Parking Fees during the closure of the campus due to COVID-19

Dear Faculty members,

We have had a number of emails expressing dismay that parking fees continue to be charged while the campus is closed and faculty are working at home. We raised this issue with the employer when we were negotiating the COVID Letter of Understanding early in the spring. However, the employer’s response was that faculty continue to be paid and have the option to cancel their parking. The employer also refused to pursue the possibility of an agreement to guarantee employees a spot in the same location if they choose to cancel their parking and then sign up again once the campus is open.

We subsequently joined with other unions on campus and co-signed a letter to the employer requesting that parking fees not be charged while campus is closed. The response from Wade Epp, AVP Services, was as follows:

Thank you for your letter expressing the concerns of union members regarding their parking fees. As you mentioned, these are unprecedented times that have required many difficult and important decisions to keep students, staff and faculty safe and healthy. One of these decisions is to continue to have staff that are still working and receiving their full salary continue to pay for parking.

The University is dependent on parking revenue to support all operations on campus and as a source for employee’s salaries within Consumer Services. Parking costs are annual and cover the costs of sweeping, snow clearing and monitoring.

As you mentioned, if parking fees have become a financial hardship for employees, they do have the option to cancel, and we do have the resources available to support that process.

Thank you again for raising this issue, we appreciate the opportunity to provide more information to our employees.

It is a disappointing response. If you feel strongly about this issue, we encourage you to write directly to the Associate Vice-President, Services to express your concerns.