Michael Snow wrote:
>... You think that having people mortgage their future and simply
> giving them more cash, which they don't ultimately enjoy other
> than to pay loans at distressed interest rates, is a greater benefit
> to them than providing the best insurance coverage we can offer?

No, I didn't mean to imply anything like that. If a typical working
age American's immediate family suffers catastrophic medical expenses,
it's most likely going to be one of their parents, who aren't covered
by the Foundation's or any other employer's plan. Medicare only pays
for 60 days of hospitalization, with copayments totaling about $30,000
for the following 60 days, and then it stops paying altogether. (See
e.g. http://www.kff.org/medicare/upload/7768.pdf ) In any case, most
Americans who enter bankruptcy because of medical expenses have on
average about $45,000 of debt, which amounts to 2.2 years of the
difference between the mean salary of Wikimedia and Mozilla Foundation
junior software engineers. It's not like the difference between being
able to save a loved one from bankruptcy and keeping them in the
hospital when they need it would displace existing health insurance or
even make a serious dent in retirement savings.

And that brings up another important point: What kind of talent does
the WMF forgo by not being able to offer employees competitive
retirement savings?  I suggest that there are very good reasons that
all the additional Glassdoor reviews in the past week didn't really
move the needle in satisfaction or recommendation scores. If anything
the Foundation should be exceeding market rate to make up for its
inability to provide equity participation plans for retirement savings
which commercial firms can offer.

Richard Symonds wrote:
> I would object to the precedent being set that donors from around the
> world, however old or young, are able to directly decide the salaries of
> staff at the WMF....

I am not suggesting allowing donors to set salary levels, only to
express their opinions as to whether they would object to the
Foundation meeting market labor pay, or exceeding it to compensate for
the inability to offer equity participation. Since the only objections
raised against competitive pay have been that it would be an
"irresponsible" use of donor's money, why not find out from the
donor's whether they actually share that view? The worst that could
happen would be that we would find that donors agree with the status

> I would also have an issue with donors being bombarded with emails...

A representative sample of 384 donors is sufficient to establish the
answer with 95% confidence. I am not suggesting asking all however
many million there have been.

> we should be saving our 'communication points' for something more important.

What might be more important that we haven't already asked in donor
surveys of years past?

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