Present: Lauren, Corey, Meg, Ashli, Carey, McAllen, Gatlin, Garrett, Dave, Amanda
Amanda Lacy - (1st meeting) No pet allergies, interested in cleaning and gardening labor, looking to rent a room
Taylor Lovell - (1st meeting ) No pet allergies, interested in cooking and maintenance labor, looking to rent a room
(Meg, Garrett, Melissa) Discuss Labor Overhaul. Discuss how to restructure and reorganize our current labor system
Meg: Our labor system is unfair. We have necessary labor that people are quickly no-showed for when they don't do it, we have less necessary labor that people don't do. Our labor descriptions are unclear.
Gatlin: I think we should move off the idea of “hours” of labor. Measuring in terms of time isn't always the most important thing, for example when some labor is very necessary and not many people want to do it but it might not take a full hour. Instead we could call them “points.”
Lauren: What kind of stuff is important but doesn't take a full hour?
Gatlin: Dinner cleanup for example. The time it takes to clean the commons bathroom varies alot.
Carey: My problem with getting rid of time as a measurement is that there are still alot of things in our labor system that are time-intensive, and they might be put at a disadvantage by a more arbitrary labor system.
Gatlin: If something consistently takes alot of time, that would make it more important and it would have more points allotted to it.
Corey: At Sasona, since they're not considered hours and it's more arbitrary, I've seen them add more labor onto a person for punitive reasons.
Garrett: We've discussed establishing essential labors and then adding buffer labor onto that, a lower tier of necessity. People would have 3 essential hours of labor a week that they could be no-showed for, and in addition to that a 4th hour of labor that people could choose themselves, but they wouldn't get no-showed if they don't do it.
Meg: We've discussed creating a labor pool and running it that way like Maintenance is run, so for example the Kitchen Manager could be in charge of all the labor that goes on in the kitchen. For Steward, add Safety Officer and Mediator positions. Eliminate Tech Officer and have it be part of Maintenance Coordinator's responsibilities. Eliminate Outreach Coordinator and instead divide it into different projects. Courtyard clean is useful but it doesn't have a clear labor description and more important tasks need to be added to it than just sweeping. Both courtyard clean and commons clean are often done less than thoroughly, not taking long, because people know the task are done a few times a day.
Garrett: So we'd list every area of the co-op and divide up tasks for each area. So for example, we might have one mopping position instead of several commons cleans. This restructuring is going to be a multi-week process.
Meg: We have lots of tasks like food preservation, pantry clean, etc. that could be better managed through a labor pool run by the Kitchen Manager. They could also be tasked with redistributing food we receive from Keep Austin Fed and don't use in time. It feels like there's fluff purposely designed into our labor system, so dropping down from 4 to 3 hours shouldn't be a problem.
Carey: We should be asking questions like, Do we need to elect a person to X position? Are they going to have executive authority to make certain decisions? Is the amount of labor credit they're getting justified?
Corey: One thing we could institute to have a better idea of how officers are spending time is to require them to sign off for their hours.
Lauren: We've talked about having officer reviews not as a punitive thing but more as reports of what they're working on, what they spent time doing.
Garrett: The Labor Czar will have the authority to make alot of these changes we're talking about, so if he agrees to it we don't necessarily need to pass all of it at a house meeting.
Carey: I think alot of this is stuff we should decide at house meeting, and also the Labor Czar hasn't been very active in the position for several months.
Corey: There's also other things that need to be changed and have to go through the house, for example adjusting automatic membership reviews, having officers sign off on labor, etc.
Lauren: What's the idea behind having the 4th, non-essential labor hours for each person?
Garrett: The idea is to mimic the same amount of labor commitment we have at the moment while being more closely aligned with our actual labor needs, not arbitrary hour numbers.
Meg: When I first moved in Meg and Beth were Labor Czars, and they gave a prize to whoever did the most labor hours in a month.
Lauren: We could make the 4th hour to be to check and make sure if some other labor has been done and to no-show the co-oper and complete the labor themselves if it hasn't been, i.e. backup labor and labor assurance.
Garrett: If we had 3 hours of labor and 1 hour of backup, we'd have to be backup labor for 3 different positions.
Carey: But not every labor is going to need a backup.
Lauren: Melissa seems to think we have too many dishes at dinner.
Carey: There seems to be a divide between people who do eat meals here several days a week and people who don't, depend on how much they value cooking labor.
Meg: Something I'll notice is people will sometimes cook a giant pot of rice but people are less likely to eat large portions so it eventually gets thrown out.
Garrett: I'm going to send out an email and bring an agenda item next week.
Lauren: The Halloween Party is Friday at 9pm. If you have any ideas for activities, let me know.