SIPTU has condemned plans to charge health workers up to €500 per year for access to car parking facilities at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “In the run up to the Christmas period management took the unilateral decision to impose a charge of up to €500 on our members for parking at their workplace. “It is absolutely unacceptable to remove an integral part of our members’ terms and conditions of employment without any engagement with their union. Our members travel from all over Leinster and further afield to work in this flagship hospital. This attempt to charge our members for parking on top of already considerable transport costs is unacceptable." He added: “It is also unacceptable that having only begun a process of modest pay restoration for public service health workers that management believes it can put its hand straight into our members’ pockets and dismantle a long established benefit without any engagement. “Such a unilateral action by management requires a reciprocal response. Commencing next week, SIPTU will host a series of information meetings for members at St James’s with the intention of balloting for strike action if management attempt to enforce this charge.” SIPTU Health Organiser, David Field, said: “SIPTU members are fully committed and have co-operated with management with regard to the locating of the National Children's Hospital on the St James’s Hospital site. In light of this co-operation, that management would attempt to impose such a unilateral change has come as a complete shock.”