Outrage as Aussies charged $2,600 to park at work

The increase in parking fees has been called 'immoral' by the union representing the aggrieved health workers.

Some health workers are facing up to $2,600 worth of parking fees a year to simply park at their workplace, with hospitals in one state increasing rates by up to 127 per cent. And in protest, over 1,000 workers walked off the job on Thursday.

A planned two-hour protest against what workers call an "obscene" rise in parking fees at NSW hospitals took place at 16 major hospitals impacted across the state including Westmead, Westmead Children's, Concord, Liverpool and Campbelltown.

Health workers are facing fees of up to $2,600 to park after free parking was lifted in February after COVID-19.
Health workers are facing fees of up to $2,600 to park at hospitals in NSW. Source: Google Maps

Union accuses hospitals of 'price gouging' tactics

The Health Services Union (HSU) has urged for fairer deals and argued rates should at the very least remain the same as pre-Covid times.

"Health workers across NSW sacrificed their own wellbeing to protect the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a funny way to thank them for their sacrifice," Lauren Hutchins, HSU Assistant Secretary said. "The great parking gouge must stop... with surging cost of living pressures, charging staff $2,600 to park at work is obscene and immoral."

During the pandemic staff parking was free but this month workers who hold parking permits face being charged $27.20 per week to park at their workplace where they provide vital health services — amounting to approximately $1,300 a year if they work five days a week, 48 weeks a year.

However, the situation is even more dire for those workers who do not have a permit — with many on a years-long waitlist to receive a parking permit — and therefore facing fees of up to $11 a day, meaning they are charged $2,600 a year if they work the same amount of time.

This is in stark contrast to when parking was $12 a week pre-Covid, with parking doubling in only a matter of years.

The HSU is urging hospitals to keep parking free for staff or at least not increase rates above the pre-Covid rate.

with AAP

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