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Policy Change for SLAC Cell Phones

Beginning in late July, SLAC will begin converting to a new policy for provision of services for employees with a business need for cell phone access. There are several drivers for the new policy. A primary driver is to reduce the cost of administering the cell phone accounts held by SLAC, in order to increase funding available for mission and mission-support activities. Another major goal is to ensure that a fair and equitable policy is implemented lab-wide. Currently, the criteria for having cell phone support from the lab vary widely across directorates and departments.

The new policy reads, in part:

The Laboratory Director and Associate Laboratory Directors (ALDs), will authorize a cell phone allowance for SLAC employees when the ALD (or designee) require the use of a cell phone to conduct SLAC business. If authorized, those employees will receive compensation in the form of a cell phone allowance. Justification for a cell phone allowance is based solely on the ALD’s determination that an employee’s job function requires considerable time away from the normal work area and that it is important to SLAC that the employee is accessible during those times away, and/or the employee's job function requires that he/she be accessible outside of scheduled or normal working hours.

Simple convenience is not a criterion for a cell phone allowance.

The contract for SLAC-owned cell phone services will end as of September 1st. (Note: This does not affect Departmental cell phones, which are shared phones that belong to a job function and either remain on the SLAC site and are turned in at the end of a shift, or go home with an employee who is on call as part of his or her job. Departmental cell phones are used for business purposes only and are contracted for, and owned and maintained by SLAC.)

Beginning in late July, registered holders of SLAC-owned cell phones will be contacted by Teri Church of Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS), or one of her staff, who will explain the process for making the transition to the new policy.

The most significant impact of the new cell phone policy will be a very significant reduction in the number of SLAC-supported personal cell phones at the laboratory. In the initial implementation of the new policy it is possible that we will reduce the number of laboratory- supported cell phones below the minimum that might be most efficient for laboratory operations. As we understand the needs of the laboratory, we will adjust the number of SLAC supported personal phones accordingly.

In the relatively rare cases where SLAC support for a personal cell phone is approved, a cell phone allowance will be included in the employee’s paycheck or direct deposit, and shown as a separate line item on the pay stub. SLAC will no longer buy cell phones and administer cell phone contracts for individuals.

This change is a major departure from past practice. If you have questions please contact Doug Kreitz, Business Services Division (ext. 4550,

Doug Kreitz, SLAC Today, July 9, 2008