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policy_book

RTM/Lvl Mandate & Policy

I: Mandate

The goals of RTM/Lvl are to promote biking as an accessible and environmental transportation alternative by providing a space in which to repair, create and learn about bicycles.

We:

  • are dedicated to facilitating safe, reliable access to transportation by bicycle for everyone, especially those of low income who would not normally be able to afford a bike;
  • recognize that bicycles produce far less greenhouse gas or other toxins than cars;
  • accept donated bikes and repair them so they can be used, rather than be put in a landfill;
  • reduce the demand for more bicycles to be built under socially-exploitative and environmentally-disastrous conditions;
  • provide bicycle-repair workshops and drop-in repair help in our shop so that bicycles become demystified and their owners become more self-sufficient;
  • provide access to bicycle repair facilities, on site, without appointment;
  • will work to provide an affordable defensive-driving training program in the future.

II. Internal Organization

RTM/Lvl is a working group of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia University (QPIRG). RTM/Lvl endeavors to provide equal access to power for all members (no hierarchy or director) and decisions are made collectively by the process of consensus. Committees may be formed for ongoing concerns or special tasks in order to more effectively share RTM/Lvl responsibilities, and these committees will have coordinators. Coordinators do not carry any more authority than anyone else, but accept responsibility to disseminate information within and between groups.

Meetings/Quorum

Meetings are held at least monthly to monitor progress, raise questions, discuss issues, make proposals, etc. Committee meetings are arranged as needed by each committee. Any RTM/Lvl member may attend these meetings and voice their concerns and opinions (see section on membership). In order for a decision to be made, a quorum of not less than 5 members is required at a monthly meeting. This quorum will be reviewed quarterly to reflect the changing membership of RTM/Lvl. There is no specific requirement for certain committees to be represented, but it is assumed that decisions requiring the input of a committee will not be made without its involvement (esp. matters of finances). It is the responsibility of the committees to meet outside of regular meetings and then present their ideas to the regular meetings.

Meetings should at least involve an agenda to which all members have had equal access to input, and members serving as facilitator and minute-taker (which positions will rotate among volunteers). The minute-taker should ensure that a copy of the minutes is filed and copies are made available to the other members. (photocopy at qpirg, and post on the board in RTM/Lvl shop). E-mail lists, RTM/Lvl's website, and other information means shall be used as much as possible to convey information about meetings.

III: The Mechanic

A mechanic is a person who understands the policy and practices at RTM/Lvl, who can provide reliable mechanical advice and help and who is present in the shop when RTM/Lvl is open for bike fixing. During her or his shift, a mechanic is responsible for:

  • acquainting themselves with RTM/Lvl policy and shop guidelines;
  • unlocking and locking the shop and returning the key to its appropriate place so that the next person can get in;

helping shop users fix bikes;

  • asking shop users to clean up, put things away and sweep before they leave (allow at least 20 minutes for this prior to closing);
  • orienting people who are new to RTM/Lvl and have come for information. There are instructions on how to orient a new member/volunteer;
  • keeping accurate track of all monetary transactions that occur during their shift and making sure that the amount of money in the cash box is the same as on the balance line in the ledger;
  • recording all the interesting things that happen during a shift in a log book;
  • fixing an RTM/Lvl bike if all of the above things don't take up all of their time;
  • making sure that, if they cannot be at the shop during their stated hours, someone else will definitely be there. This is so that people do not trek across town in the rain carrying their bike only to find out that the mechanic couldn't make it.

A mechanic does not have to be a member of the shop committee.

IV: Membership

Anyone who takes part in any way at RTM/Lvl is a member and is entitled to use the shop and take part in making decisions at meetings. A membership fee of $20 is asked of members, especially those who will use the shop regularly. This donation is a gesture of solidarity and support for RTM/Lvl since we are subsidized by members only and do not have a large budget.

Any member has the opportunity to take part in committees and responsibilities at RTM/Lvl. This system of membership expressly encourages new members to become involved in RTM/Lvl by removing barriers of money and bike knowledge. It must be acknowledged, however, that those who have taken part in RTM/Lvl for longer and who have been involved in different aspects of its operation will have more experience and knowledge, and therefore will have more power (this power might not be exercised in direct or obvious ways) within RTM/Lvl. There are other power differences to be recognized between members at RTM/Lvl such as those differences between women and men; mechanics and non-mechanics; francophones and anglophones; first nations and colonial nations; visible minorities and whites; young and old; and between rich and poor. RTM/Lvl will proactively try and work to even out hurtful power differences through decision-making by consensus, through special workshops for women and others, and by insisting on inclusion and respect in our activities. RTM/Lvl also, however, recognizes the work done and responsibilities taken by long-time members and realizes that their experience often means that they have more information about RTM/Lvl.

V: Rules for sustainable use of the shop

  • Put Everything Back Where It Belongs. If you don't know what it is or where it goes, ask someone or put it in the bucket which is expressly used for that purpose.
  • Do Not Force Tools, And Use Them Only For Their Intended Use. Otherwise, they will break and we will have to pay for them.
  • Clean Up The Shop When You Leave, including sweeping the floors. You should leave yourself plenty of time to do this.
  • Do Not Steal Stuff.
  • Try To Be Nice (To) People.

Bicycle and Shop Guidelines

  • Repaired RTM/Lvl bikes can be sold on an ongoing basis at the shop during our open hours or by appointment if a buyer can't make it while we are open.
  • RTM/Lvl bikes are donated to us so that they can be sold or donated to people who otherwise would not be able to afford to buy a bike and who will be able to use it. We will sell bicycles to anyone who walks into our shop after they have had explained to them the mandate of RTM/Lvl, that we provide bikes for people to use, and that we encourage people to understand as much about their bike as possible so that they will get lots of use out of it.
  • They will also be told that they can use the RTM/Lvl shop to maintain their bike.
  • Since it is much easier for RTM/Lvl to disperse its bikes by selling them than by giving them away, RTM/Lvl designates two out of every five (?) bikes that we repair to be for donation to community groups. These bicycles will be set aside to be allocated by the team responsible for community liaison which will determine how, when, and why they are to be donated. The community liaison team is responsible for elaborating policy and guidelines regarding the donation of bicycles and their policy will be attached to this general policy statement.
  • In general, bikes that are sold at the shop start at $25 for a frame with no parts added. The value of all parts which have been attached to a bicycle (see parts price list) is added to the bicycle and the approximate value of the repaired bicycle is decided. This price is then suggested to the buyer who will opt either to buy it or to buy another bicycle which is in their price range.
  • Prices, however, are flexible and people who cannot afford, but really want, a specific bike (or the only available bike) should be accommodated to a reasonable extent. Also, buyers can be invited to choose a frame which they will pay $25 for and then build up themselves.
  • The first concern in establishing a price should be that the buyer is able to afford the bike, the second concern should be the value of the bicycle and the need for RTM/Lvl not to undercut itself. We are a non-profit organization, yet we are able to maintain our services to the community partly through the sale of bicycles. It is for this reason that we ask people to pay as much as they can afford for a bicycle.
policy_book.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/11/23 17:11 by wikiadmin