Community Work Agreement

Work 2008-10-20


The basic assumptions and parameters of Great Oak's Community Work System, which includes a shared responsibility for community work among owner members, associate members, and teen members, and provides options for handling conflicts that may arise. The system is expected to evolve over time, and renters may choose to wait until their lease is renegotiated before assuming their responsibilities as associate members.


This proposal lays out the basic assumptions and parameters of Great
Oak's Community Work System, without specifying the details, which we
expect to change over time. We believe that it is important to have
some basic agreements about work, so that all of us, as well as new
members joining in the future, have an agreed-upon foundation on which
to build a work-sharing system that will evolve as we learn from


We agree on the following basic points regarding community work:

1. All work that needs to happen is our responsibility, either to do
ourselves, or to hire someone else to do.

2. All owner members, associate members, and teen members (see Great
Oak Membership Policy) will take responsibility for their share of the
work of running the community.

3. We agree as a community that the work that needs to be done includes:

* Participation in community meetings

*Participation in one or more committees (Currently not in effect
because of the agreement to give work credit for committee

* Participation in community work days

*Participation in the community work system, which is an evolving system of

sharing the remaining work among community members and ensuring that the

community's essential work is accomplished efficiently and effectively.

4. Over time with hands-on experience, we expect to change and edit
the tasks that need to be done and the systems we create to distribute
the work.

5. We will try to accommodate the special needs of workers, including
differing abilities and scheduling complexities.

6. There will be times in all of our lives when we personally cannot
meet our work expectations (such as unexpected conflicts, illness,
change in family composition, extended time away, etc). Nevertheless,
we expect that each worker will take responsibility for her/his own
conflict, and work with others in the community to find a mutually
acceptable solution to fulfill their work commitment.

If a conflict occurs during a work season, options for handling it include:

1. 1. Asking a household member, friend, or neighbor to take your place

2. 2. Trading a shift

3. 3. Hiring someone else to do the work

4. 4. Enlisting teens or younger kids to help

5. 5. Asking the Caring Committee for help.

Sometimes, a reduced load or an entire season off is needed.
Acceptable reasons include:

1. 1. Parental leave. Typically, both parents take off the
season after the baby's birth.

2. 2. Illness

3. 3. Extra heavy load in day job, school, or combination of the two

4. 4. Extraordinary personal circumstances.

In these cases, the community member should communicate with the Work
Committee prior to the approaching work season about their need for
time off, specifying how long they expect it to last. If you do take
a reduced load or an entire season off, you will not be expected to
make it up in future work seasons.

The community expects that people planning to move away will not drop
out of the work system until the time of departure is both firm and

Help is available from the Work Committee, the Community Work
Coordinator/Work Committee Convener, or the committee overseeing the
job in question.

7. The GO-Work Committee will be responsible for implementing the
system that members will use to sign-up for tasks and that system will
evolve over time as we gain experience with what and how tasks need to
be performed.

8. Renters who moved into the community prior to the 1-21-08
revisions to the Membership Policy and 2-18-08 revisions to the Work
Agreement that affect renters may choose to wait until their lease is
renegotiated before assuming their responsibilities as associate
members, or they may start immediately. If they rent month-to-month,
they may work with their landlords and the Work Committee to reach a
mutual agreement about their participation in community work.


* This proposal establishes a foundation of agreement about community work.

* Future members will be able to read this and know what are the basic
parameters of shared work at Great Oak.

* These points of agreement are based on personal responsibility and
flexibility regarding changing life situations.


* We may have overlooked an important point of agreement.

* As things change with time, we may find that one or more of these
points no longer fits our community's needs.


Also discussed on 10/1/2008
Older versions consensed on on 2/18/08 and 2/16/04.

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