[Wikimedia-l] compromise?

Richard Symonds richard.symonds at wikimedia.org.uk
Sat Jan 5 00:38:13 UTC 2013

"Does anyone object to the idea of surveying donors to find their opinions
on whether the Foundation should pay market rate for labor?"

I would object to the precedent being set that donors from around the
world, however old or young, are able to directly decide the salaries of
staff at the WMF. Salary levels should be decided by HR professionals with
input from the board. I would also have an issue with donors being
bombarded with emails or notices about relatively unimportant things: email
fatigue is very easy to trigger, and we should be saving our 'communication
points' for something more important.

Disclaimer: I'm not a WMF employee, and this wont affect me- but I have
worked in HR-related jobs for a few years. I'm also writing as myself,
rather than as a staffer at WMUK.
On Jan 4, 2013 8:18 PM, "James Salsman" <jsalsman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Michael Snow wrote:
> >... 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.
> Even the best medical plans don't protect medical debtors the way that
> the ability to finance long term personal debt with greater salary and
> savings does. Three quarters of U.S. debtors entering bankruptcy for
> medical reasons have insurance:
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/american_journal_of_medicine_09.pdf
> Does anyone object to the idea of surveying donors to find their
> opinions on whether the Foundation should pay market rate for labor?
> Nine additional reviews have been added to
> http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Wikimedia-Foundation-Reviews-E38331.htm
> since Glassdoor was mentioned here last week. Glassdoor verifies email
> addresses for those who claim to be current employees, and they
> provide anonymity in the way an internal survey with detailed
> responses can not. The Foundation's employee satisfaction and
> recommendation scores there have improved very slightly, but still not
> enough to exceed any of the other comparable firms and foundations.
> It is great to hear personally from satisfied employees, but it seems
> more reasonable to trust reasonably anonymous data rather than
> anecdotes in this case.
> Nathan wrote:
> > "Does the Foundation have the will to protect volunteer editors from
> > the deleterious effects of income inequality?"
> > This is, I think, is the signal of where James is going with this. This
> is
> > the recurrence of the argument from a few months ago of paying editors,
> > something that I think virtually anyone who has thought about it would
> oppose.
> I've never suggested paying editors, but I was hoping that something
> like the Fellowship program could have been extended to established,
> long-term contributors living in poverty. There are now Foundation
> grants available for individuals which will be announced in a few
> weeks: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Individual_Engagement_Grants
> When I wrote that, I was trying to suggest that it would be reasonable
> for the Foundation to undertake an educational action campaign to help
> people understand the implications of Arthur Okun's 1975 regression
> mistake described in
> http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2011/09/berg.htm -- I think
> it is absolutely correct to describe that as the worst mathematical
> error in the history of human civilization, which has resulted in more
> than two billion preventable premature deaths and more than $20
> trillion in financial losses since 1975. Moreover, the error underlies
> essentially all of the "left-right" economic debates taking place
> worldwide today.
> However, since I wrote that, it has become apparent that the IMF
> itself, at its highest levels, is starting to come to terms with the
> magnitude and implications of the error and address them directly on
> the world stage, and the press has picked up on that:
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/03/an-amazing-mea-culpa-from-the-imfs-chief-economist-on-austerity/
> So it's probably best to take a wait-and-see attitude for a month or
> so before I would continue to recommend such action.
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