Great collection of resources about setting up workers co-ops


#1

All available for free in PDF form: :heart_eyes::star_struck::crazy_face:


#2

That’s full of a lot of interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!

Reading the consensus decision making section reminds me of this tool which is used to visualise groups of opinion and find consensus positions in a community: https://pol.is/home


#3

This is really cool, some of us are doing a coop developer course in December - I’ll be interested to know if these resources are covered :slight_smile:


#4

It’s really cool to have this stuff collected in the same place. I have their book on Consensus in paper copy but you can even download it for free from the site.


#5

Looking through the readily available model rules for cooperative societies and can’t find any that use consensus decision making. Seeds for Change have model articles for a company limited by guarantee.

Anyone know if there’s a technical/legal reason why this is the case?


#6

The US network of tech worker co-ops - which we should probably seek to affiliate with btw - produced this document https://techworker.coop/resources/technology-freelancers-guide-starting-worker-cooperative some years ago now. Maybe it’s time to review and update that and maybe produce a UK-focussed edition or something similar?


#7

I don’t think any of the model rules preclude consensus decision making - indeed most (smaller at leastr) coops proceed in that way. Votes are rare and unliked.

The bottom line however is that the model rules - often (but not always) backed by FCA regulation - all guarantee that members have the final say. That is seen in terms of votes - they have no other way of demonstrating that a choice between two options has been decided by members. This becomes a real issue when there is no consensus either way.


#8

Just to add to what @shaun has said — when we were sorting out our registration (we used the excellent Somerset Rules) and wanted to include consensus the advice was that you could use consensus, have standing orders that included this, in details if needs be, but that the rules had to have majority voting as a fall back.


#9

Thanks, I’ll have a look through them.


#10

DAWN (US network of worker coop developers, based on the barefoot principle) have built a good resource library - filter out the US-specific legals and translate (e.g. 'bylaws (US) = 'secondary rules (UK)) and there’s much to be borrowed
http://institute.coop/resources


#11

I found this list on Github https://github.com/hng/tech-coops

Some of our lot are already on there :grin:


#12

This is another great collection of resources:

I’ve gathered a LOAD of resources here:
http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Cooperatives/ (but needs an update - got loads more newer stuff on my local machine).

Also gathered lots of good resources (basically the best of of http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Cooperatives/ ) for Co-ops London a while back too:
https://ldn.coop/start-a-co-op/


#13

hi - slow reply to Matt’s question from 6 months ago, but hey.
The main reason that S4C (and collaborators) developed the CLG articles was that
a) you can register them yourself for £40 or less, and have your company set up in a couple of days
b) you can set up a company with two people, whereas a coop society needs a min of 3. Since Seeds for Change and Footprint (co-authors of H2SUaWC) both either started or functioned for long periods of time with only two members (as do many workers coops in their early years), this seemed important to us.

You can’t register a coop society yourself, you’ve got to do it through a sponsoring body (eg Coops UK, but there are others) and the FCA are more pernickety than companies house - it all takes a lot longer.

I can’t remember whether we state it in the book, but I usually suggest that coops go back to their governing docs after a couple of years and think about whether they want to upgrade, eg to a society, once they start generating a bit of surplus to spend.

Re: consensus - Radical Routes developed a set of model rules for housing coops which included consensus decision-making and it impacted on other clauses throughout the rules, it was a huge piece of work. I suspect that’s why no one else has bothered.