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I know it’s unfair, but I don’t care: Katy

By Ari - 29 May 2006 55

The Minister Not Responsible has conceded it’s unfair to slug medical students with parking fees when evey other Tom, Dick and Harriett even remotely connected with our hospitals gets an exemption.

But even so, she’s not going to do anything about it.

Previous RiotACT coverage here and here.

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55 Responses to
I know it’s unfair, but I don’t care: Katy
areaman 3:57 pm 29 May 06

roccon, no it’s not one is actually providing a community service the other is just the way some people who are providing one choose to arrive. That’s a trite simile and you know it. My two key points are :

1) there are plenty of people who provide vital community services who have to pay for parking, how is this different.

2) Why should people who don’t drive have to have an effective pay cut.

roccon 3:44 pm 29 May 06


scenario…. sorry I am late to deliver your baby… but I had to find my parking pass or sorry, couldn’t find any change etc…or we were out of free parking. Its like asking an ambulance to pay for parking.

areaman 3:40 pm 29 May 06

I’m not saying that any form of transport allowance should be hard to work, that’s why I’m suggesting something like monthly passes, but this is what pisses me off:

nor should they have to pay for parking when they provide such a valuable service to the community

Why the fuck not, a hell of a lot of people provide valuable services to the community and they have to pay for parking. If parking is so expensive then that should be taken into account as a part of any remuneration negotiation. It should be an issue between the employer and their employees not between the employees and the society that “owes” them for doing their job.

And again what about people who work at the hospital who don’t drive to work, why do they deserve an effective pay cut?

roccon 3:35 pm 29 May 06

dusty, rumour has it that the free staff carpark will be the new one near the settling ponds at Calvary. When its full you will have to pay to park in the other carparks. its a pretty small carpark at the far end of the hospital. will the security staff be escorting nurses and other employees back to their cars at night ?

dusty 3:11 pm 29 May 06

Exactly, roccon. To work shift work is not enough? You guys maybe need to try working a mix of night shift, day shift and evening shift, all in a 7 day roster to maybe understand. Hospitals are different from everywhere else, and cant be compared to office workers. They are a case in point providing 24 hr service to thousands of Canberrans 365 days per year. Its hard enough to supply staffing needs as it is without creating further disincentives.
And medical students are not included in staff numbers until they have completed their initial medical training. Neither are any students doing clinical at TCH. All ‘on call staff’ are always fully trained and employed (incl medical and nursing)so hence granted parking fee exemptions, medical students are not ever on-call, but there by prior arrangement only.

roccon 2:58 pm 29 May 06

areaman, problem is, this is a hospital, not an office block. staff are called in at all wierd times, sometimes 8 times on a weekend for 3-4 hours at a time, once it was for 23 hours straight (my partner). Parking exemption should be simple and easy to administer for these people. You can’t expect staff to unscrub to feed a meter, nor should they have to pay for parking when they provide such a valuable service to the community.

areaman 2:46 pm 29 May 06

Ari, I’m not going to get into a debate about pay parking at the hospitals. If we take it as given that we it exists then the issue becomes do these workers have a right to free parking? I’d say no, I know working in Civic I don’t have that right.

Now the counterpoint is that making people who work at the hospitals pay for parking when they didn’t have to in the past is forcing a pay cut on them, which is why they have a temporary exemption. Next time they renegotiate their pay deal the increased cost of parking can be discussed along with the rest of their conditions and remuneration.

The government has decided that car parks at the hospitals are a limited resource and do have a financial value so why is it fair that someone who drives to work gets that additional benefit on top of salary where as some one who catches a bus or rides in doesn’t? Wouldn’t a general transport allowance be fairer?

roccon, I’m not part of any remuneration bargaining committee, but the way I’d understand it might work is that there’d be a transport allowance built into the CA (like the health and wellbeing allowances that are in some CAs currently) and that could be used to to get reimbursement for parking passes (by the week or month or whatever, so as not to have to deal with lots of fiddly paper work), parking vouchers for those who didn’t park regularly, bus tickets or maybe even bike or car maintenance. Again it’s something they’d have to work out as part of the CA negotiations.

Ari 12:55 pm 29 May 06

areaman, I don’t quite see how you concluded from the article that Katy was against exemptions for anyone. She simply bagged out the VMOs a bit for being well paid.

If it is Govt policy to reimburse workers for the fees, it sounds like a super-efficient way to cycle money from the health budget … through people’s pay packets … into a machine, with a chunk creamed off by the parking contractor … then back into consolidated revenue at a much reduced level.

Add in unecessary aggravation for the motorist at every step as a bonus.

Even then, I doubt anyone’s going to voluntarily discover the plusses of buses due to the ham-fisted coercion.

roccon 12:32 pm 29 May 06

areaman, are you saying staff should have to feed money into a machine to park and get a reimbursement in their pay ? lets hope not.

Imagine this scenario….

scrambling for money when you are “on call” and have to be there at all hours of the day or night and unsure for how long your shift will go for is just plainly counterproductive.

Compound this with the fact cars are often broken into at Calvary as it is and that there is now a good chance people will have to carry notes and coins to feed into the parking machines, will just give petty thieves more incentive to break into vehicles for a few dollars.

areaman 12:18 pm 29 May 06

From reading the article it looks liek she’s saying that no one should really have exemptions.

My understanding of the ALPs position is that the cost of parking should be built into certified agreements with hospital staff rather than them just being given blanket exemptions and that the exemptions were just an interim messure.

Plus, as prevously stated it’s not like student’s don’t have to pay to park at the ANU either.

Ari 11:43 am 29 May 06

No worries, Dusty, I’m not carrying a torch for the students.

But getting away from the merits of the students’ argument, it is perhaps a little strange that a minister would say the situation is inequitable, then refuse to do anything about it. Particularly when it would be administratively fairly simple.

Actually, on reflection, it is Katy Gallagher after all. So it’s not that strange she’s doing nothing.

dusty 11:28 am 29 May 06

OOps-sorry,I jumped to a conclusion there, apologies, however what I say, in general, still applies

Ari 10:57 am 29 May 06

Er … Dusty … I’m not a medical student.

dusty 10:53 am 29 May 06

I am one of the ‘tom, dick and harriets’ you kindly refer to in your post. I do slightly resent your rant on the following grounds:
1) Don’t have to pay to park when you are at Uni?
2) As a medical student, you are not an employee of TCH and therefore not eligible for staff priveledges till you become employed by ACT Health as an Intern
3) Have you not just had state of the art Uni Medical Training facilities opened at TCH?
4) Us ‘Tom, Dick and Harriets’ have had to battle to park our own cars for many years, the Nat Cap Private Hospital have been ‘allowed’ to squeeze into our staff parking areas, and Woden workers are well known to park’n’walk for years, meaning we have to get to work 1/2 hr prior to our shifts in order to get a staff car park, which basically only means theres a boomgate so we’re less likely to have our car stolen. Otherwise we have to park ‘on Hindmarsh’ and hoof it back in the dark at 9.30 pm.
5) Appreciate what you’ve been given (ie medical training) as you actually have been given a fine opportunity for advancement in your chosen career, and you must not forget that this experience is for your benefit, and that TCH dont owe you a thing as you are not yet a employable within the system. Sorry, keep working. Good luck with your clinical.

roccon 10:26 am 29 May 06

What are the chances that they will need to rip up the new carpark at Calvary (opened a few weeks ago) to install the parking machines that 75% of people will be exempt from using ????

What is going on with this govt. How much will this all cost to install ? I bloody well hope those exempt will get a sticker that can be easily moved to and from different cars. ie 2 car household with a single lane driveway, I aint moving cars around all the frickin time to get the one with the label to calvary or woden. We drive on a “whats first in the driveway” at home

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