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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

Parking charges under fire at Weston General Hospital as staff face 175% hike

“These charges are unfair, inappropriate and essentially a tax on staff”

Parking charges for healthcare workers at Weston General Hospital are set to increase by 175% from next week in plans announced by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, says UNISON today (Thursday).

Staff, who have been entitled to free car parking since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, will be expected to pay £2.20 per day from Easter Monday. Prior to the pandemic, the charge was 80p a day.

UNISON says the parking fees are an unfair levy on hardworking staff who will be paying up to £45 per month and potentially over £500 annually, simply so they can go to work.

A collective grievance submitted to Trust management has been signed by over 900 workers at the hospital. The grievance called for a pause to the implementation, urgent trade union discussions and a full staff consultation.

UNISON South West regional secretary Kerry Baigent said: “These charges are unfair, inappropriate and essentially a tax on staff who work tirelessly to treat and care for people every day.

“NHS staff are due a pay rise on Monday, but they won’t get it thanks to delays in the government getting the pay review body process started.

“But instead of a wage boost, healthcare workers in Weston-super-Mare will be losing out, forced to pay for sky-high parking charges they can ill afford.

“To make matters worse, the hike is entirely

avoidable. The Trust owns the car park so senior managers could quite easily back down and save staff a heap of cash.

“Hundreds of staff signing a collective grievance shows how strongly they feel about the proposals. Trust managers have refused to listen to and insist they will push ahead. This is a big mistake. UNISON will now be asking hospital staff what they would like to do in response.”

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for a response



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