Hamilton hospital staff see monthly parking rates jump to as much as $110

News Mar 31, 2016 by Joanna Frketich The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton's hospitals are significantly increasing the cost of staff parking as the province freezes rates for patients.

"It's upsetting that staff has to help recoup the lost revenue," said Dominic DiPasquale, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 786 at St. Joseph's Healthcare. "The lost revenues are coming on the backs of staff at the hospital."

St. Joseph's staff will pay $110 a month starting April 1 while employees at HHS will pay up to $110 by April 1, 2018.

"We haven't touched the rate in six years," said Kelly Campbell, vice-president corporate services and capital development at HHS. "It's not related to the change for patient parking rates. We don't yet know how that will impact us."

At St. Joe's, parking costs have gone up nearly 70 per cent since 2014 when staff paid $65 a month. The hospital has a wait list of up to four years for staff parking.

The hike was planned and communicated two years ago says Susan Hollis, vice president, business and therapeutic services and chief financial officer.

"At that point in time we identified we were fairly significantly below market rate," said Hollis.

Parking rates vary drastically across Hamilton. Private lots charge a little as $65 a month and as much as $171.29 with an average of about $115. City lots range from $40 monthly to $125 with an average of roughly $67.

It cost $94 a month to park at Mohawk College but it also offers a yearly pass that is significantly less at $641 to $892 annually. McMaster University charges $50 a month to $101 with some exceptions.

"It's a substantial increase," said Dave Murphy president of CUPE Local 7800 at HHS. "Their wages don't increase at the same rate as the parking."

At HHS, the biggest jump is for staff at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby who will see prices double to $50 a month.

The cost of staff parking at Chedoke, St. Peter's and the Urgent Care Centre is going up by two-thirds to $90 a month from $54.10.

Standard parking is going up between 20 per cent and 50 per cent to $90 monthly.

Premium parking will increase between 13 per cent and 44 per cent to $110 a month.

Even offsite parking is taking a hit at HHS, going to $71 a month from $50. St. Joseph's also offers offsite parking for $35 a month but has no shuttles at night or on weekends.

"The government doesn't provide any funding for parking," said Campbell. "Hospitals have to build, maintain and operate parking solely out of their own funds so we use revenues from parking to do that. Structurally the life of a parking garage is about 30 years and our garages are older than that. We have some significant deferred maintenance to catch up and we have to reinvest to keep them safe for our patients, families and visitors."

Murphy says the hike is "under the guise" of parking lot improvements but really it helps balance the budget as HHS and St. Joseph's cut costs by $54 million. Both use parking revenues for hospital operating costs.

"Yes it is related to the budget," said Campbell. "But it's not contributing a lot."

The Ministry of Health said in a statement its freeze on parking rates is for patients only.

"With regards to the cost of parking for employees of the hospital, we expect hospitals to continue to work with their employees and their representatives in setting those rates as part of their overall compensation and benefits package."

jfrketich@thespec.com

905-526-3349 | @Jfrketich

Hamilton hospital staff see monthly parking rates jump to as much as $110

News Mar 31, 2016 by Joanna Frketich The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton's hospitals are significantly increasing the cost of staff parking as the province freezes rates for patients.

"It's upsetting that staff has to help recoup the lost revenue," said Dominic DiPasquale, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 786 at St. Joseph's Healthcare. "The lost revenues are coming on the backs of staff at the hospital."

St. Joseph's staff will pay $110 a month starting April 1 while employees at HHS will pay up to $110 by April 1, 2018.

"We haven't touched the rate in six years," said Kelly Campbell, vice-president corporate services and capital development at HHS. "It's not related to the change for patient parking rates. We don't yet know how that will impact us."

At St. Joe's, parking costs have gone up nearly 70 per cent since 2014 when staff paid $65 a month. The hospital has a wait list of up to four years for staff parking.

The hike was planned and communicated two years ago says Susan Hollis, vice president, business and therapeutic services and chief financial officer.

"At that point in time we identified we were fairly significantly below market rate," said Hollis.

Parking rates vary drastically across Hamilton. Private lots charge a little as $65 a month and as much as $171.29 with an average of about $115. City lots range from $40 monthly to $125 with an average of roughly $67.

It cost $94 a month to park at Mohawk College but it also offers a yearly pass that is significantly less at $641 to $892 annually. McMaster University charges $50 a month to $101 with some exceptions.

"It's a substantial increase," said Dave Murphy president of CUPE Local 7800 at HHS. "Their wages don't increase at the same rate as the parking."

At HHS, the biggest jump is for staff at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby who will see prices double to $50 a month.

The cost of staff parking at Chedoke, St. Peter's and the Urgent Care Centre is going up by two-thirds to $90 a month from $54.10.

Standard parking is going up between 20 per cent and 50 per cent to $90 monthly.

Premium parking will increase between 13 per cent and 44 per cent to $110 a month.

Even offsite parking is taking a hit at HHS, going to $71 a month from $50. St. Joseph's also offers offsite parking for $35 a month but has no shuttles at night or on weekends.

"The government doesn't provide any funding for parking," said Campbell. "Hospitals have to build, maintain and operate parking solely out of their own funds so we use revenues from parking to do that. Structurally the life of a parking garage is about 30 years and our garages are older than that. We have some significant deferred maintenance to catch up and we have to reinvest to keep them safe for our patients, families and visitors."

Murphy says the hike is "under the guise" of parking lot improvements but really it helps balance the budget as HHS and St. Joseph's cut costs by $54 million. Both use parking revenues for hospital operating costs.

"Yes it is related to the budget," said Campbell. "But it's not contributing a lot."

The Ministry of Health said in a statement its freeze on parking rates is for patients only.

"With regards to the cost of parking for employees of the hospital, we expect hospitals to continue to work with their employees and their representatives in setting those rates as part of their overall compensation and benefits package."

jfrketich@thespec.com

905-526-3349 | @Jfrketich

Hamilton hospital staff see monthly parking rates jump to as much as $110

News Mar 31, 2016 by Joanna Frketich The Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton's hospitals are significantly increasing the cost of staff parking as the province freezes rates for patients.

"It's upsetting that staff has to help recoup the lost revenue," said Dominic DiPasquale, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 786 at St. Joseph's Healthcare. "The lost revenues are coming on the backs of staff at the hospital."

St. Joseph's staff will pay $110 a month starting April 1 while employees at HHS will pay up to $110 by April 1, 2018.

"We haven't touched the rate in six years," said Kelly Campbell, vice-president corporate services and capital development at HHS. "It's not related to the change for patient parking rates. We don't yet know how that will impact us."

At St. Joe's, parking costs have gone up nearly 70 per cent since 2014 when staff paid $65 a month. The hospital has a wait list of up to four years for staff parking.

The hike was planned and communicated two years ago says Susan Hollis, vice president, business and therapeutic services and chief financial officer.

"At that point in time we identified we were fairly significantly below market rate," said Hollis.

Parking rates vary drastically across Hamilton. Private lots charge a little as $65 a month and as much as $171.29 with an average of about $115. City lots range from $40 monthly to $125 with an average of roughly $67.

It cost $94 a month to park at Mohawk College but it also offers a yearly pass that is significantly less at $641 to $892 annually. McMaster University charges $50 a month to $101 with some exceptions.

"It's a substantial increase," said Dave Murphy president of CUPE Local 7800 at HHS. "Their wages don't increase at the same rate as the parking."

At HHS, the biggest jump is for staff at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby who will see prices double to $50 a month.

The cost of staff parking at Chedoke, St. Peter's and the Urgent Care Centre is going up by two-thirds to $90 a month from $54.10.

Standard parking is going up between 20 per cent and 50 per cent to $90 monthly.

Premium parking will increase between 13 per cent and 44 per cent to $110 a month.

Even offsite parking is taking a hit at HHS, going to $71 a month from $50. St. Joseph's also offers offsite parking for $35 a month but has no shuttles at night or on weekends.

"The government doesn't provide any funding for parking," said Campbell. "Hospitals have to build, maintain and operate parking solely out of their own funds so we use revenues from parking to do that. Structurally the life of a parking garage is about 30 years and our garages are older than that. We have some significant deferred maintenance to catch up and we have to reinvest to keep them safe for our patients, families and visitors."

Murphy says the hike is "under the guise" of parking lot improvements but really it helps balance the budget as HHS and St. Joseph's cut costs by $54 million. Both use parking revenues for hospital operating costs.

"Yes it is related to the budget," said Campbell. "But it's not contributing a lot."

The Ministry of Health said in a statement its freeze on parking rates is for patients only.

"With regards to the cost of parking for employees of the hospital, we expect hospitals to continue to work with their employees and their representatives in setting those rates as part of their overall compensation and benefits package."

jfrketich@thespec.com

905-526-3349 | @Jfrketich