A free parking program between the City of Kingston designed for staff at Kingston Health Sciences Centre doesn’t appear to be all it was cracked up to be.
According to hospital employee sources who wish to remain anonymous, staff received an email advising them of the passes and where to go to pick theirs up.
“We are not all being given free parking,” an anonymous source told the Kingstonist. “There were only a very limited number of passes for certain streets in the area.”
“They ran out of passes by 11 a.m., and the majority of staff who are working directly with all the COVID patients… were unable to get the passes because their job doesn’t allow them to go line up for 30 min to get a pass,” one of the sources said in an email to the Kingstonist.
The source went on to say that only a small number of passes were issued, which is why they didn’t last long, adding that in the previous year, the offer of free parking was made to all hospital staff.
“We had under 24 hours to come in, wait in line, and then be told that they were out of passes and that we would still have to pay for parking,” one of the sources said to the Kingstonist. “So 90 per cent of us are in the exact same boat as before.”
However, Kingston Health Sciences representatives say they’re aware of the staff’s position on the free parking spots.
“We recognize that many of our staff members are working additional or different shifts as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is impacting parking needs throughout the day,” Elizabeth Bardon, Vice President, Mission & Strategy Integration and Support Services said in a statement to the Kingstonist.
Now, the hospital is said to be working with the city to offer free parking spots to hospital staff.
“It is for this reason that we are working with the City of Kingston to offer KHSC staff free parking 24/7 on streets around both our Kingston General Hospital site and Hotel Dieu Hospital site, specifically in spots that are normally timed,” the statement adds. “This does not apply to spots that are metered or pay and display.”
“We hope that this helps alleviate some of the additional stress our committed health care workers are facing during this unprecedented time,” the statement reads.