Wireless Communication Services Policy

Wireless communication devices are defined as cell phones, smartphones, data card services, PDAs, or other telecommunication devices that have voice and/or data capabilities with a monthly service fee. This does not apply to pagers or mobile radios.

A. Purpose of policy

  1. Provides compliance with ORS 244 and eliminates the need for an audit of devices for personal use.
  2. Provides an opportunity for staff to carry only one device (instead of one for personal use and others for business use).
  3. Alleviates the burden of managing the current variety of plans and devices.

B. Policy statement

As of March 1, 2012, PCC will no longer purchase wireless devices nor pay for wireless communication monthly fees for individual employee’s use. Employees whose duties include a substantial business reason for a wireless device for college business may receive extra compensation, in the form of a monthly reimbursement, to cover business-related costs. Wireless device services for PCC personnel will be subject to the review and approval of the individual responsible for the overall budget management of the department. Promoting fiscal responsibility is strongly encouraged and wireless devices should not be selected as an alternative to other means of communication – e.g., landlines, pagers, and mobile radios – when such alternatives would provide adequate and less costly service to the College. Nextel devices or equivalent push-to-talk devices required for daily use in carrying out the requirements of a job are excluded from this policy

C. Procedures

If the manager and employee agree that PCC business mandates the need for a form of wireless communication, the Employee Wireless Services Compensation Agreement form must be completed and signed appropriately. A copy of the data plan must be provided to substantiate the reimbursement amount.

Monthly reimbursements shall be authorized up to $56 per month*. Reimbursements will be processed by Payroll. There will be no reimbursement for any equipment. Managers are responsible for notifying payroll when an employee is no longer eligible for the reimbursement. Employees are responsible for providing an updated copy of their wireless plan or cell phone coverage to their department manager by June 30 of each year.

This policy applies to new and current staff as follows:

  1. New employees hired by PCC on or after March 1, 2012, and/or as current plans expire or upgrades are requested.
  2. Existing employees that wish to voluntarily move to the reimbursement plan on or after March 1, 2012.
  3. Required for all PCC employees as of September 1, 2014.

The college retains the right to declare an internal audit of data plan participation at any time should there be a question about the college’s use of the cell phone or wireless plan. All reimbursement amounts received are treated as non-taxable fringe benefits as long as the reimbursement does not exceed the actual cost of the base plan as documented on the copy of the cell phone plan. Any employee who receives this reimbursement will be expected to have their “number” available to be published or distributed for internal PCC business purposes.

*Note: Reimbursement is based on 80% of the PCC standard plan which includes 450 minutes voice, 2 GB data, and 200 text messages.

Frequently asked questions

Why the policy change?
  1. Provides compliance with ORS 244 and eliminates the need for an audit of devices for personal use which was a previous requirement.
  2. Provides an opportunity for staff to carry only one device (instead of one for personal use and others for business use).
  3. Alleviates the burden of managing the current variety of plans and devices. (PCC currently has an “open door” policy on the amount and variety of plans staff are allowed to set up.)
  4. Current cell phone policy out of date and impossible to manage (see sections A-C above).
  5. Open door policy on access to a variety of plans and options has outgrown the ability to administer or manage cell phones and other wireless devices (see C above).
What are the anticipated savings?
  1. There is a saving in equipment costs and the monthly on-going costs. The estimate is between $10k initially to $100k annually.
  2. There is a saving in staff time to administer and manage the variety of plans and changes in products. There is a saving in audit time as required by Oregon Ethics law.
What are the criteria for determining who gets approved for reimbursement?

The department manager is responsible for determining the employee’s eligibility and need-based upon a substantial business reason for having a wireless device for college business. This change in policy does not change the criteria for determining who is eligible for a wireless device.

Will class instructors be required to purchase their own device if it is a requirement for teaching a class?

Expenditures for instructor materials and supporting devices are determined by the Division Dean. If a wireless device is a requirement and PCC purchases the device as part of the instructional materials, the device becomes PCC property and PCC retains ownership of the device.

Can an employee “opt-out” of using a wireless device?

That is a decision between the Department Manager and the employee based upon the business use and business need for the device.

How will the wireless device phone number be published?

The employee provides their manager with the phone number they wish to be contacted on for emergency purposes. These numbers are usually published as part of an internal phone tree. (The PCC staff directory which is a public directory usually only contains the worksite phone number.)

How was the reimbursement of $56 determined?
  1. TSS phone services provided a list of the cell phone users and all the plans that PCC is supporting. The $79.99+ plan was the most widely used throughout the college. While other Oregon community colleges are funding from $30 to $35 per month per wireless plan, PCC decided that we would fund 80% of the $79.99 because (a) we are a multi-site campus that requires more travel and use of wireless mobile devices, and (b) we have more need for after-hours contact for a wide variety of managers and staff.
  2. Staff reviewed the options around a “tiered reimbursement structure” and was unable to develop a structure that would meet the diversity of users, plans, and options. The flat rate was determined to be the most equitable and fair approach.
What is the benefit to the individual?
  1. Carry one phone or device instead of multiple phones or devices.
  2. Select carrier and plan of personal choice.
  3. The stipend for business use is an offset to the personal device cost.
  4. Removes the need for an audit of business devices for personal use.
How do I get answers to my questions?

Contact the Service Desk at 971-722-4400. Your request will be forwarded to the person most qualified to respond to your specific questions.

Where do I get the form for setting up the reimbursement agreement?

Download the Employee Wireless Services Compensation Agreement form.

Effective February 21, 2014
Replaces Cell Phone Policy dated April 7, 2004