LOW-PAID health workers in Leeds will have to choose between eating and heating, a union has warned after its members were hit with an 80 per cent rise in car parking charges.
The hike in fees means Unison members at Assisted Living will have to find an extra £40 every month to cover the cost of contract parking provided by CitiPark at Leeds Dock.
They received a letter saying their car parking charges would increase from £3 a day to £5 a day from December 7.
UNISON branch chairwoman Karen Smales has since written to Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, which runs Assisted Living, to ask bosses there to intervene.
“To some people £2 a day may not seem a great deal of money but for people earning between £15,000 and £17,000 a year it is a major financial worry,” she said. “Many will have to choose between eating and heating as a result.”
She said that although it was beyond the Trust’s control, she hoped it would consider covering the excess cost in the short-term as a gesture of goodwill while staff made alternative travel arrangements.
Member Neil Keighley said: “It is badly affecting staff morale and I fear people will vote with their feet and leave this vitally important service because they simply cannot afford the new charges.”
A Trust spokesman said it was aware of the price rise at the privately owned site, which it could not influence.
But he said: “We are exploring all options available to us and will work with affected employees to find the best possible solution.”
Citipark did not respond to our request for a comment.