PAID WORKERS – SHOULD THEY ROTATE – Do we need to follow rotation of service with paid workers as we do with volunteers doing service?

The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The Question:
What is your opinion concerning service rotation of paid S.L.A.A. members who work in the service office? And, is it better to employ non S.L.A.A. members as to avoid rotation related problems? (This issue could arise in the FWS office or in international offices.)

As I studied the Traditions to help formulate an answer to this question, I discovered that in the early days Al-Anon relied on dedicated volunteers to help out in the office. These volunteers did such a good job at spreading the message that the organization grew, which required hiring paid workers to keep up with the workload. This dilemma encompasses Tradition 7…Every S.L.A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contribution. From what I read, that organization uses a combination of paid workers and volunteers. This reduces expenses for the organization. The volunteers most likely rotate more than the paid workers. This honors both the spirit of rotation of service, while still providing much needed continuity.

For the paid workers to rotate frequently, the organization suffers a loss of stability. I think paid workers should be evaluated like in any business and replaced if their job performance does not meet the needs of the organization.

The problem we have at the FWS (our International headquarters) office in San Antonio is that with no functioning S.L.A.A. meetings, there are no volunteers available. My own belief is that a business system such as ours would function best with a combination of S.L.A.A. members and non-S.L.A.A. members as well as both paid workers and volunteers.

What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.