When the Council proposed to increase parking charges that saw those needing a weekly pass to pay a staggering £600 per year outside West Brom and an unbelievable £1,200 per year in West Bromwich, UNISON quickly organised a petition to present to the Council Leader. In little over a week we collected 300 signatures despite the level of homeworking still taking place at that time.
The proposed increases from the current £240 per annum meant the proposed increases represented a 250% increase outside West Bromwich and an eyewatering 500% increase in West Bromwich.
After more than a decade of real pay reductions in local government pay, such increases would simply not be affordable to staff (mainly lower paid staff) required to attend work in person 5 days a week. How could somebody earning £23,000 a year afford £1,200 to park their car?
After UNISON presented the petition to the Council Leader, the trade unions have been in dialogue with the employer. The outcome is that for the next year (year 1) staff needing to purchase a 5 day pass will receive a concession so they pay £240 per annum whether parking outside or in West Bromwich. For the next year (Year 2) the concession is reduced so that staff will pay £330 for a 5 day pass.
This is significantly cheaper than the full charges, particularly for staff working in West Bromwich where the full cost is now £650 in 2024.
The negotiations mean that for a 5 day pass staff will pay the same whether working in or outside West Bromwich – an important principle the trade unions argued for.
Negotiations will take place in 2025 to look at concessions moving forward.
For those staff only required to be physically present for two days a week – two day passes are available at a lower cost than the £240 annual amount paid prior to the pandemic. A 2 day pass for staff will cost £100 in 2023.