September 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A trade union boss today hit out at proposals which could see car parking charges for Ipswich Hospital staff dramatically increase, a move described as an ‘attack’ on health workers.
Officials at the Heath Road trust last night admitted a consultation was ongoing into the matter, but that they were looking at a wide range of options, with the aim of finding the fairest way to generate income.
Unison has called on the management at the hospital to axe any planned rises and said that workers were “incensed” about the prospect of increasing charges.
Yvonne Cleary, UNISON regional organiser said: “No health worker should have to pay to go to work and no private firms should be making money out of vulnerable patients, visitors and staff.
“The issue of hospital parking charges affects everyone.
“Today, these proposed increases at Ipswich Hospital affect staff. Tomorrow it will be local patients and their families who have to pay the price, unless we call a halt to it now.”
Ipswich Hospital said a number of comments have been received as part of the consultation, but stressed that it was only focused on staff parking charges, not for visitors.
Among the potential outcomes, according to the hospital, would be for a lower rate for workers in lower bands and higher charges for those in higher bands.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “We are at the very early stage of consultation so it has not gone to the board.
“We asked all our trade union representatives, members of the joint consultation and negotiating group to consider several options.
“We have had comments back and now we are in the process of looking through those comments and look at how we go forward.
“We are looking at a whole range of options. If we were going to increase car parking charges, what is the fairest way? What are the options and what do staff feel about those changes?
“We are saying that we need to generate more money in the hospital to make sure that we can continue to provide the care we provide.”
A decision on the matter could be reached as soon as the end of this month.