Doctors, nurses, allied health and other hospital workers will today rally outside Royal Price Alfred Hospital in Sydney’s inner west over an ever worsening car parking crisis. 

The cross-union rally will protest against the NSW government’s recent privatisation of the multi-storey carpark at the campus which has resulted in huge price hikes.

Staff are furious the private management company has increased the daily car parking rate by $5 a day and plan on slashing more than half of the 1200 staff parking spaces affecting up to 2000 workers a day.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said workers already battle it out daily for secure parking in the area and cutting spaces staff can avail of will only further exacerbate the situation. 

“Understandably workers are upset at the rise in price with no justifiable reason or increase in service delivery. It is a blatant money grab by the car park operators that will hit workers hard,” Mr Lennon said.

Currently, a full time employee is charged $25.75 per fortnight to park at RPA. This new increase raises the same employee’s car parking fees to $50 per fortnight.

“The price hike breaches NSW Health policy which clearly states parking fees are only supposed to be increased annually in line with inflation. This is well above the CPI for Sydney. 

Workers have also raised concerns for their safety if the number of spaces allocated for staff are slashed. Currently there are 1200 parking spaces for some 3500 staff but this is set to be halved.

“Unions are calling on Sydney Local Health District management to develop a detailed plan regarding alternate safe car parking options for staff, in particular shift workers who often can’t avail of public transport for reasons of safety and timetabling.

“We want the NSW government to come to the table and commit to improving public and active transport in the area including providing fully accessible train stations, exploring light rail options along Parramatta Road and improving infrastructure for cyclists,” Mr Lennon said.

The rally is supported by the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association, the Health Services Union, the Australian Salaried Medical Officers' Federation and Unions NSW.

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