Twin Oaks Intentional Community
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Planner Contingency Credits

Sometimes the planners set aside a fund of labor credits for things that may come up midyear. This is not used to balance out overspent managerial budgets, but it is sometimes used to create small grants of additional hours to managers. Usually, however, these credits are reserved for emergencies and for special projects that come up midyear and are considered by the planners to be urgent enough not to wait for the next tradeoff game. .

Labor Information Available to Members

The labor manager has various reports which may be of interest to members from time to time. They are all available to be looked at at any time, but you might have to ask the labor manager to help you find the one you're looking for.

1. Labor credit sheets for past weeks. These are filed by member name in a file cabinet opposite the Llano office person's desk. Any labor adjustment sheets for each member are in the same file. Past years' labor sheets are stored for one or two years..
2. Quarterly Report of Work in Each Area, summarized by person and by area. Kept in one large 3-ring binder. At least once a year the personal ones are distributed to individual members so that they can see a summary of what they have been doing, comparing it to what they were assigned.
3. Quarterly and yearly summary reports on all areas, not by person. Kept in labor managerial notebook, and also frequently posted on one of the clipboards in the office, under the labor budget reports.
4. Weekly Labor Budget Reports. Posted in Llano office on a clipboard. Also kept in labor managerial notebook.
5. Monthly Vacation Balance Report. Every member's balance as of the end of the previous month. Posted in the office, and kept in labor managerial notebook.
6. PFF Hours Report. Labor manager keeps a record of PFF hours claimed in the managerial notebook. The products desk person also has a copy.
7. PSCs. Labor manager keeps a record of all Personal Service Credits claimed. It is in the labor managerial notebook. The record of donations to various credit funds is kept only on the computer.
8. Weekly Masters. Every week the assigned work is put into the computer from the
labor sheets, and the computer prints out a report we can refer to during the week to see who is supposed to be doing what. The computer also produces a facsimile of each labor sheet, used for locating people during the week (the People Finder) copies of which are posted in both ZK lounge or Llano office. If you need labor information and don't know which report to look for, the labor manager or cos assistants will try to help you.

Who Appoints to What Positions

1. Planners. New and Stand-in planners are nominated by the planners, go through group veto process, and the nomination becomes an appointment if the candidate is not vetoed (20 percent necessary for veto.) A planner can be recalled by a 2/3 vote of the full members.

2. Managers. Managers are appointed by a council of which the manager is a member. Exceptions: Planners (see above), Products general manager, Child Board, membership team, health team, garden crew, and other crew or team managerships. A manager may be removed by the same council if necessary.
Products general manager is appointed (or recalled) by the planners, with community input, not by the Income Council. Reason: the job appears to be too big for a council to handle. Team managerships generally fill vacancies by agreement among those remaining on the team. The same would presumably apply to removing a team member. Child Board members: Child Board nominates, and candidates go through veto process. (16 percent of full members can veto.)

"Mothers" and the like. Appointed by the manager who needs one, removed if necessary by the same. The legal status of these jobs is the same as crew member under a manager. Example: Room Assigner is a "mothership" under the managership "Trusterty." Like any other managerial or council decision, any such decision, either to appoint or to remove someone from office, can be appealed to the planners and, eventually, the community majority.

Jobs in the Labor Area Itself

The Labor area employs a manager, sometimes an assistant manager, an assigned labor coder, one or more done labor data entry people. Any time any of the jobs is open, it is posted on the 3x5 board in the ordinary way

A Brief Explanation of Slack Labor

This is for people who are interested in how the whole labor system works. Understanding slack labor is not at all necessary for day-to-day operations. Planners, at least, do need to understand it before they do the economic plan.

In the early years of labor budgeting we did the obvious thing -- predicted the labor needs of each area, based on the previous years' records, added a small fudge factor, and set the resulting amounts as budgets. This is easy to understand, but it didn't work very well. There were always several areas that needed more labor than they were budgeted, several others that didn't need as much as predicted, and plenty of spare people-power that couldn't be assigned within budgets. This is because predicting isn't accurate- The first solution was simply to ignore overspent budgets as long as the labor supply held up. But this method favored managers who were careless and punished those who paid attention to their budgets. So we sought something fairer.
What we do now is give most areas a budget slightly bigger than we think they are going to need. This results in our apportioning more labor than we predict having. We calculate the amount of labor we believe we will have, and then add an amount between 5 and 20 percent.

As a result, few areas run out of credits, and most areas use less than they have- The unused labor is called "slack." Very occasionally there is a crunch, in which insufficient slack is produced in a given week, and managers collectively requisition more labor than is available. When this happens, it is up to the planners to decide which areas get the available labor and which have to wait. This happens rarely enough that in general we say that the slack system works. We have been doing it since 1985.

Dubious and Questionable Practices

Our labor system, like any economic system, is full of loopholes. It is easy to manipulate for various personal motives, some of which are perfectly legitimate.

!. Claiming work that wasn't done. This is pretty obviously dishonest. We are vulnerable to this, because the whole system works on trust, and nobody is keeping close track of anybody else's work. Violating the community's trust in this way is legal cause for expulsion, though that probably wouldn't be the first thing we'd do.

2. Double-crediting. Very sloppy record-keeping can result in remembering what one did, and taking credit, but forgetting that one did two of these things at the same time --such as doing data-entry on an office shift, or laundry during a primary shift. Remember that one hour's work gets one hour's credit, even if two things get accomplished.

3. Estimating to the nearest hour. It is reasonable for people to estimate the amount of time they spend working at various things, but you need to get closer than the hour. Rounding up to 6 hours when clocked time would have shown 5.2 is definitely not okay- Remember that some people are timing themselves to the minute, and this practice is unfair to them. Please keep better track. Rounding both up and down to the nearest half-hour is okay.

4. Claiming work on the wrong day. It is possible, but not legal, to claim work on a day different from the day it was done, in order to get around the underassigned rule. (It thus becomes "over-quota" on a day that was already full.) Nobody can spot this, and if people do it, they get away with it, but it isn't right.

5. Claiming sick hours DTW (during the week). Sick hours are legitimate only to the extent that the day in which they were claimed does not total more than 1/7 of quota, including any work done that day. When a person claims sick credits DTW, there is not enough information to determine that these limits were honored. Always claim your sick on the days you were sick, and the same with the work you did.

Child Area Labor Rules

This seems to be changeable depending on the current group of parents and Child Board. Please refer to current Child Board information about credit for childcare, or talk to a parent or member of the Child Board.