[Osmf-talk] FOSSGIS position on OSMF hiring staff (WAS: Framework for the foundation's hiring practices)

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Sat Jun 27 09:51:38 UTC 2020

I didn't understand Michaels point as creating 10'000 bosses for the
employees, just an annual report as a safeguard that the employees are
being utilized by the board as intended and approved by the membership.
For an example how wrong this can go we don't need to look any further
than the WMFs Knowledge Engine scandal (the jury is still out on the
repeat show of rebranding the WMF but it has a number of similar qualities).

I would suggest that instead of voting on job descriptions, there is
simply an annual budget and plan that is approved by the membership at a
general meeting. That gives the board enough flexibility to adjust to
changes during the year, but at the same time gives a base line against
which the actual activities and results can be checked and compared. At
the same time I suspect it would be a good idea to move to formally
audited accounts, I would be happy with volunteer run audits, but it
seems to be difficult to have that on a continuos base, so I would
suggest simply spending money.

A further point to consider is how employees (not allowed to talk about
their work without permission) and working groups (supposed to
transparent and open about everything) are going to interact and if this
will even be workable.


Am 26.06.2020 um 22:02 schrieb Michal Migurski:
>> On Jun 26, 2020, at 12:35 PM, Michael Reichert <osm-ml at michreichert.de> wrote:
>> Hi Mikel,
>> Am 26.06.20 um 20:40 schrieb Mikel Maron:
>>> The third points about being responsible to the people who work for OSMF, and practically organizing management processes, also are topics to which we are paying particular attention.
>>> Wanted to check on the meaning of the second points about the role of OSMF members and community in these processes. Not sure if this came through the automated translation process well. What is envisioned by "approval by OSMF members" and "accountable to the OSM community"? >
>>> Certainly expect that community input will be sought and considered. If "approval" suggest some kind of formal vote, we think it's ultimately the role of the Board is to make decisions of this nature. On "accountable", practically speaking this typically means helping to set work plans and priorities, assessing quality of the work, etc. Considering our responsibility to those that work for OSMF, a fair work environment means someone can not have 10,000 bosses.
>> "approval by OSMF members" means that the members should approve the
>> creation of the paid job by vote. The approval should not happen on the
>> candidates selected by the board or to be selected by the board but on
>> the task description at the beginning of the hiring process (rather what
>> the employee should do than the requirements towards applicants).
> We will get better staff candidates if they’re accountable to the board only.
> Board members are accountable to the voting membership and required to stand for re-election every two years. Staff members should be accountable to the board only. This division of responsibilities reflects the sharp differences between a board member’s knowledge and experience vs. that of a typical foundation voter. It also provides for a better pacing: as a potential candidate for a staff position, it would be important to me to know that my livelihood would not be impacted by an unpredictable vote between AGM elections, with potentially unreliable turnout.
> Approval by OSMF members should take place during the regular election cycle, when the community votes for board members who express policy positions about what jobs can be handled by the community vs. professionals. Mikel’s final graf expresses this well; we’d be unnecessarily constraining the work done by paid staff to have their job oversight handled through an open membership vote.
> -mike.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> michal migurski- contact info and pgp key:
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