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July 31, 2016

Present: Nolan, Paul, Hannah, Corey, Ramona, Ryan, Burgess, Donny, Marilyn, Richard, Ashli

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Review of Minutes

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Agenda Item 1

(Donny) Maintenance Coordinator officer labor should be 4 hours.

Donny: It used to be 4 hours and it should be based on the amount of labor

Burgess: Agrees, if done correctly it's easily a 4-hour job

Richard: Clarify question - Are you doing actual, hands-on maintenance right now?

Donny: Not alot, however his labor might go down as time moves on

Concerns & Friendly Amendments

Richard: Where possible, we should avoid assigning people all their labor in one area. If a labor position is 4 hours, that's a sign we need to change the labor position. Instead, he'd like to make the 4th hour go to putting Donny on the labor schedule

Donny: Accepts compromise

Item tabled

Agenda Item 2

(Ashli) Allow Serve the People - Austin to place a donation bin (clothes, goods, canned food, etc. - not cash money) next to the free shelf in the laundry room.

The bin would be emptied once a week, and I can provide contact info for the Serve the People point person to interested people and coordinators in the co-op (and also at

Serve the People describes themselves as: “We are a group of students and workers committed to strengthening and helping the most disadvantaged sections of our community.” They’re an all volunteer-run, grassroots community organization that provides basic necessities free of charge to low-income families and individuals—in particular clothes, school supplies, baby products, and food—and they currently run a free store out of the Montopolis neighborhood.

Hannah: Clarifying question - Are you going to be the contact person between La Reunion and Serve the People?

Ashli: Yes, I'm offering to be and to address any concerns that come up along the way.

Burgess: Is there a problem if there's confusion over what's free and what's donations and people take stuff? There needs to be good signange to distinguish.

Ashli: Agrees on signage. As far as she knows, if it's people in need taking goods that are going to be redistributed to them anyway, this isn't a problem.

Concerns & Friendly Amendments

Ryan: We get plenty of stuff thru the co-op that's in good condition but we aren't able to use or distribute, so he thinks that a donation bin's good.

Ramona: She'd rather not increase traffic to La Reunion from across the street.

Burgess: Not concerned about that

Ashil: Instead wants more traffic from across the street, which we already have with people using our laundry. When the co-op started here there were very close ties with the apartments across the street and many close relationships between people, this is a good thing that we've lost and would like to see it return

Ryan: Can we add this to the labor description for Laundry Room Clean (which free shelf clean got added to)?

Richard: Yes, and he'll manage how to add this to labor

Item passes

Agenda Item 3

(Ashli) (To be tabled if no-show labor report isn’t ready by meeting)

1) Waive a portion of Ashli’s missed labor hours, 2) offer her a physically accommodating, extended makeup labor plan, and if not resolved through the ongoing no-show backlog discussion & agenda items, 3) exempt her from the automatic no-show membership review from January til now.

Item tabled

New business

(Donny) Discuss ongoing efforts towards new roof, weatherization grant funding, and solar panels.

Donny: Ongoing discussions with SPEAR and Travis County. We may be able to get thousands of dollars in federal grant money for rehabbing low-income housing. If we go forward, they're going to need specific, detailed information from residents, more than the co-op has ever asked for–including monthly income, social security #, etc.–that are necessary because we'd be asking for

Ryan: Can we only take this info from people who're considered low-income and are eligible for the program, in other words who we're applying on behalf of, or do we have to share this info from all residents?

Donny: Not sure at the moment, will folllow up

Corey: Worried about feasability, sounds like alot of corraling people, very labor intensive

Hannah: It may be just a percentage response rate that's required for the info we need to provide.

Donny: That could be. Repeats that it's a total of thousands of dollars in maintenance money we could save through the program.

Burgess: Clarifies that we're going to need to allocate labor working on this not just applying for the grant, but following up with the program too.

Paul: Could this be more proof of our non-profit status?

Ramona: It'll save more money because they'll be installing energy-efficient equipment.

Donny: We think we have a decision from Daniel, that NASCO will just dole out the money needed to get it done. We're waiting on a 3rd estimate. Out of respect to SPEAR, we're specifically waiting on a quote from Renewal Roofing. Daniel thinks that whatever solar panel we go with will be through a PACE loan. It will add to our lease payment to NASCO, but it will add less than our reduction in utility bills we'll get through this.

Molly: Do you mean just commons utilities or all of the units?

Donny: All of the units. Residents' rent will go up but our utility bills should go down more than that.

(Burgess) Food Buyer Concerns

There's no one right way to be the Food Buyer, but there's some real wrong ways to do it. The wrong way to go shopping for this co-op is to go shopping while Trader Joe's is en route to this. Being Food Buyer is work, it's not an intellectual work-out. The base inventory for cooks can change, it can be flexible, but it needs to be adhered to. He doesn't understand not doing an inventory before going shopping. We have a much larger food budget than a year ago. On a personal note, going shopping is difficult and physically taxing for Burgess and changes in food buying impact him negatively

Corey: Has been going through receipts, alot of the expenses (e.g. buying tons of salt this month) just don't make sense. Alot of the cooks are complaining they don't have the ingredients they need to cook with. He's going to try to look through what he's found and post to the list.

Burgess: Heard second-hand that he could ask the Food Buyer to buy meat for him, but he knows that this is against our policy.

Corey: We're going to need a bigger, broader discussion as a house about how we want to use our budgets.

RIchard: If people are unsatisfied and Chris is incorrigible, why haven't we had an Officer Review?

Corey: Waiting to have more information after he's finishing parsing the info before thinking about officer review.

Hannah: We should start asking officers to check in again during their term like we talked about doing.

Ryan: Is Food Buyer an elected position? (Yes) He didn't understand why the emails were so dramatic, but it now makes sense given the new info

Molly: Adding to what Hannah instead, We could have a Food Forum to discuss this together.

Ashli: Thinks that regardless of whether Chris checks in or we do a Food Forum, based on the concerns she's heard, an officer review is called for.

Ryan: Have yall talked to Chris though?

Burgess: Yes, to no avail.

Corey: The times I've talked to him he's blatantly lied to my face.

Burgess: Meg also tried to speak to him today.

(Hannah) Labor Backlog

Has been working on compiling no-show labor report with Richard. Wants to start sharing the doc, not with editing but with viewing privileges for the co-op. People are anxious to know what their responsibilities are going to be with making up labor. She doesn't want people to freak out when they see the report.

Richard: As long as we get enough of the makeup labor processed and in the doc, so that it can be seen, that'll help with people freaking out when they see how much missed labor they have.

Hannah: The amount of missed labor is partly a factor of what your labor position is, how visible your work is to others and therefore if you're going to get no-showed, so we might want to talk about this.

Burgess: Reiterating what he said last week - Labor is rent. When we do have this discussion, we should at least partially think of this as being shorted on our rent. He'd like to see our attitude to people who habitually don't do their labor gradually shift closer to be more like

Molly: Labor, like anything else, is going to be uneven, that's just a fact of life. Responding to Burgess: We should be positive and not just focus on the punitive when it comes to our labor.

Ryan: If we treated it like rent like Burgess said, the people who have less than 10-shows will be able to make it up, and the people who have more than 10 no-shows

Corey: Doesn't think a year is common, thinks it's usually more like 8 months.

Paul: We do have a labor make-up system, it's not well-defined.

Hannah: The other side to what Burgess said is that people who fall behind on their labor become burnt out and it becomes divisive if we focus too much on the punitive.

Molly: Burn-out is a problem with makeup labor but it's also a problem with your regular labor hours.

Paul: Not looking for a general labor discussion, he's looking specifically for how to resolve our no-show backlog.

Richard: In cases where somebody contests a no-show and neither party budges, a half hour of missed labor is recorded.

Donny: Has considered that maybe we should make a discussion about how to resolve the backlog before we see the labor report because people are going to be personally biased. We should maybe consider making a policy decision before we release the data.

Hannah: We're going to have alot of people responding that just because they didn't sign off doesn't mean they didn't do their labor. We should plan how to respond to this. There's something to be said for the

Ryan: It'd be appropriate to reduce labor debt by a certain percentage of missed labor when somebody fails to sign off but they're not actually no-showed.

Ryan: What if we decide on a policy based on figures that have been anonymized? (so people can see something about the results while seeing policy without seeing the full information about theirs and everybody else's missed labor

Hannah: We'll probably end up doing something like that where we have some information distributed prior to the policy discussion.

Ryan: We're going to have two different processes, one where we set general, standarized policy for everybody in the co-op who has missed labor, and a follow up one where co-opers respond to this, ask for accommodations, etc.

Burgess: Has a hard time believing people could miss 20+ labor hours without remembering that the've signed off.

Ryan: But it's been 6 months.

Paul: We want to set policy that's open enough for Richard to set labor plans working one-on-one with people.

Hannah: Should I continue responding when people ask for info on their own missed labor?

House: Yes

Corey: When we're talking about making up labor over a long period of time, we need to be more careful about checking progress.

(Richard) The hour bump for DCU & dinner cook from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours and the officer position bumps has caused labor shortage problems. Maybe making it so that when somebody has 2 dishes, one of those is considered a side dish and so only one hour, will resolve it.

Molly: Suggests doing 3 hour and a half dishes per night instead.

(Hannah) We have an ACBA meeting here Wednesday at 7pm so if you want to get involved in co-ops, come out.'

(Corey) Maintenance meeting on Monday, tomorrow at 8

meetings/2016-07-31.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)