Webinar at 3pm CST: Workplace Democracy - Setting up Membership Fees & Trial Periods

Just learned of this. Starting in a little over an hour @workers. Registering is free.


"When a member pays their membership fee they purchase a share from a worker co-op (or “interest” in an LLC). This entitles them to a vote / decision-making power in the co-op. Each member has only one share and voting happens on a one share, one vote basis.

In this webinar we will learn about different processes to establish membership fees and also the process to create trial periods for new prospective members to join the membership."



Find the right fee for worker membership

  • show commitment: many co-ops set the membership fee at a level that is significant for their workers, an amount that shows commitment from the onboarding member
  • fees can supply capital to meet the needs of a co-op
  • make sure it is not prohibitive to your workers or the kinds of members you want to attract
  • higher membership fees look better to lenders and investors

How membership fees are paid

  • lump sum (all at once)
  • payment plans including payroll deductions or a specific loan for member contributions
  • minimum amount required as a lump sum and the rest with a payment plan


  • feasibility for members
  • feasibility for co-op: make sure system is not overly complicated to track relative to the amount
  • if you collect fees on a payment plan, make sure is not violating minimum wage laws


  • it is standard for a worker co-op membership fee to be refundable
  • to avoid financial strain, a co-op can specify a period of time the co-op has to return the fee

Trial periods

  • Probationary Period
  • Length of time
  • Minimum number of hours worked during period
  • Can it be extended?
  • Different for different types of members
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