We've organized a cool bike tour of Berkeley worker coops to coincide with the Progressive Opportunities Conference. Bike tour on Saturday, the conference on Sunday. Check out the details on our Facebook page rr go straight here to register for the bike tour and/or the conference.
Be a sport and help us spread the word about the conference! NoBAWC is doing a worker coop panel and another session has the organizer of the worker coop credit union, Mike Leung, as one of the presenters. Plus, NoBAWC will be selling food and drinks at the conference to showcase our delicious food coops: Arizmendi, Cheeseboard, and Nabolom Bakery. We also need volunteers to work the registration table and help out selling food throughout the day. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you can volunteer for a two-hour shift on Sunday the 26th of February at the Brower Center in Berkeley.
The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives, the oldest regional worker cooperative federation in the U.S. since its founding in 1994, may be going through some structural changes because of difficulties getting member cooperatives to seat volunteers to governing board seats.
At the 10/6/10 NoBAWC general membership meeting, it was agreed by consensus that NoBAWC would begin functioning with an Interim Board because it has had difﬁculty over the last couple of years getting people to run for the NoBAWC Board…. the Interim Board was charged with drafting proposal(s) for the membership to consider aimed at solving the chronic problem of not getting enough people to run for the NoBAWC Board (and any other related structural issues).Although the Interim Board was supposed to end its service on May 31, 2011, it continues to exist because there has not yet been a decision made by the membership about how to proceed. The Interim Board has not met for several months and has transferred some of its responsibilities to the staff.
Proposal A (Lottery for Filling Non-staff Board Seats) keeps the basic Board structure in place, but changes the way non-staff Board seats are ﬁlled.
Proposal B (Indeﬁnite Suspension of the NoBAWC Board) shifts Board responsibilities to the staff and to the general membership.
Proposal C (Call for a Caucus of NoBAWC Workplaces) looks outside current NoBAWC practices to have an extended meeting focusing on the current state of NoBAWC in order to determine what structural changes NoBAWC should make.
The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) is pleased to present an educational workshop series on starting a worker owned and operated business venture in California. lead by bay area attorneys well familiar with the unique needs of a worker cooperative business, the tutorials will address the following:
Incorporating & Start-up Logistics Tuesday, May 24th This workshop will discuss the pros and cons of various legal business entities available to business owners in California. When opening a business it is important to choose the entity that best first your business’s needs in order to assure liability protection while providing the flexibility necessary for your particular business. The workshop will also address the essential documents and the filing process for a worker coop start-up including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and License & Permits. Presenter: Neil Helfman is a practicing attorney who has represented, formed, and written about, workers’ cooperatives for the last twenty-one years. Primarily areas of legal practice include business tort litigation, employment law, and construction law. Prior to practicing law was a member of five labor unions including teamsters and carpenters & joiners. Received a B.A from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968, J.D. from University of San Francisco in 1985.
Raising Capital Wednesday June 1st State and federal securities laws pose many challenges to capital raising for any business. Jenny will discuss basic legal issues governing capital raising as well as specific issues for worker coops. How can worker coops raise capital without running afoul of the law? Presenter: Jenny Kassan is an attorney and community development consultant, specializing in environmentally friendly and socially responsible ventures. Her legal practice areas include small business start-up and financing, securities regulation, nonprofit law, business agreements, real estate development, franchising, cooperatives, and assessment districts. Jenny earned a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.
Employment Law Thursday June 9th Laws written to govern the workplace assume the employer-employee dichotomy. In worker coops, the workers are also the collective owners of the business that they are hired to work for. This unique structure offers certain benefits to worker coops not available to other business entities. At the same time, worker coops are not exempt from other workplace regulations such as wage and hour laws and the proper handling of discrimination and harassment situations. Susan will discuss the essentials of Employment Law in the Worker Coop context. Presenter: Susan Zeme has practiced employment law, on the employer side, for over 20 years. She represents employers in all kinds of matters, including preparation of policies, contracts and handbooks, advice and counsel on wage and hour, discrimination, hiring, firing and other employee issues, and she defends administrative claims and court litigation. She graduated from UCLA and Hastings College of the Law, started her practice in a large San Francisco law firm, and has had her own practice for sixteen years.
The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) is proud to announce the publication of a new Guide to Worker Cooperatives by the Bay map/poster. The map will serves as a marketing piece for NoBAWC member workplaces as well as an outreach tool to promote worker coops.
Produced entirely by NoBAWC members the project was truly a cooperative effort. The artwork was drawn by Annie Danger, a member of Modern Times Bookstore, the layout was done by Poonam Whabi at Design Action Collective and NoBAWC staff and volunteers and the printing/folding was done by Inkworks Press. 3,000 copies were printed.
One free copy will be made available to every regular worker at each NoBAWC member workplace. A small portion will be used by staff for outreach. The remaining approximately 2000 copies will be sold to recoup the production costs of the project. Guides will be sold to member workplaces and ally organizations for $2.50/each wholesale and for $5.00 retail to our events and via our website.
Please e-mail us at email@example.com to get your copies now! Perfect May Day gifts for all your friends, the local economic development agencies, and others wishing for a paradigm shift. If you want to make one of these happen in your neck of the woods, drop us a line and we'll be happy to share with you about the process and help in any way we can. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.