Participation in the well-being and running of the co-op is an essential aspect of co-op life. Each unit is required to contribute four hours of participation to the co-op each month. You will need to find a way to participate in the running of the co-op for your four hour requirement so that you are not charged a participation penalty (currently at one and a half times minimum wage). The success of our co-op is directly related to having an active and engaged membership. You can join a committee, do grounds work around the co-op, assist with cleaning the common room, distributing notices and contacting members, or other tasks assigned by committees. It is not hard to get enough hours as there is always something to do. You will receive a monthly calendar of meetings, any of which you can attend. Let us know if you would like to have your Welcome Committee liaison attend your first committee meeting with you. Please contact the chair of a particular committee to see what tasks are available or still in need.
Below is some helpful information on each committee:
Board of Directors
Mandate: The Board is the elected governing body of the co-op to ensure rule and policies are followed and to carry out the co-op’s strategic direction. Board elections are held each year at the Annual General Meeting (see Co-op Rules 17 – 23 for more information).
Sample tasks: The Board meets twice a month to deal with co-op business. Positions include President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, director, liaison to various committees.
Mandate: To inform and educate co-op members about how to prepare their unit and family members for a major emergency such as an earthquake, major fire, flood or extended power outage. To prepare and coordinate how the co-op can help in an emergency.
Sample tasks: Education workshops, making and keeping inventories of co-op emergency supplies and list of co-op members with needed skills who are willing to help the co-op in an emergency, liaise with others in neighbourhood co-ops.
Mandate: The Grounds Committee is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the common grounds and playgrounds, organizing garbage and recycling pick up as well as two ‘Large Item’ pick-up events per year. This committee is extremely active between the months of March and November each year and will almost always have something for you to do!
Sample tasks: watering plants and trees, gardening duties, liaise with landscaping and large tree maintenance companies, raking leaves, shoveling snow and salting or sanding common areas (doing these tasks for your own private yard(s), while appreciated, does not count as participation hours), weekly returns of refundable containers (funds go to the children’s playground), taking soft plastic and Styrofoam to recycling depot, cleaning / organizing garbage area, distribute notices, reminders. Some tasks that overlap with Maintenance Committee: painting lines on pavement and lamp posts, woodwork projects (which require more specialized skills). Whether you are skilled in office work, education, woodwork or shopping you will always find something to do with Grounds.
Mandate: The Maintenance Committee is a very active committee that liaises with our management company and organizes maintenance and upgrades in suites in accordance with the Capital Plan.
Sample tasks: liaise with members for repairs and maintenance, obtain quotes, research various projects, assist management company contact members, etc.
Mandate: The Membership Committee is responsible for searching for and finding new Members. They hold informational orientation meetings for those interested in our co-op a few times a year and maintain a waiting list for prospective members.
Sample tasks: help screen / sort potential members, hold orientation meetings for potential members, conduct interviews, make phone calls to set interview times, check applicant references, etc.
Mandate: The Newsletter Committee puts together a newsletter for members approximately every two months with articles, helpful information, bio’s on new members, recipes, tips, etc.
Sample tasks: Write or contribute articles / content, format and design layout, distribute newsletter, take photos, etc.
Participation / Education
Mandate: The Participation / Education committee maintains records of all unit / members and their participation hours.
Sample tasks: distribute chits every month, field member questions regarding participation, distribute paperwork to committee recorders every month, distribute participation hour information quarterly to all members, etc.
Policy / Rules
Mandate: The Policy / Rules committee
Sample tasks: help write new or revised policies to be presented to the Board and the general membership for approval, etc.
Mandate: The Social Committee is a very active committee that encourages engagement of members and promotes community spirit by planning events for co-op members and their families. They are also responsible for organizing common room rentals and cleaning the common building.
Sample tasks: help plan co-op events, set-up / take down of events, cleaning common room / laundry room, help set up refreshments for general membership meetings, etc.
Mandate: The Welcome Committee assists new members to transition into co-op living and become informed and productive members of our community. We also help with unit turnover when members change units.
Sample tasks: preparing and updating welcome package, acting as a point-person for new members, assisting with unit turnovers, attending meetings with new members, etc.