Thursday, 24 September 2009

UNISON car parking campaign gains huge public support

Date: Thurs 24 Sept 2009

UNISON, Scotland’s healthcare union, today welcomed unprecedented support for their campaign on car parking charges, and urged MSPs to back a private member’s bill to ditch them.

The campaign calls on MSP’s to support Paul Martin as he attempts to introduce a bill in the Scottish Parliament which will tackle the charges which still exist in some hospital car parks and require NHS Boards to have managed car parking schemes.

The campaign has already generated over 2,000 emails and 5,000 postcards to MSPs.

UNISON Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said:
“UNISON is right behind this bill and so are our members and the general public. It is a scandal that NHS staff are being forced to park in back alleys and side streets putting themselves at risk of criminal harm through fear of incurring a charge for coming to work.”

UNISON emailed 9,000 members asking them to email their MSP and to date 2,000 emails have been generated via the unions web link. However, some MSPs are refusing to back the bill meaning it is at risk of falling.

UNISON is reacting angrily to the response received by some members.

Matt said:
“Not surprisingly Tory MSPs have refused to support NHS workers. But it is also obvious from the responses from SNP MSPs that they are merely toeing a central party line, and refusing to back staff and patients on this issue. This do-nothing approach from the SNP will be a surprise to many people – after all their party was very vocal in the opposition to parking charges when they were in opposition.”

And Matt called on MSPs from other parties to back Paul Martin’s bill:
“With over 5,000 signatures gathered in less than 3 weeks on this issue it is clear that staff and public are not convinced the current measurers are working and think further action is required. UNISON calls on all the major parties not to let them down and to back this bill, ensuring that staff and patients get a fair deal from their NHS.”


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