Talk:Volunteer Policy

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Contingency[edit source]

There should probably be mention somewhere about staff being available for contingencies. If a key volunteer falls ill at the last minute, for example, then I could see a staff member helping by coordinating with other volunteers to help out or stepping in themselves if they have the right skills. When I had to have emergency treatment in July/August last year, it would have been handy to just make one call into the office rather than having to chase around with emails and phone calls to ask people if they could take over meetings for the month. -- 20:28, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

This makes a lot of sense. It should probably also have something saying that volunteers should ensure that they keep the office in the loop so that staff have all of the info available to them to pick things up and run with them if need be. Mike Peel 21:42, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
At the moment, there isn't anything in the policy (before or after my re-write) about the duties and obligations of volunteers. There probably should be... I'll give it some thought. --Tango 22:48, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, it focuses more on staff than volunteers (which is odd considering the document is named "volunteer policy"). Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:04, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it is right for the focus to be on staff. If things go wrong it will because of staff doing the wrong things (volunteers will always just do what they like - it's their nature!). Some guidance for volunteers on how they should interact with the rest of the chapter would be good, though. I'll add something later today. --Tango 13:16, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I've added a bit to the bottom about things volunteers are encouraged to do, including one about keeping the chapter informed about what they are doing. Do you think that is enough? --Tango 18:59, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I've just done a bit of re-write of the draft based on what I've been thinking about for the last couple of weeks. I've included reliability as one of the reasons for hiring staff, which what you're saying certainly falls under. I've also said that staff should facilitate the work of volunteers, which I think would include stepping into the breach where required. I haven't included anything explicit about taking over when a volunteer is unavailable, though. I'm not sure that level of detail is needed in this policy. --Tango 22:48, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I've re-written it a little more—I think the previous version wasn't clear that staff exist to support the volunteers and not vice versa. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:04, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Those are good changes, thanks. --Tango 13:16, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It seems ok as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far. It doesn't for example really cover situations of dispute between volunteers and WMUK, which of course may arise. You might add something to the effect that, in such cases, the WMUK board has the right to control the use of WMF & WMUK trademarks and what is done under them, and may in extreme cases take over events, relationships etc, or put different volunteers in charge of them. What about risk and insurance here? Has that been explored with insurers or lawyers, or the experience of other charities? Should we say antything here? Volunteers' expenses aren't really covered. Has this been compared to the policies adopted by large charities? Johnbod 14:06, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
The idea was to keep the policy fairly short and principle based rather than going into lots of detail on rules and regulations. Expenses come under the financial policy, but a link to that might be useful here. Trademarks can be their own policy if there needs to be one, but WMUK doesn't actually own any trademarks - it just uses the WMF ones under license. I know Jon has sorted out a lot of insurance stuff, but I don't know the details (Jon, could you write a page somewhere explaining everything WMUK is insured against and who those policies cover?). I don't think it is necessary to say WMUK reserves the right to take control of things if volunteers screw up - I think it goes without saying that that is the case. --Tango 19:21, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting anything not "short and principle based", & I'm well aware of the trademark situation, thank you, but if we are going to have a volunteer policy, people should be reminded that in meeting other institutions they are operating under them, and we should avoid having things that "go without saying" - a sure route to trouble sooner or later. Johnbod 20:27, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Grievance Procedure[edit source]

Following on from the above discussion, my experience as a volunteer over the years (often for small charities) is the lack of a proper procedure to follow when you have a grievance, for example travel expenses are late, poor attitudes and rudeness of the staff to whom you report, etc. Staff have a route to complain, and may have a union representative who will follow their case. Volunteers do not. Volunteers with a grievance tend to disappear. LoopZilla 10:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

A whistle blowing process under staff policies was explicitly rewritten to cover external complaints. I agree that the Volunteer Policy should include the topic of volunteer complaints against WMUK about any matter including bureaucracy, staff or trustees. This could be mentioned and linked if it threatens to overwhelm this particular policy, probably something standing alone such as a Complaints Policy would be sensible. By the way, I don't know of any SPG making griefing volunteers "disappear", email me if confidence if you have any evidence of this happening. In practice quite the opposite has happened, with the CEO documenting concerns and encouraging confidential meetings and calls to deal with complaints, including those raised against me personally and handled independently and professionally. Thanks -- 10:23, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Typo[edit source]

This is a policy that was adoption by the board on 11th February.

Adopted? LoopZilla 21:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Ugh, I thought I'd fixed al of those and replaced them with a template. Ah well, I have now! Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:56, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
My fault, thanks Harry for fixing them. :-) Mike Peel 01:01, 18 February 2012 (UTC)