Staff Ratios

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Staff Ratios: This policy encourages Free Geek to minimize a tendency towards hierarchy in its work force.
List of Policies - Policy Development


This policy was approved by the staff collective at the March 23, 2007 Staff Meeting

Since Free Geek values its staff collective as a non-hierarchical structure, and since a tendency towards hierarchy could evolve at Free Geek when people are hired into positions outside the staff collective, and since those positions are nevertheless sometimes needed for the benefit of Free Geek, it is necessary to establish a workable framework for protecting the non-hierarchical nature of Free Geek's workforce while allowing positions outside the staff collective to exist.

There are five categories of workers at Free Geek that are on the Free Geek payroll:

  1. Staff collective members
  2. Paid interns
  3. Exploratory position workers
  4. Other regular non-collective workers
  5. Substitutes

Whenever more than 10% of the number of hours paid for in a month are paid to substitutes, the staff collective shall review the situation an attempt to bring the percentage down to below 10%.

Whenever a substitute or individual works 24 hours per week on average for more than two consecutive months in a specific area OR is directly hired to work 24 hours a week in a specific area for an intended period of at least 2 months, that substitute or individual is automatically considered to be in the "other regular non-collective worker" category. Such events should be reported to the staff collective. This does not apply to job-experience interns.

Whenever less than 60% of the workers on payroll (excluding substitutes) are staff collective members, the staff collective shall review the situation an attempt to bring the percentage above 60%.


NOTE: This policy should be reviewed from time to time. Specifically, the exact numbers and percentages are the best guess of the staff collective as to what will be useful, and we might think differently after we've tried this out for six months or a year.

This was re-discussed at HR meeting on July 2 and assigned to Ali and Richard to re-work. Here are the notes:

  • What is the purpose of Staff Categories?
    • we originally wanted to avoid a situation where a small staff collective manages a large pool of workers
    • We tried to break down between subs (very temporary) and others (around consistently)
    • Other: Vagrant, Lantz, Sophia, Jake, Francisco, Kevin and Cliff
    • Subs: Katrina, Jenn, Ebeth
  • The problem is that the categories are a bit loose, and people can move in to different categories based on a series of events that can happen for a number of reasons
    • We also can be held into to much of a rigid structure with our Other workers that does not let us negotiate terms for different positions
    • We would also like to be able to get some sort of a commitment from Other workers if they want more of a commitment to us.
  • We want to be able to accommodate people that want to work at Free Geek. We also want to have a way to limit the size of this group so that the collective does not shrink too much.
  • We need to look at our current ratios policy and perhaps change the wording from individuals to hours worked
  • A minimum number of hours, and a minimum commitment of range of time should be needed to give health care
  • Need room for flexibility, but we should look at the group as a whole to stay fair.
  • 1 Year commitment, 24 hours a week (as a basis of getting some benefits -- but not as many as a full collective member).
  • Any sub in regularly that could give us 24 hours a week and a year commitment could become an other?
    • Depends on how you define "other"
  • Why wouldn't we want them the be collective members?
    • They do not want to do the extra administrative tasks that can be time consuming and pop up at any time, taking one away from their other work