West Suffolk Hospital workers are planning to hold a protest this week against the reintroduction of staff parking charges, UNISON has announced today.
Staff have not had to pay for parking since the start of the pandemic, but the trust wants to bring in charges at a flat rate of £2 a day from 1 July. UNISON warns this means that lower-paid staff will be hardest hit.
The trust is offering workers shuttle buses from a number of off-site car parks, but these will not be available to staff working long shifts, says the union.
Hospital staff launched a petition against the charges which has attracted more than 1,500 signatures. UNISON will hand the petition to trust bosses on Wednesday (21 June), urging them to at least delay the reintroduction of fees until a fairer system can be worked out.
Before handing in the petition, workers will hold a lunchtime rally, asking trust bosses to change their mind about the charges.
UNISON Eastern head of health Caroline Hennessy said: “NHS workers face enormous pressure every day they go to work, with understaffing, low pay and lack of resources making it harder and harder to keep up the amazing service they provide.
“But instead of offering thanks and support, West Suffolk Hospital bosses want to pile more pressure on their hardworking staff.
“This plan to reinstate parking charges belongs on the scrapheap.”
Join the protest:
Where: Hardwick Heath, close to the hospital helipad
When: 12.30pm on Wednesday 21 June.