[Wikimedia-l] compromise?

Michael Snow wikipedia at frontier.com
Thu Jan 3 17:12:20 UTC 2013

On 1/3/2013 12:08 AM, James Salsman wrote:
> Leslie, the most frequent cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. is
> unanticipated medical expenses. If one of your family members faced
> such unanticipated expenses, and you realized you could save them from
> bankruptcy and perhaps even save their life by leaving the Foundation
> and taking a job at market rate, would that not tend to sway your
> idealism? Since any of your colleagues could face the same
> circumstances, is it therefore not irresponsible instead to fail to
> meet or exceed the local market rate for technical labor?
James, if you actually understood the dynamics involved here, you would 
realize that this random general-interest factoid is more or less 
irrelevant to your agenda. Paying market rate salaries is not what 
protects employees from being overwhelmed by medical expenses. The type 
of long-term or catastrophic medical event that generates a situation 
like this can outstrip even the most generous salary.

What's actually relevant is the scope of medical coverage offered, 
including for dependents. On that score, as reflected in what Matthew 
shared earlier, my understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation 
provides benefits that meet or exceed those of just about any employer 
it might be "competing" with. If we are actually losing any employees 
over this specific reason, I would be very interested to hear about such 
cases privately to see if we need to change our approach, and I'm sure 
Sue and Garfield would be as well. (We might very well lose employees 
dealing with personal scenarios of this nature, but I believe it's more 
likely to be due to the impact of the situation on their time and energy 
levels. In that case, we have no option but to acknowledge that they 
have their priorities in the right order.)

--Michael Snow

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