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Date: 12 September 2007

Glasgow hospital car parking charges spark industrial action ballot

Hospital staff across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are to be balloted on strike action as the row about the NHS Board's controversial car parking charges deteriorates.

Glasgow's biggest health union, UNISON has agreed to conduct a consultative ballot of members affected by the introduction of car parking charges across NHS Glasgow and Clyde.

"We told NHS Glasgow and Clyde that this decision would be as popular as the Poll Tax and we've been proven right again." Said Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Regional Organiser for NHS Glasgow and Clyde.

"Our members are very angry over these charges, and they are even angrier that their employer has refused to listen and has pressed on with these proposals to tax staff for coming to their work. It is unacceptable that vital health care staff have to pay up to £140 per month for parking and I believe that they are prepared to take action to make their employer listen."

UNISON's NHS Glasgow and Clyde Branch will now agree a timetable to conduct a consultative ballot for industrial action. Those balloted will be staff who work on the sites affected by car parking charges. But union officials are still hopeful that a dispute can be avoided and Matt called on NHS bosses to meet the union and discuss a sensible way forward.

He said, "I've written to the employers today, asking them to suspend this scheme and to meet with UNISON in an attempt to reach a conclusion that helps them manage problem parking on specific sites, but does not tax staff, patients and visitors in the process. If they are prepared to meet with us and listen, I'm sure our members will see that as a step in the right direction."


For Further Information Please Contact: Matt McLaughlin (Regional Organiser) 0870 7777 006 (w) 07904341979 Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0870 7777 006(w) 0771 558 3729(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer. UNISONScotland Dir 0141 342 2877 Mob 07715 583 729