Hospital strike fears sparked over €500 staff parking charges
Fears of a strike in Ireland’s largest hospital have been sparked after a move by hospital management to charge staff up to €500 a year for parking.
The move by management at St James’s Hospital in Dublin has angered Siptu who are planning to ballot members working at the hospital for industrial action over the matter.
The hospital management have said that the building of the new national children’s hospital on the grounds would result in a significant reduction in the staff car parking spaces – with charges tied to this.
Management have said that a €500 charge would be levied from this year for parking on the hospital site and nearby St James’s Steel.
While a charge of €350 will be introduced for staff parking at Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, though this will be free in evenings and at weekends for staff.
Mr Paul Bell, Siptu health division organiser, called the move “unacceptable”.
He added, “having only begin a process of modest pay restoration for public service health workers, that management believes it can put it’s hand straight in to our members’ pockets and dismantle a long-established benefit without any engagement.”
Mr Bell said that Siptu would be hosting information meetings in St James’s with “the intention of balloting for strike action” if the management try and enforce the charges.
A hospital spokesman said that St James’s was centrally located and had more public transport links than any other hospital in the state – adding that the new smarter travel initiative was to make it easier for staff to get to work.