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Business travel reminders

Counseling Services

Business travel reminders
traffic on highwayThe following travel changes were in effect as of July 1. The changes apply to nonrepresented and represented employees unless specifically superseded by employees' collective bargaining agreements.

• The current rate of $.465 for business use of a personal vehicle will increase to $.485 per mile. This is the rate an employee receives for use of a personal vehicle when he/she has a nonavailability slip or if the trip does not require a nonavailability slip to receive the higher mileage rate.
• The rate an employee must pay for personal use of a state vehicle also will increase from $.465 to $.485 per mile (plus applicable sales tax).
• The rates for use of a specially equipped van for persons with disabilities will increase as follows: if a state owned van is not available, the rate will increase from $.64 to $.66 per mile. The rate for using such a van when a state owned van is available will increase from $.59 to $.61 per mile.
• There has been no change in the "turndown rate." It remains at $.32 per mile. This is the rate an employee receives for business use of a personal vehicle when a state vehicle is available or if the employee does not have a nonavailability slip when one is required.

In-state lodging
The Bureau of Procurement has issued a revised in-state lodging contract effective July 1. The revised contract is similar in scope to the current contract but includes the following revisions:

• The contract will be optional for state employees.
• The reimbursement rate will increase to $70 per night, excluding tax ($80 in Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties).
• No bid will be required for interested properties.
• Properties no longer are required to submit semiannual usage reports.
• Properties still are allowed to have blackout dates, but are not required to report them to the UW System. Properties are responsible for notifying travelers of blackout dates at the time of reservation.
• Open enrollment for properties throughout the contract term.

Staff members are asked to continue using the current lodging contract for travel needs until the new contract takes effect July 1.
The property listing Web page will continue to be maintained. If staff members are making reservations for dates after July 1, they are asked to use the current lodging list, but are reminded that the rate will be $70 per night for all counties except Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha, where the rate will be $80.

Out-of-state lodging
• The out-of-state maximum also will increase to $70 except for those cities included in the high cost out-of-state cities group. Red Roof Inns has increased its discount rate from 15 to 20 percent under the Big 10 contract. Booking code and reservation instructions are available on the UW System travel Web site.

Air travel
• Airlines now are charging for pre-assigned seats and for a second piece of checked luggage. The UW System contract with Travelport for online booking automatically monitors and assigns seats that cannot be reserved at the time of booking. Costs for pre-assigned seats will not be reimbursable.
• American Airlines now charges $15 for the first piece of checked luggage. Most airlines copy their competitors. If this change is moderately well received by the general public, it is likely other airlines will follow suit. Reimbursement of the charge for the first piece of luggage for domestic trips and the first two pieces of luggage for foreign trips will be allowed with no explanation needed. Reimbursement for additional checked luggage (usually $25 per bag) will be handled on a case-by-case basis. As with other miscellaneous expense claims, receipts only are required for claims in excess of $25.

• There is no change in the in-state or out-of-state meal maximums. The maximums remain at $8 for breakfast, $9 for lunch and $17 for dinner for in-state travel. The out-of-state maximums are $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner.

Vehicle Rentals
• In a small but positive step toward keeping our planet green, the UW System travel policy now allows reimbursement for the additional rental cost of hybrid vehicles under the contract with Enterprise for in-state rentals. If National increases its fleet of hybrid vehicles and accurately specifies its rate structure, the UW System may allow reimbursement for out-of-state rentals under that contract as well.
• Reimbursement for navigation systems (GPS) generally is not allowed. GPS costs may be reimbursed only with prior approval from supervisors and with adequate justification.

For more information, contact Becky Zillmer at zillmera@uwec.edu or 836-5266; or Vickie Gardner at gardnevl@uwec.edu or 836-4528. Go to top of page

Counseling Services
Katherine Schneider (emerita) had her article titled "I Love Libraries, and I'm Blind" published in the Backtalk section of the July 15 Library Journal. Go to top of page

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Summer Bulletin • Vol. 8, No. 7 • Seventh Week • Summer Session • July 21, 2008

News Bureau
Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, 715-836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Assistant
Updated: July 30, 2008

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