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Worker Co-op Solidarity Fund rules

This is SolidFund's manifesto and governing document as agreed by members in October 2016.

The approved version is here (google docs).

Vision: A strong, growing and self-reliant network of successful workers' cooperatives.

Mission: To create and manage a permanent common fund, paid for by the voluntary subscriptions of worker cooperative members, workers' cooperatives, individuals and organisations that support industrial democracy and collective ownership.

Purpose: To support activity that:

  • Provides relevant education and training
  • Brings worker cooperators together
  • Identifies and spreads best practice in worker cooperation
  • Strengthens the self-reliance and autonomy of workers' cooperatives
  • Guarantees the continuity of worker cooperative culture and organisation


1. The Worker Cooperative Solidarity Fund (the Fund) is a permanent commonwealth resource, accumulated through voluntary subscriptions paid by worker cooperators and workers’ cooperatives. It may also receive subscriptions and donations from other individuals or organisations who support industrial democracy and collective ownership.

2. The Fund is not a trading enterprise, a society or a charity, and is not legally incorporated. The members may decide to incorporate in the future, if they deem it advantageous for the protection of the members, or the fulfilment of the Fund’s purposes.

3. The Fund will be run in accordance with cooperative principles, and guided by the CICOPA (International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers’ Cooperatives) World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives, 2005.

4. The members of the Fund are individual subscribers from workers’ cooperatives, and other subscribing individuals or organisations.

5. The Fund will be directed democratically by the members, on a ‘one member, one vote’ basis.

6. The Fund is indivisible. It is maintained and used as a commonly owned resource for the benefit of present and future workers’ cooperatives, and the worker cooperative sector.

7. The Fund is independent. One of its purposes is to strengthen the self-reliance and autonomy of workers' cooperatives.

8. The Fund exists to support worker cooperative education and training, identify and spread best practice in worker cooperation, and bring worker cooperators together.

9. The Fund will work with individuals and organisations that sympathise with its vision, and wish to support its mission and purposes.

10. The Fund is created and maintained with a view to guaranteeing the continuity of worker cooperative culture and organisation.

Membership and contributions

11. There are three types of eligibility for membership:

  • Individual subscribers from workers’ cooperatives. Workers’ cooperatives which make a collective subscription, or aggregate and remit subscriptions on behalf of individual workers, should provide a list of the individuals who are therefore eligible for membership.
  • Individual subscribers who are not members of workers’ cooperatives.
  • Corporate subscribers which are not workers’ cooperatives.
  • Each member, whether individual or corporate, has one vote.

12. In line with the first cooperative principle of voluntary membership, subscribing to the Fund does not automatically confer membership rights and responsibilities. In addition to contributing financially to the Fund, it is a requirement of membership that subscribers agree to:

  • Participate in a spirit of openness and honesty;
  • Act in accordance the values of solidarity and equality in their dealings with members and other partners;
  • Respect the governance and operational framework of the Fund
  • Work in accordance with Fund policies, as determined by the members
  • Display a positive and supportive attitude to other members in the Fund’s discussion and decision making forums, and to those delegated with executive tasks.

13. All subscribers are invited to become members and participate in the Fund’s governance by signalling their acceptance of these commitments.  

14. The position of members who have ceased making contributions, or whose contributions are irregular or interrupted, will be reported every six months.

15. Individuals and organisations who cease to meet the requirements of membership will be removed according to a process which is agreed by the members.

16. Membership will be considered to have started at the beginning of the period for which subscriptions are made, and continue for at least the period which the subscription covers, unless a member is unable to meet the other requirements of membership during that time.

17. The minimum level of subscription will be decided from time to time by member agreement. For regular subscriptions, it will be set on a ‘per worker per week’ basis. At the launch of the fund of the Fund, the minimum level is set at £1.00 per worker/supporter per week.

18. Regular subscriptions will be collected monthly, quarterly or annually in advance, by a method to be agreed by the members, with a view to maximising simplicity and transparency, and minimising transaction costs.

19. Individuals and organisations are invited to subscribe at a level higher than the minimum ‘per worker per week’ rate. A higher subscription does not confer extended or additional membership rights.

20. Members will be responsible for informing the Fund of the level at which they wish to subscribe.Workers’ cooperatives subscribing on a collective or aggregated basis are responsible for informing the fund about the basis on which they have calculated the amount of the group subscription, including the number of workers or employees on whose behalf it is subscribing.

21. Single donations from individuals will confer membership rights for a period based on the amount donated, divided by the minimum weekly contribution level.

22. Single donations from corporate bodies will confer eligibility for membership for a period based on the amount donated, divided by the minimum weekly contribution level, divided by the number of worker members (for workers’ cooperatives) or employees (for other bodies).

October 2016