[Linux-aus] Linux Australia as It Stands

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at samba.org
Mon Dec 12 17:12:45 AEDT 2016

On Mon, 2016-12-12 at 16:20 +1100, Kathy Reid wrote:
> On 12/12/16 16:00, Hugh Blemings wrote:
> > 
> > Hi David, All,
> > 
> > > 
> > > Has it outgrown its grassroots and does it need a paid
> > > secretariat?
> > > Note that “need” does not invite a discussion about “being able
> > > to
> > > pay for”…
> > 
> > I'll defer to Kathy as she may wish to elaborate, but devolving
> > some
> > more administrative functions of the organisation has been
> > discussed
> > and is something she explicitly posits in her Candidacy statement.
> > 
> > If as I hope we will, we as a community decide to grow LA then this
> > sort of offload seems eminently reasonable to me :)
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > Hugh
> Thanks for starting the discussion David, I think it's a good one to
> have.
> I think there are two different questions here;
> 1 - should LA offload / outsource work to paid people
> 2 - should the Council be paid for the work they do
> The implications of both are different.
> I strongly advocate paying professionals / organisations / companies
> to
> do $things that we don't have the capacity or capability (viz.
> CiviCRM)
> to do internally, and where doing $thing is a priority for Linux
> Australia. This should be coupled with due process such as clear
> specifications / statements of work, a review process for proposals
> etc.
> I'm on the fence re: Council being paid for the work they (we?) do,
> and
> I'll note the obvious conflict of interest I have in commenting on
> this
> as a current Council member who's nominated to stand next year.

As an interested member but not one who is very involved, I have to say
this lines up with my gut feeling.  I'm quite comfortable for LA paying
for services (hosting, X as a service, accounting, auditing, etc).  

I'm less comfortable with paying for employees or pseudo-employees,
because even at the scale LA now is, becoming an employer does bring a
considerable management overhead/risk that can be easily ignored but
will come back to bite later.  However, I'm quite willing to be

> Different Council members put in different amounts of effort over the
> year, and to be equitable we would need to stipulate and enforce
> 'minimum hours' of contribution or similar. Some Council members go
> above and beyond, with no remuneration whatsoever. Would introducing
> stipends or similar change who nominates to Council by providing a
> financial incentive? I'm not sure that's the position we want to be
> in.
> As a counterpoint though, some Council members spend upwards of 5-6
> hours per week on LA business, at peak times more. That equates to
> say
> 240 hours a year, or say 6 weeks' full time work - at say a
> conservative
> rate of $500 per day that's $15k a year these people are donating in
> kind to LA. Reimbursing even a portion of this may be an incentive to
> get the "good ones" to stay on and keep contributing their expertise.
> Really keen to hear the thoughts of others on this one.

This certainly puts the situation very well.  Thanks!

Andrew Bartlett
Andrew Bartlett                       http://samba.org/~abartlet/
Authentication Developer, Samba Team  http://samba.org
Samba Developer, Catalyst IT          http://catalyst.net.nz/services/samba

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