Unite, Britain’s biggest union, representing over 100,000 members in the health service has today( Monday 8 May) hailed Labour’s pledge to end ‘immoral’ NHS car charges for patients, visitors and NHS staff as a victory for cash-strapped NHS workers struggling after seven years of pay restraint.
Labour’s commitment to end NHS car parking charges comes as a new NHS Provider report shows that people are being driven from the profession because they are so demoralised by years of getting pay rises of only one per cent or nothing.
Unite has long called for NHS car park charges to come into line with Scotland and Wales where car parking charges are not levied on NHS staff.
Commenting Unite national officer Sarah Carpenter said: “Labour’s pledge to end NHS car parking charges is a boost to every NHS worker forking out nearly £100 a month to park. It will give them extra money in really tough times.
“Charging cash-strapped health visitors, community nurses, biomedical scientists, porters, plumbers and electricians, already hit by seven years of pay freezes and cuts, to park was completely immoral.
“The majority of NHS staff have experienced a loss of income in real terms of about 17 per cent since 2010.
“When you have trained nurses leaving the profession to stack shelfs in supermarkets as reported by NHS Provider’s chief executive Chris Hopson today, then there is a crisis that we ignore at our peril.
“There are very few other public servants who have to pay for the privilege of parking. Ending NHS parking charges is a victory for common sense and natural justice.
“Unite has long argued that there should be parity across the UK. Scotland and Wales don’t charge their NHS staff for coming to work and this should be the same in England.
“Unite is calling for a properly-funded NHS and an end of the pay cap which is causing so much misery and driving workers from the professions that they love.”
For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777
Note to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey