Re: Getting the work done
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 05:37:08 -0800 (PST)
Karyn Stack <ksilverstack [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
after restoring the subject line and deleting quoted digest.
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Hi, I am a member of Cobb Hill Cohousing in Vermont, and part of a small Ad
Hoc committee to attempt to come up with a system for "getting the work
done", in a way that feels fair and equitable to all.  In the past,
attempts to discuss "Work Equity" have been challenging, for it is a very
loaded issue, involving livelihoods, economic diversity, age differences
and abilities, the notion of policing eachother, etc...
We have a draft for an expectation document outlining various ways members
can be involved here, but so far, our system for work is voluntary.
We do have small teams with set requirements for woodmoving and stoking our
woodfired garn, as this is very labor intensive.  Also, we have committees
which take on alot of the community work.
I believe that coming up with more concrete work expectations for each
member, will improve the health of the community and all of us
individually.  Now, it is up to each of us to decide "What is my fair share
of the work here?", and this can be very stressful.
We share 280 acres, a farm, forest land, green space and ball fields, a
large common house...there are individual enterprises here too:  dairy,
cheesemaking , sheep, frozen yogurt, chickens, bees, veggie CSA.  Lots of
work opportunities for sure.

I'd love to hear from other communities around this issue of spelling out
work expectations, accountability and tracking of these, organizing the
work, paying for some work, framing the conversation with the community to
minimize the usual aversion to discussion work...  I know there are pages
of archives on the subject but thought I'd try for some fresh ideas.
Thanks in advance.  Karyn Stack
Thanks in advance.

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