Manchester

Greater Manchester NHS staff may strike over parking

Thousands of hospital staff in Greater Manchester could strike over a 43% increase in car parking charges.

Pennine Acute Trust, which runs Fairfield, Oldham, Rochdale and North Manchester hospitals, is making many staff pay £20-a-month instead of £14.

Unions said they have "been backed into a corner" and industrial action may be the only option.

The trust said the rise is the first in four years and was needed to pay for lighting and CCTV in its car parks.

However, Liz McInnes, of the union Unite, said the rise is way over the rate of inflation.

"For the poorer paid staff it is a great deal of financial hardship," she said.

"They are really pushing it, running a car as it is.

"An awful lot of staff have been relocated from their original places of work to hospitals that are further away."

'Pay less'

A spokesman for Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: "Those who use car parks need to bear the costs of the car parks otherwise we would need to fund the car parks from money available for patient care.

"While the pay and display charges for patients and visitors have increased every year, this is the first increase in staff car parking permit charges for four years.

"Whilst we accept that the increase is significant, it needs to be seen in that context.

"Staff have the option to participate in a salary sacrifice scheme for car parking. If they choose this option they will actually pay less after 1 May than the current monthly charge."

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