University of Utah Hospital to provide employee parking stipends

Jun 4, 2024, 10:00 AM

university of utah health hospital shown, workers are starting a union...

University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Health Workers United said that the University of Utah Medical Center will begin giving parking stipends to employees who work on its main hospital campus.

According to a press release from Utah Health Workers United, employees paid the university over $6.4 million in parking expenses during the 2023-24 fiscal year. 

The hospital has faced pressure to help its employees pay for parking. A petition on UHWU’s website has gained over 1,600 signatures. 

According to the press release, hospital administrators announced the plan during a series of town hall meetings in February. 

A statement from the University of Utah said “Effective July 1, 2024, eligible University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics employees will receive a stipend to help cover or offset the cost of parking at our various campus-based care locations.”

Parking stipends are a good start, but some feel they aren’t enough

According to Leslie Dresser, the parking committee chair for UHWU, helping employees with the cost is a good start. However, it is not enough. 

In the press release, Dresser explained that the university has made formal plans to continue increasing the cost of parking through the 2028 fiscal year. Per Dresser, the hospital has not promised to continue giving employees parking stipends or to increase them to keep up with rising costs. 

According to the university’s statement, the board of trustees set the parking fees on campus. 

“This stipend is an initial benefit to provide more equity for those employees who have taken or will take, positions at our main campus locations,” read the statement. The university did not provide any additional comment. 

“A parking stipend is only a temporary discount toward a long-term problem that still requires solving,” said Dresser in the press release. 

Related: University of Utah using funding for ultrasound research to treat addiction

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University of Utah Hospital to provide employee parking stipends