Increased WDHB car parking charges a pay cut


Dear Waitemata DHB CE Dale Bramley,

The increase in car parking at Waitemata District Health Board amounts to a pay cut for many of our members. The PSA strongly believes any parking costs for patients and their family is unacceptable.

The cost of living in Auckland is high. Many of our members are already struggling. Any additional cost is going to be a burden.

Staff who work five days a week and park at Waitakere Hospital and North Shore Hospital will now pay an extra $120 a year on top of the $600 they already pay. Staff at 44 Taharoto Road / Karaka Street will have to pay an extra $720 a year as parking charges have only just been introduced.

Financially many of members find driving the cheapest option. It’s not just the cost of public transport but the lost family time due to waiting for infrequent public transport. Many of our members who work at North Shore Hospital live outside North Shore because it has always been expensive. With the increasing cost of housing in West Auckland it is increasingly becoming unaffordable. (The cost has driven a number of our members outside of Auckland and away from friends and families.)

Our members and the public already pay tax to cover the cost of running our health system.

We acknowledge and recognise the Government’s underfunding is forcing WDHB (and other DHBs) to make cuts (“savings”) and find alternative sources of funding for core business. WDHB has been forced to make $58.4 million in cuts since 2011/12. The DHB will have to make more than $14.5m in further cuts this year. (This figure doesn’t take into account increases in wages.)

It is reasonable to expect the DHB to have acknowledges and recognised that staff would be unhappy to make up some of this underfunding out of their own pocket.

However, despite strong commitments to high engagement, the PSA and our members were not consulted on the parking increases. The union was notified of the parking increases a day after staff. This was only two days before parking was introduced.

The Employment Relations Act sets clear expectations around good faith, engagement and communications from employers to their members and unions. The act sets even higher expectations for the health sector. The PSA has agreements around high engagement with the WDHB and DHBs at a national level.

This situation is even more concerning considering the PSA has been consistently raising concerns about the lack of engagement and consultation around building matters and DHB wide projects. We were given strong assurances we would be. We’ve raised consistently that our expectations around consultation haven’t been met. (For example, we last raised concerns about engagement around the Security Review on Thursday 16  June  at our regular Human Resource and Employment Relations manager meetings.)

And the timing couldn’t have been worse. Many of our members have just received (or are about to) a low pay rise and back pay. For many, a significant portion of this will now go towards parking. Many are understandably angry at the DHB and, it must be said, the union. They feel they have been given with one hand and taken from the other. I don’t blame them.

This avoidable situation has put the PSA in an uncomfortable and embarrassing position. Our members were not aware we hadn’t been consulted. This isn’t surprising as the DHB has been communicated on numerous occasions that there is a strong culture of engagement with the PSA.

The union is seeking:

  • The fee increase to be frozen until the PSA is consulted,
  • A formal response to our concerns,
  • Evidence of analysis around finding alternatives sources of income to cover parking building development,
  • An investigation into the engagement and consultation process around the parking fee increases, and
  • A review of the DHBs engagement with the PSA around building and DHB wide projects

I look forward to your response,

Regards,

Simon Oosterman

Waitemata DHB PSA Organiser

Simon.oosterman@psa.org.nz

027 526 8704

 

Additional information

  • Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) increased car parking fees on Sunday 3 July at Waitakere Hospital, North Shore Hospital and at Karaka Street / 44 Taharoto Road, Takapuna.
  • The hospital increased the parking costs to “assist the DHB to invest in new parking facilities”(WDHB email “Change to staff parking charges” 30 June 2016).
  • Public daily parking costs increased by an extra $1 for 30 min – eight hours parking and $2 for more than eight hours. Visits under 30 minutes remain free.
  • Staff daily parking costs increased by an additional 50c from $2.50 to $3.00.
  • For staff working five days a week and who park at one of these three sites will pay an addition $120 per year in parking.
  • For staff working five days a week who park at Karaka Street / 44 Taharoto Road they will face an increase of $720 a year as park fees have only just been introduced.
  • Car parking charges were first introduce  in 2011.
  • For staff working five days a week and who parked at Waitakere Hospital and North Shore  Hospital that resulted in an annual increase of $600.

District Health Board underfunding

  • Government underfunding has forced WDHB to make $58.4 million in cuts (‘savings’) since 2011/12.
  • District Health Boards are expected to find another $90 million in cuts this year.
  • Waitemata DHB will have to make $14.5m in cuts (“savings”) this year. This doesn’t include cost of living wage increases.
  • Health Minister Jonathan Coleman told the Listener DHBs will have to absorb a record amount of pressures this year. Only $400 million in additional funding has been provided despite DHBs requiring $489 million to cover wage, inflation and demographic pressures .

Timeline

  • Unknown date prior to 29 June 2016  - Car parking increase business case developed
  • Wed 29 June 2016 – Business case accepted by WDHB board
  • Thu 28 June 2016 – Staff notified of parking increase via Waitemata Weekly
  • Fri 30 June 2016 - PSA (and NZNO and ETU) first notified on parking increase
  • Sun 3 July 2016 - New parking charges implemented

Car parking costs

New car parking changes at Waitakere Hospital, North Shore Hospital and 44 Taharoto Road / Karaka Street, Takapuna.

Length of time parked

Pre 2011

2011

Rate as of 3 July 2016

Change

Public

 

 

 

 

0 - 30 minutes

Free

Free

Free

No change

30 minutes – 1 hour

Free

$4

$5

+$1

1 - 2 hours

Free

$6

$7

+$1

2 – 3 hours

Free

$8

$9

+$1

3 – 4 hours

Free

$9

$10

+$1

4 – 5 hours

Free

$10

$11

+$1

5 - 6 hours

Free

$12

$13

+$1

6 – 7 hours

Free

$15

$16

+$1

7 – 8 hours

Free

$18

$20

+$2

Maximum daily charge

Free

$18

$20

+$2

Lost ticket

N/A

$20

$20

No change

Staff

 

 

 

 

Any hours

Free

$2.50

$3

+50c

Card replace

Free

$20

$20

No change