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Balanced Jobs in a Housing Cooperative – Part 2


I wanted to follow up from my previous post about how our housing co-op could implement a form of balanced job complexes.

Our group did agree to try balancing out the work.  We came up with a list of 12 jobs, and then it made sense to split those jobs in to two types: A and B.  Type A jobs are more empowering work, they generally involve more creativity and some skill.  Type B jobs are not bad jobs but they are less empowering and more rote.  

Although at first it may seem like overkill to take the time to split up household jobs in a balanced way, ignoring the distribution of household work seems to ensure that the work is not shared fairly and even worse, that existing social hierarchies are reproduced in our household division of labor.  

Here are the jobs we came up with.  Since there are 6 of us in the house, it makes sense if each of us takes one Type A job and one Type B job.

 

 

Type A Jobs:

 

1.  Treasurer
Keep track of utility bills as they come in,
Make sure utility bills are paid
Sum up the bills for that month
Keep track of savings account
Make sure everyone pays on time
Deposit checks or cash payments
Make mortgage payment on time
Prepare monthly report on utility bills, savings, etc.

 

 

2.  Food/Kitchen Manager

 

Manage communal food – including splitting up costs, who buys it, etc.

 

Maintain schedule for communal meals

 

Verify that kitchen chores are being done, and resolve any issues

 

Manage the refrigerator – make sure old things are removed

 

 

3.  House Project Coordinator

 

Collect and keep track of list of house repairs and renovations needed

 

Working with the house, prioritize list of repairs

 

Identify list of materials needed to complete repairs

 

Organize the work for the repairs, either through work parties or based on individual volunteer time

 

Prepare reports for the meetings to talk about status of different projects
 

4.  Social Action / Community Outreach

 

Be the default contact person for outsiders (other than applicants) contacting the co-op

 

Reach out to other groups or individuals on behalf of the co-op, when needed

 

Setup meetings or invite people to dinner that the group wants to meet with

 

Manage the planning of occasional get togethers, community parties, or other events that the group wants to have

 

 

 

 

5.  Garden Steward

 

Facilitate the planting of the garden in our yard

 

Manage the work needed for the garden – whether through work parties or individual volunteer time

 

Identify list of materials needed for garden

 

Prepare reports for the meetings on status of the garden

 

 

6.  Financial Planner

 

Manage co-op’s plans for how money will be saved and spent

 

Take in input from all members on financial priorities, to construct a plan

 

Create a plan for group to eventually own the house, if that remains one of our goals

 

Identify ways that we can save more and spend less as a group

 

 

 

 

Type B Jobs:

 

1.  Reading/book club chair
Collect and organize list of books/readings that the group wants to read
Maintain a realistic schedule for the readings and discussion
Facilitate obtaining at least 1 house copy of the reading
Remind people at meetings what is next on our reading schedule
Encourage discussion through e-mail group when necessary

 

 

2.  Compost Manager

 

Manage the addition of waste to compost pile (i.e. make sure ratios are correct)

 

Maintain pile of brown matter to add with food waste

 

Make sure the pile is turned at the appropriate time

 

 

3.  Recycling/Trash Manager

 

Maintain schedule for who will take out trash and recycling

 

Verify that these jobs are done, and remind people when they forget

 

If someone is unable to take out the trash/recycling for some reason, make sure it gets done

 

 

4.  Yard Manager

 

Verify that yard is kept decently clean

 

Schedule yard clean-ups when necessary to clean the yard up

 

Manage any non-garden related yard projects

 

 

5.  Applicant Liaison

 

Manage placement of roommate ads

 

Be the contact person for applicants

 

Schedule meetings between applicants and current housemates

 

Keep track of and share written applications submitted by applicants

 

 

6.  House Cleaning Manager

 

Verify that the house is being kept clean

 

Make sure people are cleaning up after themselves

 

Manage house cleaning chores

 

Schedule any house clean-ups that are necessary

 

 

 

 

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