HSE staff in Buncrana have claimed the town’s parking charges could impact negatively on services in Inishowen.
Staff in the Health Clinic and at premises on Lower Main Street recently submitted a letter to the peninsula’s county councillors, asking special consideration be given to them in relation to the payment of parking charges.
Neither centre has its own car park and staff have to park on the street or in the public car parks around Buncrana, on which a monetary charge is imposed.
Councillor John Ryan raised the issue at Thursday’s Inishowen Municipal District meeting, stating staff should be supported in light of the services they provide.
In the letter to councillors, it is stated how HSE staff in other locations are not required to pay parking fees.
The Buncrana staff claim the fact Inishowen staff are required to could make the peninsula an “even less attractive work option.”
The letter states: “Inishowen is one of the locations, as you will possibly be aware, where it is extremely difficult to attract staff and retain them due to its geographical location.
“In situations where work conditions do not compare favourably, e.g an additional cost of parking fees, such as we are currently experiencing, this will make it an even less attractive work option and could impact negatively on services in Inishowen.”
Asking for the parking exemption, the staff pointed out how they provide a “much-needed service” to the people of Inishowen.
Services include speech and language therapy. clinical psychology, an eye clinic, palliative care, nursing, registration of births, marriages and deaths, a dental clinic, early intervention services, social work, public health nursing and allied administrative services.
They asked that in light of this, special consideration would be given to them, in order to place them in a similar position to their colleagues elsewhere in the HSE.
The letter states: “We trust that you in your role as councillors are aware of the difficulties local families experience in accessing much needed services and take this into account when coming to your decision, which we trust will be a positive one and one that will endeavour to attract and retain staff within the HSE services rather than forcing them to work elsewhere.”
Councillor Ryan said staff were “very concerned” they were being disadvantaged and felt they were in a “worse position” to other HSE staff working in other locations, who do not have to pay for parking.