ACT News


Russell Offices staff threaten action over paid parking plan

Staff at the Russell Offices could refuse to work outside standard business hours and some are planning to seek jobs at other Defence sites when paid parking is introduced.

Workers at the Russell defence complex who responded to an online union survey were overwhelming opposed to the introduction of paid parking without financial compensation.

The federal government plans to introduce fees for using public car parks in the Parliamentary Triangle, Barton, Russell and Acton. More than 500 Russell Offices staff participated in a survey by Professionals Australia, with 93 per cent saying that they were opposed to paid parking being introduced without compensation.

Staff wanted the issue raised in enterprise bargaining negotiations and most agreed compensation was also needed for military personnel who worked at Russell.

Professionals Australia ACT director David Smith said staff were unhappy at the claim that paid parking was needed to make it easier for tourists to visit national institutions.

''No one accessing the public institutions would do so by parking at Russell,'' Mr Smith said.


Respondents to the survey said that if paid parking was introduced they would be reluctant to work outside standard business hours because of poor evening public transport options.

One respondent wrote: ''The last bus to Gungahlin, where I live, is proposed to leave just after 7pm on weekdays. ''I have been required to work well past this time on many occasions so does this mean I have to pay almost $60 for a taxi?''

Mr Smith said his union would not wait until enterprise bargaining negotiations to raise the issue with management.

''We're seeking meetings with Defence before then to try and to get the issue resolved before it gets into bargaining,'' he said. ''Obviously this affects uniformed personnel as well as civilian personnel.''

Mr Smith said charging staff to park at Russell raised equity issues because there was free parking at other Defence sites in Canberra.

The department paid for staff car parks at Brindabella Park.

''There's going to be a whole issue with consistency,'' Mr Smith said.


Comment are now closed