Twin Oaks Intentional Community
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The Twin Oaks Labor System

Principles, Policies, And Instructions


Compiled and Updated by Jake, Labor Manager

I. Introduction. The labor credit is the basic economic unit of Twin Oaks, and all economic systems get complicated over years of use. For this reason, this document is not light browsing material but a reference manual. It contains not only the labor policies but instructions for filling out labor sheets, samples of available labor statistics, some labor philosophy, and even a little bit of advice.

Since this is an all-purpose manual, there is a great deal of variation in the style. The section on filling out a labor sheet, for instance, is intended for beginners with little knowledge of the system. Many sections are more technical and will be understood only by those who know what they are looking for. The manual is not a substitute for a knowledgeable labor manager, but it should be an aid to increased understanding of our system for those who want to know more.

Some Basic Principles

1. One hour of work equals one credit. In general, the community does not permit people to get more than one credit per hour, even for two jobs done simultaneously, regardless of the efficiency to be gained. For example, chaining braid while attending a creditable meeting gives a person credit for either the braid or the meeting, or half each. This is still true if the lap work at a meeting is piecework, even for OPP. If you are taking credit for the meeting, you cannot take credit or claim a unit for anything else you might be doing at the same time.

2. Work is creditable if it is part of the regular system or otherwise approved by a manager or the Planners.

3. No one may claim credit for work done by another person. The person who does the work gets the credit. No one may pass credits to another person without the receiver doing work to earn them. (See also PSCs)

4. Credits have no cash value and cannot be converted to money unless the Community creates some special program in which such an exchange is clearly specified as part of the program (see OPP). There is no good way for a member who is leaving the Community to do anything with cos positive labor balance except take vacation. (Donating some to Weeds and Knots or changing some of it into PFF hours is sometimes permitted, however. See these policies for details.)

5. Members do not earn any equity that they can take with them if they leave. Their work goes toward maintaining and improving the Community, as well as being a source of personal satisfaction.

6. Labor records for all members are the property of the whole Community. The information is not confidential.