Worker Managed Co-Operatives

Started by Tony Budak, June 15, 2012, 12:57:00 am

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Tony Budak

January 10, 2014, 09:34:55 pm #27 Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:49:57 pm by Tony Budak
Across the Pond Cooperativism: Milwaukee and Mondragon.

http://mscsymposium.com/2014/01/09/1274/



This is a new and very handy series of videos on how cooperative models are applied and impact communities globally. It's produced by CICOPA which is a global federation of co-op federations and associations, and IHCO which is an international health co-op organization.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcoKRYWxZuqt4zINpMfwkFFHt1uUjM02Z
With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here

Tony Budak

Employee Ownership: Building Jobs, Wealth, & Communities
The 27th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference

April 19th, 2013, Akron Fairlawn Hilton

http://mad.ly/0fea73?pact=341897572716449584&fe=1

FYI Kent State University, Ohio Employee Ownership Center, is experienced in starting Worker Cooperatives as well!
With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here


Autumn Rooney

Do we want to be on the agenda for the next conference call next Thursday?


QuoteYou are invited to participate in the Timebank Coordinator Calls on Thursday, June, 28, 2012   from 2:00 to 3:00 pm and from 7:00 to 8:00 pm Eastern USA Time.

Edgar Cahn will again be leading the regular Thursday call for coordinators.

The main purposes for this call will be these:

TBUSA status report (ongoing)
Community Weaver fixes, status report
An update on the transformation discussion within the network
The "90 day-project" conversations
The "coop" conversation?
Arroyo SECO Network of Time Banks
http://arroyoseco.timebanks.org/
CA Federation of Time Banks
www.cafederationoftimebanks.com

Autumn Rooney

That's great Allison! We'd love to hear about what you learn at the conference. Thanks for instigating a, Cooperatives and Time Banking session. I suppose we could use the wiki for a shared document. Tony also made a file archive. I'd love to keep everything in one place and not duplicate documentation.

Does anyone use basecamp? I'm thinking about getting a subscription.
http://basecamp.com/

AR
Arroyo SECO Network of Time Banks
http://arroyoseco.timebanks.org/
CA Federation of Time Banks
www.cafederationoftimebanks.com

Allison Basile

Hi everyone! My name is Allison. I started the DC Time Bank, and am also helping to organize people in DC who are interested in learning about, supporting, and potentially starting cooperatives.

I'm in Boston for the Worker Cooperative Conference, and I made a suggested for an open session around 'coops and time banking'. I'll be sure to report back!

I'm beginning to think that creating a google doc, google site, or using some additional method for recording successes and challenges we learn about would be helpful. What do others think?

http://www.dctimebank.org/
http://coopdc.org/

Autumn Rooney

Do we have anyone in Boston who can go to this Worker Cooperative conference this weekend?
http://conference2012.usworker.coop/ :o
Arroyo SECO Network of Time Banks
http://arroyoseco.timebanks.org/
CA Federation of Time Banks
www.cafederationoftimebanks.com

Terry Daniels

Autumn,

One national model that might be an interesting example is the US Federation of Worker Co-ops:

http://usworker.coop/front

I think you have identified a problem that may be worth solving  - lots of redundant efforts that might be reduced if we come to agreement about a sharing platform (I like that!).  It seems that we'd need to find agreement on an org we all feel a part of, and that has a process for our involvement AND reduces redundant efforts and confusion.

Peace,

Terry

Autumn Rooney

Thanks Terry. Are there any examples of Nation-wide cooperatives? Is it possible to do this on such a large scale with thousands of people? I guess REI is one example. Would they be a consumer coop?

I invited our fiscal agent and mentor Lois Arkin of CRSP (Cooperative Resource Support Project) started in 1980 to join this group. She says coop requirements vary from state to state. She said we might want to identify regional hubs or bio regions across the country that already have networks set up and the ability to fund raise. We have the CA Federation of Time Banks and the Michigan Alliance of Time Banks already rolling.
http://cafederationoftimebanks.org/
http://www.mitimebanks.org/

Being a Nation-wide coop means that communications will have to happen virtually most of the time. That means deciding on a sharing platform. This has been a challenge so far because everyone has a different preference (action hub, Time banks work, Time for the World, Trello, google groups, etc.) :-\
Having so many places for info means updating in many multiple places and replicating work.
xo Autumn
Arroyo SECO Network of Time Banks
http://arroyoseco.timebanks.org/
CA Federation of Time Banks
www.cafederationoftimebanks.com

Terry Daniels

Hello All!

Great conversation going on in here.

One way to view co-ops are that they are democratic membership organizations that form to create a benefit for their membership. Of course, the benefit is often the driving reason why groups decide to co-operate in the first place.

So it helps to know the answer to some basic questions to evaluate whether a co-op is the right structure to meet the organizational need. Who are the members? What do they need? Does cooperating help us to meet this need? Does a democratic structure make sense to govern an org to meet this need? And how do we distribute the benefits created by our cooperation?

There are four major types of co-ops that form to create benefit for their membership: worker co-ops, producer co-ops, consumer co-ops and "hybrid" co-ops that blend two or more of these types of co-ops. 

A worker co-op cooperates to democratically manage the work place and share the profits and loses by some formula (usually hours).

Producer co-ops band together to share some aspect of producing a product and share the benefits (reduced expenses) among the producers.

Consumer Co-ops are purchasing groups that buy in bulk and share benefits (savings) among consumers such as food co-op.

A Hybrid co-op might be a Food co-op that blends aspects of a consumer and  worker co-op to benefits it members (workers and consumers).

So it helps to know the answer to some basic questions to evaluate whether a co-op is the right structure to meet the organizational need. Who are the members? What do they need? Does cooperating help us to meet this need? Does a democratic structure make sense to govern an org to meet this need? And how do we distribute the benefits created by our cooperation?

So first knowing what the membership might be (local exchanges?), what might these members need (software, educational materials, training, a time bank tool box of support resources, etc)? Does Cooperation help us meet these needs? Does a democratic structure help this organization to functional optimally and fairly? How do we share resources (time, money, skill) to build these tools and share access to the benefits thus created?

This may be a simplified look at co-ops and how they could be a tool for a network of timebanks, but I hope it is helpful for this discussion.

Terry

Stephen Beckett

Hi all, 
  I've notified Terry Daniels terry@hOurworld.org and Linda Hogan linda@hOurworld.org about this thread.
  We already ARE a time bank of time banks! A single unified network completely able to interact through
  the national exchange (hOurworld as a member timebank within Time and Talents, the software that powers hOurworld).
  Happy to provide a Skype tour to demonstrate the possibilities. Steph will tell you, "TnT will even butter your toast!"
Thanks,
Stephen
 
 

Tony Budak

Quote from: Steve Bosserman on June 20, 2012, 03:44:48 am
...could we use the time banks of Ohio as a working example?  In other words, could we draw upon the wisdom of others in this network forum and beyond to create a worker cooperative among Ohio time banks?  And could we go through the steps to form the cooperative in a very open, transparent, and collaborative manner so the benefit of reciprocal learning extends to the larger co-production community?

I would be willing to take such a proposal to the members of our Care and Share Time Bank here in Columbus and see if they would go for it!


Hi Steve,

YES I'm sure that a cooperative organization design applicable to many Time Bank program locations is just the ticket. I do not believe it's difficult to do, the information and expert advice is readily available. Just having a finished template would be a real boost to time banks everywhere. The more I think about it, the better is sounds.

I suggest that we get some experienced Co-op people to join this discussion, I'll start by inviting Terry Daniels.

Cheers, Tony
With Respect and Cheers,
Tony Budak, Site Owner and Webmaster

Please do not email or PM me for Forum/Board technical support. Instead Post Questions and Concerns Here

Steve Bosserman

Hey Tony.  In returning to your initial questions that started this string...

"How to take a co-production effort and develop it into a member managed worker co-operative?  What is the first step?  Where to start...?"

...could we use the time banks of Ohio as a working example?  In other words, could we draw upon the wisdom of others in this network forum and beyond to create a worker cooperative among Ohio time banks?  And could we go through the steps to form the cooperative in a very open, transparent, and collaborative manner so the benefit of reciprocal learning extends to the larger co-production community?

I would be willing to take such a proposal to the members of our Care and Share Time Bank here in Columbus and see if they would go for it!

Marie Nelson

One more thing.

I agree with Stephanie about a loose affiliation but one with some responsiblities spelled out.

A start would be to set up the Time Bank of  Time Banks right away so it can provide some of the resources we need. I'm unsure of the many ways we will find to use it, but we'll learn about them as needs and needs and offers begin to appear.

Tony's and others' experience signing up organizatons shows that the system can handle both indivivdual and group accounts, and we may want to tell people how to set those accounts up, but I doubt we need to spell out much else at the beginning.

We are inventing something new, but building on years of expereince, so let's start some exchanges, and assess as we go along. If we need a course correction, we can make it.

Marie

Marie Nelson

When I watched the Terry and Linda video, I saw immediately how it could help us locally and started sending it around to see if I could get soemone thinking in that direction.

Why don't we see if Terry and Linda will brainstorm with us about how it might be applied to TBUSA?

Perhaps we could pay a %age of tech support expenses that way. What if, in addition to paying a set fee for the software, we asked every time bank to extend TBUSA credit to the tune of x number of hours?  We could work out a formula based perhaps on a combination of the # of members and the total # or exchanges in the past year. Then we would have something to offer those who do the work. Or we could just make the hours up out of thin air, like the big banks do., That's how local time banks would probably be paying anyway!  :)

Marie


As a volunterr, I have so many hours I'll never spend them,