Monthly Meeting - 2011-12-13

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Public meeting minutes for December 13th, 2011 at 6:30PM to 8:30PM
Location: {{{location}}}
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2011-11-08 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2012-01-10

Free Geek Vancouver: 1820 Pandora St. back door



Karen N, Renee, Rod B, Mike F, Devenne D, Chris H, Bernie, Christine H, Wayne F, Joan, Jessica, Tyler, Justin, Tim

Explanation of roles

Facilitator: Christine

Scribe: Tim

Consensus briefing

Consensus briefer: Christine




  • accounting info for November is not ready yet.


  • Vancity grants are opening in January.


FGV will be closed from 23rd December, 2011 to 2nd January, 2012.

Build / Production

H & S

Nothing to report.


  • Total incoming for November (not full list of gizmos):

Crt 100 Lcd 311 Laptop 204 Printer 194 System 657 All Gizmos 2698



Approximate number of new volunteers in 2011: 1113

Statistics for volunteers in 2011
Group Individual volunteers Total Hours Average Maximum Standard Deviation
New Volunteers with hours logged 581 13154.5 22.6 525.1 44.3
New Volunteers with at least 24 hours logged 151 9119.7 60.3 525.1 74.5
Returning volunteers* with hours logged 300 8957.8 29.9 802.3 74.3
Returning volunteers* with at least 24 hours 77 7257.4 94.3 802.3 126.2
Overall stats for all volunteers with hours logged 881 22112.3 25.1 802.3 56.4
  • Returning volunteers are volunteers which registered prior to January 1st 2011.
Statistics per month for 2011
Month Total hours
January 1582.9
February 1975.0
March 2170.1
April 1841.5
May 1442.3
June 2412.9
July 2133.3
August 2581.4
September 1887.2
October 1780.7
November 1987.9
December 1482.1
Number of volunteers by time put in for 2011
Hours Volunteers
0-6 hours 312
6-12 hours 159
12-18 hours 94
18-24 hours 88

Hours Volunteers
0-24 hours 653
24-48 hours 136
48-72 hours 40
72-96 hours 16
96-120 hours 6
>120 hours 30

Hours Volunteers
0-120 hours 851
120-240 hours 22
240-360 hours 2
360-480 hours 2
480-600 hours 2
>600 hours 2



Retail $11770 ($1205(11%) over target/budget for November)


$2000 ($700 under target/budget for November).

HW Grants

  • We are currently getting back to every applicant within a week and hardware grants are ready to pickup usually the same day. We have completed 64 hardware grants this year.



  • Open Classroom Project has now had five fully booked classes teaching intro to computers through intro to the Linux shell. We are planning on putting on the full curriculum in its entirety for next year and have begun booking those sessions. A huge thank you to everyone who has been coming in to help facilitate and teach these classes. It is an important part of our mandate which we are fulfilling.

Events / Media

  • Jordan Eunson had a brilliant article published in the Georgia Straight this month which promotes people taking their old computer equipment to places like Free Geek after Xmas. [1]


  • Jessica just came back from Free Geek Portland, the mothership. They have had very high turn over in the last year, some of the staff have become unionized and there has been much change going on for them. She spoke in detail with Richard, the man behind the curtain which focused on their HR issues.

Staff / HR

Scott: One of the tasks I agreed to take on at the last board meeting was to start an HR committee and to look at the peer review process.

I started by talking to Tim about the process since his results were apparently the first to be released.

When I heard the description of how the process had unfolded I was not happy and I've recommended to the board that the results of the recent process be disregarded entirely.

Speaking to a friend who's on the board of PEDAL I learned that there is an organization called PeerNetBC ( that specializes in helping structure and facilitate these kinds of processes. PEDAL uses them in their peer review process. I'm going to get in touch with them to see what they can do to improve our process. Wayne and Karen have also indicated their interest in helping with this matter.

In the meantime I would like you all to please disregard the results of the process that you undertook a short time ago.

Feel free to get in touch with me directly if you have specific questions about why I feel the process you undertook is fundamentally flawed.

Directors / Governance

The Board wishes to make clear that the full-time staff report given at the November Monthly Meeting is not acceptable.
This report was not conducted in compliance with the Public Forum Code of Conduct nor in observance of Free Geek Non-Violent Communication Style, and was not given in Free Geek spirit.

The Board has different views on some of claims made in the report submitted in the November Monthly Meeting. We don't think the issues raised are the fault of any Board or any one person. There has been lots of miscommunication and assumptions.

- The wage-raise issue: started long before this Board was formed. There was an option recommended for a combination of bonus and wage increase in the August Monthly Meeting, however this option was not accepted.

- Bonus was demanded for Q3: we did not have the accounting info for Q3. There was misunderstanding that we have accounting info right after the month-end when in fact, it took 1.5 months to get info -- accountant will now speed this up to give us accounting info three weeks after month-end. There was misunderstanding that we made money in Q2 when in fact we lost money. See last two pages for Free Geek Quarterly Income

- A staff member demanded to take on payroll even though there was no issue with our director doing payroll. The argument was that payroll was operational yet the staff did not want to take over accounts receivable, which is operational.

- Directors not followed through with training on redmine. This may be the case for one director; however, the Board has implemented a Harassment policy, resolved an incident of a volunteer's improper conduct, are working through a harassment complaint, a staff member was trained and is supported with wiki documentation and with director guidance and review for submitting payroll, the application for a credit/debit card system for our Thrift Store was approved and implemented, the bonus proposal is complete, and the large cheque to reimburse us for the summer student wages was applied for and received.

- Directors' meetings and meeting minutes: As mentioned in the November Meeting, two of the three meeting minutes were sent to the staff. The most recent meeting (at that time) was held about one week prior to the November Monthly Meeting. The minutes from this board meeting was shared one day later. A number of staff were given the heads up on the agenda of this meeting and felt that there was no need to attend. The board is committed to sharing its meeting minutes for its term.

Staff have been doing great things to keep this organization going and are strongly encouraged to speak up regarding issues and grievances. As representatives of The Society, staff need to be aware and mindful of liable and false, accusatory statements. There are constructive ways of presenting and initiating issues, and we want to work with staff to ensure these issues are addressed.

Tyler: Are the director's meeting minutes to be shared with staff? Wayne: There are certain situations where that wouldn't be appropriate, such as in camera meetings.

Old business

Motion to pass the minutes from the previous meeting

Devenne: <objects> We need to amend the minutes from the previous meeting accordingly. I'm opposed to the requirement of accepting the minutes as written.
Tyler: Is it just one section?
Devenne: Yes.
Tyler: Does the section need to be struck out or rewritten?
Wayne: How would we correct this generally?
Tyler: I think we would need to fix it factually, is that the entirety of the issue?
Jessica: Staff should rewrite as it's a staff report.
Chris: Does it have to be a collaborative process?
Tyler: it would be available a week before as an item for the agenda.
Commit: Staff are committed to rewrite the HR report from November's meeting to correct factual inaccuracies and bring the tone in line with the public forum code of conduct for the next general meeting.
The rest of the minutes are passed by consensus.

Carrier Insurance

Company X have confirmed they carry basic commercial liability insurance, "with the exception of goods damaged due to negligent activity".


Wayne: The question is whether we are liable for example in the situation where a pedestrian is hit by a trike. Commit: Tim will find the answer to this question.

New business

Wage raise proposal

An 8% increase in wages for staff starting January 1, 2012. The increased revenue to cover the wage increase is a medium risk. This raise does not preclude future bonuses or raises.

Mailing list concerns and relevant discussion:

  • within budget, see budget proposal
  • an 8% increase would require $10,280 of increased revenue to maintain our revenue. This is a medium risk.
  • work continues on compensation by the raise committee


Amount in line 2 corrected to include EI/CPP amounts.
Tyler: If you include the bonuses for 2011, it's the same as the raise for 2012.
Wayne: We made a mistake with Q2 when the bonus shouldn't have been awarded.
Jess: The directors knew what our financial information was at the time, the criteria were decided for Q3 and Q4 not Q2 and shouldn't be applied retroactively to say that the bonus was wrongly awarded.
Wayne: It wasn't clear what was the basis for Q2 bonus.
Tim: It was a discretionary measure to reflect broad recognition that the staff were underpaid.


Jess: stands aside. 8% raise started January 1, 2012 passed by consensus.

2012 budget proposal


Karen: The vacation pay for 2011 $911.12, for 2012 it jumps to $8340, why?
Chris: Different criteria were used for this line in 2011 compared to 2012.
Christine: This year we only included 49 weeks in the wages and all vacation pay in the vacation pay line.
Chris: I think it should be on the same line. I believe the rates for EI/CPP are wrong.
Christine: These numbers I took from payroll company and I verified with them.
Tyler: How much of a discrepancy does it add? The difference is plus/minus $600 which is within net income, we can figure this out later.
Jess: officially it needs to be passed in the AGM. We should probably change that as the AGM is in the summer.



designation of responsibilities

Rod: I feel that Freegeek could benefit from a better organizational structure for its volunteers. I would like to propose that volunteering be divided into six sectors and that a core volunteer be designated as the person responsible each of the sectors in question. Ideally, the volunteer charged with responsibility for a given sector would wear a name tag identifying her or his sector. For example, since Rod is the defacto supervisor of the dismantle bench, he would wear a tag saying "dismantle bench". Other sectors which currently have defacto supervisors are: "laptops", (Mike F.) and "database" (Joan W.). As volunteers become available, I would also propose a transferable tag for the areas of "desktop build", "store" and "testing". When no core volunteer is available the responsibility in question would devolve to a staff member.


Wayne: We still have the option to discuss it.
Tyler: I'd prefer that we don't as there was an objection on the general list.
Christine: This item was submitted after deadline.


Tabled for next month's meeting.


1. Staff are committed to rewrite the HR report from November's meeting to correct factual inaccuracies and bring the tone in line with the public forum code of conduct for the next general meeting.

2. Tim will get the answer to the question whether we are liable for example in the situation where a pedestrian is hit by a trike.

Next meeting

When: Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

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


Facilitator: Jessica.

Scribe: Tim.