Car parking protest halted after agreement reached at King's Lynn hospital
A protest against increasing parking charges at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital was called off after hospital bosses and union leaders came to an agreement.
The demonstration was due to coincide with the hospital trust’s board meeting, which took place in the Inspire Centre on Tuesday morning.
It came after 1,400 employees signed a petition calling for the trust to reconsider the increase, which critics say would leave many staff paying twice as much as they do now by April 2020.
But it was halted at the last minute following a “positive talks” between the hospital’s trust and Unite and Unison unions.
In a joint statement by the trust and the joint staff consultative committee (JSCC), it said: “As a result of the initial consultation the following changes were made.
“The size of the increases, we were able to adjust the proposed increases to be implemented over three years rather than one and that for our lowest paid staff.
“The cost of the daily ticket option is initially reducing from June 1 from £1 per day to £0.75 per day for band one and to £0.90 per day for bands two to three.
“The impact on band four being grouped with five to seven, we introduced an additional lower payment band to facilitate a lower payment for band four.
“The opportunity to offer an alternative to part time workers, we extended the provision of day parking permits so that all staff attending the hospital site three days or less per week should benefit from a less expensive option.”
Parking charges were originally set to increase by 30 per cent, which would have made a two-hour stay rise from £2 to £2.60.
North West Norfolk Labour secretary, Jo Rust said: “The protest was called off following an agreement between the union and board.
“We were there in solidarity and in support of NHS workers. Government funding cuts pushed the trust into this action.
“We are pleased with the come back from the union in making a better deal, but we are still concerned about NHS staff suffering from parking increases.
“The money gained from a pay rise would just be going towards paying for parking. It is not local businesses who are gaining from these parking increases.”