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‘It’s not too late to reverse car parking charges’, hospital protesters argue

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Staff at Lynn’s hospital have been protesting this week after bosses made the decision to reintroduce parking fees.Staff have been gathering outside the building calling on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust to reverse the reintroduction of staff parking charges.The fees had been scrapped during the Covid-19 pandemic but were brought back at the QEH on April 1.

QEH protest over the parking for staff. Picture: Ian Burt

The UNISON trade union claims the charges mean low-paid cleaners, porters and healthcare assistants could now be taking home less than the minimum wage.At the QEH, charges are based on salary amount. They start at £5 per month for anyone earning under £14,999, and go up to £35 for anyone earning above £114,949 – with several price points on this scale. Staff have been protesting every lunchtime this week, calling for hospital bosses to rethink the decision.

QEH protest over the parking for staff. Picture: Ian Burt

UNISON’s QEH branch secretary Sharon Howlett said: “NHS staff shouldn’t have to pay to come to work.“Our 2024 pay rise is now overdue but instead of trying to help us cope with the cost of living, the trust is increasing the cost of working.“It’s not too late to reverse this decision.”

QEH protest over the parking for staff. Picture: Ian Burt

John Syson, director of people at the QEH, said: “We have reintroduced car parking charges for staff after pausing them since 2020 and these charges remain at 2019 pricing.“Any money raised from car parking at the trust goes directly back into patient care and making improvements to our car parks. “This reintroduction brings us in line with the other acute hospitals in Norfolk and Waveney.“Members of staff that are in financial difficulty are encouraged to seek support from the trust.”

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