Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Changes to Cell Phone Policy

The University is revising the cell phone allowance policy.  
Please see the communication below for details:

Date:     May 29, 2012

To:       RRC Managers

From:     Michael Volna, Controller

Subject:  Upcoming Changes to Cell Phone Policy

This communication is to provide you with budgeting information related
to upcoming changes to the University's administrative policy covering
cell phone expenses.


Effective July 1, 2012, the salary augmentations for business cell phone
expenses currently allowed by policy will be eliminated.  Salary
augmentations currently provided to employees are to be converted to
additional base compensation for employees who continue to qualify,
based on the eligibility requirements of the former policy.  Neither
employees nor departments will be required to monitor eligibility or
track cell phone usage under the new policy.  In addition, the new
policy will prohibit University departments from providing new salary
augmentations for cell phones, and will strictly limit reimbursements
and payments made directly by departments for employees' expenses
associated with cell phones, data plans, or cell phone equipment used
for University business.


These policy changes reflect a desire to reduce administrative burden
and costs.  The changes will reduce administrative burden by eliminating
all cell phone augmentation processes and procedures, and by also
placing strict limits on expense reimbursements for cell phones.  In
addition, University costs will be reduced because the "grandfathered"
amounts reflect current market rates which are lower than the amounts of
the previous augmentations.  It is estimated that the University will
save at least $250,000 per year as a result of the policy changes.


As of June 30, 2012, all faculty and staff who are eligible for salary
augmentations under the current policy will be grandfathered into the
new policy with $65.00 a month ($780 per year) added to the employee's
base salary.  The grandfathering only applies to employees receiving the
"PDA" or "CPA" augmentations as of June 30, 2012.  No new or additional
recipients are allowed.

As part of the transition, augmentations must be converted to base pay
unless the employee no longer qualifies for the augmentation, or the
employee voluntarily chooses not to receive the additional pay
altogether.  Additionally, departments may enter into mutual agreements
with the affected employees to convert an amount to base pay that is
less than $65.00 per month.

The revised policy will be posted to the University Policy website after
all reviews and approvals are completed, which is estimated to be on or
shortly after July 1, 2012.  Units implementing the changes with the
first pay period of FY 13 are considered to be in compliance with the
new policy, even though the pay period starts prior to the anticipated
effective date of the policy.  Additional instructions will be
forthcoming soon addressing the transition processes, important dates,
situations involving bargaining unit employees, sponsored accounts, and
other transition information.  If you have any questions, please contact
the Helpline at 624-1617, or LaCretia Bell at bellxo53@umn.edu or 626-4473.