Affordable dental insurance for smaller cooperatives is here!

USFWC has had an amazing response from everyone for our dental plan. Lots of questions have been raised and answered. But to give more time to deliberation in your cooperatives, we will be pushing back the enrollment deadline to Nov. 11th
We would be happy to answer more questions or set up a call to assist with any details. We are still under our goal for participation and are welcome to late comers. Enrollment does not cost anything billing will begin for 2017 in December.
We are also inviting any cooperatives that are already on a dental plan to sign up for mid-year enrollment. The more concrete interest we have the better! We would love to get as many interested parties involved. If your workplace is currently covered but would be interested in switching at the end of their term we need to get your interest documented to strengthen our plan. This will help us grow the plan and make it sustainable for all of our cooperatives big and small. Please contact Liz Anderson at Liz@usworker.coop
Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! Our collective cooperation is making our businesses big or small healthier and more sustainable.
In cooperation,
Liz
Communications and Programs Coordinator 
US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
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Tackling the Law, Together: Legal Resources for Worker Cooperatives

Event Date: Monday, April 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM – Monday, April 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Location: Legal Services Center 122 Boylston Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Event Details: Are you a worker cooperative who could use some help understanding the law?
If so, please join us to meet lawyers, law students, and other technical assistance providers who are working together to create and share valuable resources and information for worker cooperatives in Massachusetts.
We will be hosting two presentations to discuss legal issues that are common to worker cooperatives:
1. Monday, April 4 from 6:00-8:00 pm – Employment and Immigration Law for Cooperatives
2. Monday, April 11 from 6:00-8:00 pm – Securities and Tax Law for Cooperatives
Join us over delicious food provided by local cooperatives to learn more about the ways in which lawyers and other technical assistance providers can assist your business, as well as to teach us about ways in which we can better address your cooperative’s needs.
Please R.S.V.P. by Monday, March 28th.  The presentations will be given in English. To request language interpretation, please contact lmaynardjd16@clinics.law.harvard.edu.
Hope to see you there!
Location: Legal Services Center, 122 Boylston St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(next to Stony Brook stop on the Orange Line)
Presentation to begin at 6 p.m.

More information and Online Registration

Have questions about Tackling the Law, Together: Legal Resources for Worker Cooperatives?
Contact Community Enterprise Project of the Harvard Transactional Law Clinics

Hosted By:

Community Enterprise Project of the Harvard Transactional Law Clinics
The Community Enterprise Project is a clinical program of the Transactional Law Clinics at Harvard Law School that serves clients who live and work in the Boston neighborhoods surrounding the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Under the supervision of staff attorneys, clinical students represent small businesses, entrepreneurs, community groups, and nonprofit organizations with respect to entity formation, contract drafting and negotiation, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, intellectual property protection, and other transactional legal matters.
In addition to engaging in direct client representation, Community Enterprise Project students partner with community organizations to develop and implement strategies to address persistent legal barriers to economic development. To this end, Community Enterprise Project students conduct workshops and produce educational materials for targeted audiences on specific legal issues, as well as develop networks of technical assistance providers and other resources around a particular industry or need.

For more information or to become a client, please visit http://www.harvardtlc.org or call (617) 998-0101.

Boston Co-op Social

When: October 16th  from  6PM – 8PM

Where: Doyle’s Cafe 3484 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA

Boston Cooperative Business Association invites you for an evening of networking, socializing, and cooperation!

This is a chance for co-op staff, board directors, members, and friends to gather for food, drinks, and good conversations.

Building a cooperative movement includes hard work and organizing, but it also needs connections, conversation, & celebrations. So come to Doyle’s and meet someone new, learn about a co-op you didn’t know existed, celebrate the expanding co-op sector in Boston and have a good time!

Please RSVP

Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy – Summer of 2015

The topic of the conference was “Creating Impact“.  There were over 300 attendees from many different cooperatives around the United States. It was great to see some of you there!!!! The conference was organized by the Center for Workplace Democracy and The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC).

USFWC - United States Federstion of Worker CooperativesThe program, the schedule, the presenters and sessions were outstanding. The event had a wonderful flow that allowed for networking and conversations to blossom in hallways as well as in the designated networking spaces and times. These efforts included a member drive and outreach for the conference. Discount tickets and scholarships were available to those who needed them, in solidarity with cooperation in this economic war. Convening this many members of the cooperative movement that are scattered about the United states is not an easy task to coordinate. Hats off to Amy Johnson and Esteban Kelly of the USFWC, they did an outstanding job in getting members to the convention and making sure that a great time and good information and plenty of locally sourced healthful food was offered to all.  The event was catered for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a wonderful hall that was easily accessible and roomy enough for people to circulate around and have multiple conversations. Attendees were mostly members of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) and some belong to coops, or work in coop friendly companies. Some people were there learning how to become a member of a worker cooperative, or start one, all were engaged in lively discussions. The friendly atmosphere was felt by newcomers as they were engaged in deep conversations about their well being, their work, their lives and their happiness in the present and future. A first time attendee was overcome and told of his life changing moment when seeing so many people come together with the skills, the knowledge and the determination to make a better world for all.

Here is a link to a blog that covers news and items of interest in the world of cooperatives. This particular link leads to one blog about conference that was held in Worcester in July 2015 – CoopMatters.com

Dinner at La Sanghita Cafe!

Join us for lunch – October 1st at 2pm ET.

Hungry for healthy food and sharing knowledge! In solidarity, I have a
suggestion for a direct action we can all take part in locally.

La Sanghita Cafe (Boston’s only cooperative worker/owner restaurant) is now open
for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Here are a few highlights from their Newsletter –

lasanghitaBuying the Property —
After leasing our space for almost a year we are proud to announce we have finally
purchased the property and have begun paying a mortgage!

Eastie Farm —
The city has approved the Eastie Farm! The goal of this site is to provide a space
in East Boston for folks to enjoy nature and build community through growing and
eating food! We will be offering classes in gardening as well as cooking and natural
product making. For more information on ways to get involved, visit http://eastiefarm.com/

Action:

Let’s have a Cooperative meal! Comidas Cooperativas!

What better way to support the local cooperative movement than by supporting a
new local coop and dining on delicious food:)

General Assembly TOMORROW 7pm: Location, Agenda, and Yearly Updates

Just a friendly reminder we have WORC’N General Assembly tomorrow at 7pm (yes, 7pm not 6pm — so you Equal Exchangers, don’t be shy to add a detour to your commute).

The location, agenda, and some yearly updates for a taste of inspiration are below.

Location

Make Shift Boston
549 Columbus Ave
Boston MA 02118

Agenda

Facilitators listed below

  • 10m Report-back/reflection on the year (James Bachez)
  • 10m Plus/Delta/Insights for 2013 (Ben Mauer)
  • 30m Updates/report-backs (Stacey Cordiero MCs)
    • US Federation update (Ben Mauer)
    • Boston Center for Community Ownership (Stacey Cordiero)
    • WORC’N members
  • Discussion items
    • 5m #BosCoop social media campaign (Joel Wool)
    • 10m Update on intersectoral and Q&A (Micha Josephy)
    • 10m Propose calendar for year & feedback (James Bachez)
    • 15m Propose we postpone membership discussion until intersectoral effort is further along & feedback (Stacey Cordiero)
    • 5m Proposal for a cooperative vision and strategy reading group (Matt Gabrenya)
    • 5m Potential partnership with Future Boston (Joel Wool)

 WORC’N Yearly Updates

A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative

The 11 members of A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative completed our buy-out of A Yard &A Half LLC on Jan 1! Muchisimas gracias to Micha & Maggie from CFNE for all of their help, and to WORCN members for all your advice and support. We’re still looking at options to stabilize working capital, but we’re pressing on! We’ll have our annual meeting in April, and are hoping to diversify our Board as worker-owners become more comfortable with democratic decision-making.

A couple of members are participating in the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing’s grassroots leadership institute in Spanish, and Carolyn gave a workshop on their experience of coops as model for business succession and democratic ownership at this weekend’s NOFA conference. (Notes & slides available)

Dorchester Community Food Co-op

The Dorchester Community Food Co-op had a successful year in 2013, recruiting members, developing new outreach and engagement strategies, soliciting building proposals, selecting an architect, relaunching its winter farmers’ market, partnering on a “Fresh Fridays” cafe series and appearing numerous times in the media. After working with the Sustainability Guild to revitalize a vacant lot on Bowdoin St. in Dorchester––the property that will likely be the initiative’s future home––the Co-op was featured on Boston.com, in the Boston Globe Metro Section, and on WCVB’s Chronicle. The co-op is now in a major member drive and is developing a plan to raise the remaining capital needed to hire a full-time General Manager and build the store.

Cooperative Fund of New England

2013 was a landmark year for the Cooperative Fund of New England. In addition to having our Executive Director, Rebecca Dunn, inducted into the Co-op Hall of Fame (heroes.coop), we disbursed the second largest amount of loan funds in our 38 year history. CFNE made over $3.8 million in loans to 38 co-ops and community groups across New England and eastern upstate New York State. In Greater Boston, CFNE and its affiliate, the Cooperative Capital Fund, made loans to five worker co-ops: A Yard & A Half, Boston TechCollective, CERO Co-op, Dollars & Sense, and Red Sun Press. We look forward to another strong year in 2014. We are also currently working to help the Boston Center for Community Ownership build its capacity to support urban cooperatives in the region.

For information about borrowing or investing in the fund, please visit our website at www.coopfund.coop.

Red Sun Press

2013 was a year of recovery for Red Sun Press. We re-staffed after some difficult transitions, regained our financial footing and reestablished a tight, efficient workflow in the shop.

The lease of a Konica Minolta/Komori C8000 digital press was a highlight of the year, enabling us to complete longer runs of high-quality digital output. Customers like Clean Water Action, Equal Exchange and Local 26/Unite Here responded with lots of orders for postcards, brochures, flyers and posters (including tons of election-related stuff).

We symbolically renewed ourselves mid-year with a rebranding effort, yielding a new logo and fresh marketing materials.

On a governance level, too, we are refreshing our business, moving towards a new organizational structure for the co-op and rising to new challenges in the shifting economic climate. To help carve our new path we welcomed 2 outside advisors onto our board, friends and community leaders with the business and co-op experience needed to balance our busy crew of worker-members.

Looking forward to more interaction with WORC’N and the greater co-op community in 2014!

Solidarity Across Borders: Mexico’s Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT)

Monday, October 21 from 6-8pm 
UNITE HERE! Local 26 at 33 Harrison Ave, Boston, 3rd floor

Come meet five leaders from the cooperative sector of Mexico’s Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) for an inspiring discussion of cooperative economic development and the role of international solidarity in fostering cooperative movement.

Cooperatives, including worker-owned businesses, community-owned grocery stores, credit unions and more, are humanizing the economy across Boston and the world. Come meet five leaders from the cooperative sector of Mexico’s Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) for an inspiring discussion of cooperative economic development and the role of international solidarity in fostering cooperative movement. This is the final stop on a ten day delegation across New England by co-ops associated with the FAT, hosted by co-ops affiliated with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE).

Co-sponsored by United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), WORC’N (worcn.org), Jobs with Justice, Cooperative Fund of New England and the National Lawyers Guild, Massachusetts Chapter.
FAT WORC'N Flyer Color

 

WORC’N Fall Calendar & Events Committee Note

Here’s a quick calendar and related notes for WORC’N Fall activities. We have a lot going on, which is very exciting, including participation in a regional Solidarity and Green Economy Conference in Worcester, a potential event with a Mexican co-op delegation, and our regular Peer Resource Group, Co-op 101 and General Assembly events.

One particularly exciting note- In an effort to spread work around and allow the Steering Committee to step back from event planning and step into steering WORC’N, we are launching an Events Committee! This committee, to date including Lynn, James, and Reed, is charged with coordinating logistics around WORC’N events. Please give a hearty Thank You to Lynn, James and Reed, and if you are interested in joining this committee, please let me or any other steering committee member know. Now, without further ado:

The WORC’N Fall Calendar

All events from 6 pm – 8 pm unless noted

October 10, Peer Resource Group focusing on Restoring Roots Gardeners’ Co-op, a new edible landscape design and implementation co-op @ Make Shift, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston. Contact Ben Mauer with questions.

October 15, Steering Committee Meeting (10 am to 11 am) and Launch of Events Committee (11 am to noon). Location TBA (possibly Museum of Science). Contact me or any other steering committee member if you want to come.

October 17, Worker Co-op 101 @ 1151 Mass Ave, Cambridge. Contact Stacey Cordeiro with questions.

October 21, Potential event with a delegation from the cooperative sector of UE’s sister union in Mexico, the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT). Save the date and more info will come as we learn it.

November 9-10, SAGE Conference, 5 Pleasant St, 3rd floor Worcester. For more details, see http://www.worcestersagealliance.org/?page_id=11 and if you want to go as part of a WORC’N delegation, contact me or one of the other steering committee members. We are looking into holding a regional worker co-op meet-up at this conference, so keep an eye out for more related information.

November 14, Peer Resource Group focusing on Hummingbird Co-op, a new house cleaning co-op @ Boston Collective Delivery, 12 Channel St, Boston. Contact James Bachez with questions.

November 19, Steering Committee (10 am to 11:30 am) @ Make Shift, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston.

November 21, Worker Co-op 101 @ 1151 Mass Ave, Cambridge. Contact Stacey Cordeiro with questions.

December 12, General Assembly and Social @ Just Crust, Harvard Sq, Cambridge. Contact James Bachez with questions.

Shift Change Documentary September 20th 6-8pm at the Democracy Center

Shift Change is a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin. It tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.

When: Friday, September 20th

Where: Democracy Center (45 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge )

Time: 6-8pm

Shift Change offers us living examples as well as an inspiring vision of what a productive, just, and sustainable economy can look like. The film’s core message can help to build bridges across different groups who are united in their commitment to the economic vitality and fairness of their own communities. The overall message, the cases, and the analysis are exactly what we need to help chart pathways out of the global economic crisis.