Cell Phone Stuff
Most of you probably saw Ron's message today regarding the new cell phone policy, but I wanted to spread the word if you didn't and wanted to clear things up if there's any confusion.
We're expecting that this will mainly apply to reporters, but if there are other people who use their phones for work, by all means, speak up. The way Ron's looking at it, which seems reasonable to me, is that there'll be two kinds of people, occasional users and those who'll constantly use their phone for work. Some of you have company issued phones already (or the photographers' Nextel units)-- none of this will apply to you guys, you'll keep using the gear you've got.
For the occasional user, Ron's looking at the $5 per pay period as a way to compensate you if for some reason you're required to use your phone-- your editor calls you a lot more than usual, taking up minutes; there's a disaster; you've got to take calls away from your desk, etc. He said that if it goes beyond the $5 mark, we could probably arrange it so you could use the allowance for multiple pay periods, ensuring that whatever your unusual bill comes out to, you'll be covered.
For the perpetual user, you'd receive the $5 every pay period and use that to offset the costs of having the phone all the time. If you do a lot of communication with the office or do phone interviews out in the field, this would more likely be the choice for you. The flip side to this is that if you put in for this, you'll be expected to usually be available by phone.
In conversations with you guys, it seems like we had a fair amount of people in both categories. Whichever one fits you best, talk to your editor and let them know how you'd like to be handled. If you've got a legitimate need to be compensated, then they should recognize that and there should be no problem-- let us know if one arises.
And as a final thought, while it's important that everyone who needs this takes advantage of it, we all need to be reasonable. If you're not using your phone much, don't request reimbursement-- that money all comes out of the same budget that pays for everything else around here, so we've got to use it wisely.
Alright, enough of that-- talk to your managers, they'll pass the info along to Ron and we should be good to go. Thanks for your help.