The row over staff parking fees at the new multi-storey Gosford Hospital car park continues, with workers demanding a continuation of the free shuttle bus service to Showground Road so that they have an alternative.
But Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) remains adamant that the service will cease on April 12.
The Health Services Union (HSU) has resolved to continue its community campaign against the “inflated parking fees” for both staff and visitors at the new car park.
Members also resolved that no Central Coast Local Health District employee will undertake any cleaning or maintenance duties associated with the car park.
HSU NSW Secretary, Gerard Hayes, said workers would be slugged around $1,230 a year to park at Gosford Hospital.
“This is a $512 annual increase on what they were previously paying, and an effective pay cut at a time when workers are already suffering from rising cost of living pressures,” he said.
“Parking fees at the Gosford Private Hospital are much more affordable for both visitors and staff.
“Visitors at Gosford Private pay just $2 an hour, up to a maximum of $12 a day, while workers are able to park for free.”
But CCLHD Chief Executive, Dr Andrew Montague, said the Showground Rd offsite car park and shuttle bus for hospital staff was a temporary measure to provide alternative parking during the redevelopment.
“This car park aimed to free up parking close to the hospital for our patients and visitors while the new Gosford Hospital multi-storey car park was being constructed,” Montague said.
“We have been able to extend the temporary car park and shuttle bus arrangements for a further two weeks while we monitor and review on-site parking usage and adjust to parking changes.
“The Showground Rd offsite temporary car park and shuttle bus will now stop operating at 11pm on Friday, April 12.
“The new onsite multi-storey car park recently opened with more than 390 spaces progressively being allocated to staff.
“Following discussions with NSW Health and union representatives, staff have been given three months from when the car park opens of the current fee structure ($13.75 per week) to give them the opportunity to adjust to the introduction of the standard parking fees ($23.20 per week).”
Montague said fees were in line with the NSW Health Hospital Car Parking Fees Policy for campuses which are subject to car parking development.
The policy was developed in consultation with union representatives and was introduced with the aim of having consistent fees across NSW, he said.
“The policy supports the sustainable funding, construction and operation of new hospital car parks,” he said.
Media release, Mar 26
Hospital Workers Union
Media release, Mar 27
Central Coast Local Health District Chief Executive, Andrew Montague