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"Supplementing or Supplanting?" The Mystery of "Volunteer" versus "Paid Employee" Right to Work

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If there were a Ten Commandments of Volunteer Management, one of them would surely be the statement "volunteers should supplement, not supplant, paid staff." Drilled firmly into the head of every new volunteer manager is the fact that staff support is dependent upon relieving fears of replacement by hordes of unpaid volunteers and accordingly work done by volunteers should never impinge upon or threaten the jobs of paid staff.

Now, neither Steve nor Susan is opposed to paid staff keeping their jobs, so please don't interpret what follows as an attack upon full employment.

But both of us have always been puzzled by how this seemingly simple phrase gets interpreted and what in real life it actually means.

Consider the following:....