. Chris: Also the minimum wage has been increased, and the wages we pay should reflect this. Jordan: Proposes that we go ahead with the bonus for this quarter, Luke will recalculate including the interns. Form a workgroup to look at the issue. Alishams: Who wants to be in the workgroup? Wayne, Chris, Jess step forward Joshua: How does the workgroup work? Are there meetings, timelines? Chris: Mostly on the mailing list, plus a timeline will be set. Joshua: Me too. Kevin: Can we add them to the staff list? Chris: Check with Tyler? Jordan: Why not create a new list? Chris/Jess: We can use finance list.


Option 1, plus, for the interns, a pro-rated bonus for that part of Q2 they were here.

New business


That we do an initial run of t-shirts and sell them. It's good advertising.


Jess: Propose we spend $500, I can take care of everything. Rod: What about other paraphernalia? All: This is good for now. This comes from Marketing. Mailing list concerns and relevant discussion:


What did we decide? Passed.


  1. Jess is going to take care of the t-shirts
    1. Chris will issue the bonus for the staff and pro-rated for the interns.
      1. Wayne, Jess, Chris, Joshua will set up a staff compensation workgroup.

Next meeting

When: Sept.13th, 2011, 6.30pm to 7.30pm

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


Facilitator: Joshua

Scribe: Alishams.