Dual Member Policy - 2003

Shared by Twin Oaks Community
Tags: Policies, Dual Membership, Housing, Intercommunity Activity

Dual Member Policy (2003)
Gordon/CMT 2/24/03

This Twin Oaks Community policy applies to dual membership between Twin Oaks and other member groups of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.
A dual member is a member of two communities.

Becoming a Dual Member
Full members of a community participating in this agreement are eligible to apply for dual membership. This is done by visiting the other community one wishes to join and applying for membership through the normal channels there. The second community is not obliged to accept the applicant. The member must also apply to cos original community for dual membership status. The original community is not obliged to grant the applicant dual membership status. If agreed to by both communities, the member becomes a provisional dual member of both communities (while remaining a full member of the original community).
Twin Oaks’ Community Membership Team (CMT) may allow exceptions to the above requirement that a prospective dual member must be a Full Member of the other community. Before granting such an exception, the CMT should check with the other community about the status and history of the prospective dual member who is not a full member.
Unless an exception has been made as allowed in the preceding paragraph, the provisional dual member must reside at the second community for the time required to be accepted for full membership in that community (generally 6 months to one year). After that time, both communities must approve or disapprove the applicant as a full dual member. This is done through the normal membership process of each community. If either or both communities do not approve, the member reverts back to regular full member status at cos original community or may choose to drop cos membership at the original community and move to the second community, if co has been accepted there.

Formal Status
Because of taxes, property code, membership agreement, citizenship, and other legal reasons, a dual member must choose one community as co's primary community. Co may change formal status at the approval of both communities.

At any point in time, the dual member must officially “reside” at one or the other community. (This should not be confused with “Resident” membership status.) The member is free to change residence status whenever co chooses provided there is space available. To ease labor and money accounting difficulties, a dual member must give clear, official, arrival and departure dates to the Twin Oaks Labor Manager, Taxes Manager, Accounting Manager, Health Team, and PEACH Melba. Furthermore, if money or labor accounting become too great a burden, either community may limit how many times per year a member may change cos community-of-residence. Co should give a minimum of two weeks notice to both communities before changing residency.
A dual member must be a resident of each community for a minimum of 3 months in every calendar year in order to maintain cos membership at both communities. Two exceptions to this are:
1) The three-month minimum will be waived if either community is full and there is no available space for the dual member.
2) During the calendar year in which co first becomes a dual member, co must reside at each community at least 25% of the remainder of that calendar year, as opposed to three months.
If these time requirements are not met, cos dual member status is lost.

When a dual member leaves Twin Oaks to take up residence at cos other community, co is responsible for making sure cos managerial responsibilities (if any) are adequately covered. (“Managership” in this case includes teams which are commonly considered to have managerial responsibility.) Sometimes the dual member may be able to continue cos managerial work while residing at the other community. The dual member moving away from Twin Oaks will effectively inform all members of the appropriate councils(s) about cos plans, and how the dual member expects the managerial work will be covered. Preferably this will occur at least a month before the dual member leaves Twin Oaks. As is usual process, if any member of an appropriate council is dissatisfied with how the managerial responsibilities will be covered, co can bring up the subject with the council.

Labor Exchange (LEx)
A dual member may use labor exchange, instead of changing residency, for short trips between the two communities. A dual member is expected to do a near equal amount (no more than one week differential) of LEx at each of the two communities during a calendar year. This policy is in addition to any other labor exchange policies of each community.
A dual member who is officially in residence at their other community has no special rights to use the Twin Oaks bedroom that is theirs when they reside at Twin Oaks.

Norms and Policies
While a resident of one community, a dual member is treated like any other member in regard to labor, vacation, money, allowance, and other community policies except those excluded elsewhere in this policy. Co shall abide by the community's norms and agreements. The other community will regard co as a non-member in the above-mentioned areas.
A dual member is expected to abide by all agreements and policies required by each community and is expected to cooperate with mangers and other responsible individuals or teams, especially regarding labor, money, and membership. Dual members are expected to not flimflam money, labor and other systems by exploiting loopholes. It is the dual member's responsibility to keep track of meeting minimum time requirements to maintain their dual member status.

Travel expenses between communities are not provided for as part of this policy. Individual communities may help with expenses as they choose.

Because of the complexities involved, members with children must work out details of their dual membership on a case-by-case basis with both communities. This is in addition to being subject to this policy in all other ways.
Further process, not yet established, needs to be worked out for this to happen. A dual member agrees not to conceive or adopt a child unless approved by both communities in advance. In the case of an accidental pregnancy, the communities will either come up with an agreement that works for all or the dual member parent(s) will give up their dual member status. They then can revert to full member status at their original community. Co/they can also apply for membership at the other community.

Medical and Dental
When an individual is a full dual member (or otherwise fully covered by that community for medical expenses), medical and dental costs incurred will be shared by the two communities in the following manner. The communities will share these costs in proportion to the member's residency at each of the communities during the previous twelve months, except that the community at which co is currently in residence pays the first fifty dollars in medical/dental expenses incurred during any calendar year before initiating the cost sharing.
When an individual is a provisional dual member, cos original community assumes responsibility for costs incurred for emergencies (contagious or quite painful or worsening quickly) while co is in residence at the second community (where co is a provisional member).
Communities have different policies for what medical/dental procedures they will pay for. When time permits, the medical managers of both communities should be consulted prior to an expense being incurred to determine whether they will approve that expense. If a community does not approve the expense, and if it had adequate opportunity to do so, it is not responsible for sharing the cost.
For preexisting conditions, the communities may choose to share medical/dental costs on a different schedule than outlined above.

The PEACH fee for the dual member will be paid on an ongoing basis by the dual member’s “primary community” (see paragraph one under “Formal Status” above). The primary community will calculate a ratio, based on the number of days the dual member spends in residence at the other community in each calendar year, and send a summary to the other community yearly for reimbursement.

Because communities have different policies regarding income taxes, the dual member must take bottom-line responsibility for determining whether, and how, forms will be filed and taxes will be paid. Some communities may pay a portion of taxes owed. (See also the “Taxes” paragraph in the “Dual Membership Policies Specific to Twin Oaks” section.)

Clothing, Etc.
The communities will equitably share costs such as clothing, trusterty items, etc., for a dual member. The respective managers are responsible for implementing this.

Other Issues
Issues not dealt with in the above policy are left up to the individual communities. In addition, an individual community may have stricter guidelines in areas covered by this policy.


Maximum Number of Dual Members
Ordinarily, the maximum number of Twin Oaks dual members at any one time will be five percent of the total membership. Rounding up or down will be at the discretion of the CMT. Exceptions can be approved by the CMT on a case-by-case basis, with the community clearly notified of each exception.

Voting Rights
A dual member loses all voting rights and veto privileges at Twin Oaks while co is not in residence at Twin Oaks, and for the first two weeks of each residency at Twin Oaks.

Room Rights
If a dual member is here for six or more months per calendar year, co can maintain rights to their room here. The dual member permanently loses rights to their room if they are not here for at least six months in any calendar year and if a qualified member (a Full Member of Twin Oaks, who has been accepted by that Small Living Group) asks for the room. Assuming that the dual member has kept up their six month obligation (or if they haven't, that no other qualified member has requested that dual member's room), then any time the dm resumes residency for three or more consecutive months, they get their room back.
When a dual member is not in residence at Twin Oaks, cos room is treated as an empty, bumpable, space available for other members, guests, etc. A dual member meeting their six-month residency obligation, who plans to reside at Twin Oaks for the next three consecutive months, can bump a full member from the room in question. However, if a dual member expects to be here for less than three consecutive months, co is expected to float.
The dual member needs to cooperate with affected people about how cos room is left between each Twin Oaks residency. This is to facilitate use of the space while co is residing in the other community. The dual member does not have to completely move out of cos room between each residency, if the room is made habitable by others between each residency. Arrangements and negotiations concerning the dual member's room will be made between the members and whoever has control of the room (the Small Living Group (SLG), Child Board, or Health Team) and the community area responsible for room policies (trusterty, SLG Board, Room Assigner...?). As in the sabbatical policy, no painting or major changes to the room can be made without the express permission of the person maintaining rights to the room.
When a dual member returns to Twin Oaks for more than three consecutive months, and if the dual member's room is occupied, and if the community is not full, the room's occupant has up to 30 days to move out. The occupant must take the next available room that opens if co is still in the room at the end of the 30-day period.
Room rights are suspended when the community is full. (For the purposes of this policy, "full" is defined as all regular member rooms being occupied. This does not include the use of crunch rooms as defined in the Population Cap paper.) The dual member floats. If special circumstances warrant it, the Community Planners may approve exceeding the Population Cap to allow a dual member to begin a residency.

Twin Oaks will be responsible for the same percentage of federal and Virginia tax attributable to the Twin Oaks dividend as would normally be paid for a part-year (new or departing) member, based on the dual member’s length of residence at Twin Oaks each year.

Small Living Group Sponsorship
As long as Twin Oaks is divided into small living groups, a member must be sponsored by cos SLG for dual membership. (This does not apply when T.O. is full.)

Personal Affairs Leave (PAL)
Dual membership privileges and responsibilities are suspended while a dual member is on a Twin Oaks Personal Affairs Leave (PAL).

Mechanism for Becoming a Dual Member
A person from another community applying to Twin Oaks for dual membership goes through the usual three-week visit and input process for new members. For Twin Oaks members applying for dual membership at other communities, the CMT will solicit input from the community members and make a decision according to its best judgment.

Waiting List
A. Full dual members go to the top of the ready-to-join list, no matter their community of origin. Full dual members and returning ex-members gone less than one year are considered equally.
B. Provisional dual members must abide by waiting list rules.
C. As with any pop cap situation, under special circumstances, the Planners may approve exceeding the pop cap limit to allow a dual member to move to Twin Oaks when we are full. (Full is defined as all regular member rooms being occupied.)
D. If Twin Oaks is full, the CMT may OK a dual member starting up a residency if they do a simultaneous room switch with another dual member currently in residence at T.O. This could potentially allow the dual member to move in before others ahead of co on the waiting list.

Losing/Giving Up Dual Member Status
A. Unless given a exception, dual members lose their status if they do not fulfill their three-month-per-calendar-year (or 25% of remainder of first year) minimum time requirement at either community.
B. Dual members are exempt from II.A (previous paragraph) if they are unable to fulfill this requirement due to Twin Oaks being full.
C. Dual members must accept an available slot if we offer one and if their status depends upon it due to not having been able to meet minimum time requirements. They may take up to 30 days to start their residency, in keeping with waiting list policy.
D. Full dual members can change to being full members of Twin Oaks solely without further community process. They would do this by simply dropping their membership in the other community. The community should recognize this when giving input on prospective dual members, both provisional and full.