Just in time for Christmas, the U of S announced a threefold increase in the price of its employee parking passes. This is a pretty big increase that will net the university hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I have asked the VP Finance and Resources, Richard Florizone, why part-time employees, like me, should have to pay full price for a parking pass. I have yet to receive a proper explanation. My position is that, since I have a 50% time job and only park half of the time, I should only be required to pay half as much.
Over the last few years the university has converted most of its parking lots to scramble parking. This means that people are assigned to a certain lot, but not to a reserved space. Thus, when I am not at work, I am not monopolizing a space someone else could use. This is a good idea in one way, because they can make parking available to more people. In fact they can sell more passes than there are spaces in the lots. But this only works because not everybody parks every day. Thus part-time employees, who earn less money, are actually subsidizing the cost of parking for full-time employees. This is not fair and should be stopped immediately. Part-time workers should, in my opinion, be charged in proportion to the percentage of time their position entails.
Now the university is set to triple its income from the sale of parking passes. I feel very strongly that if they are going to gouge us all, they should at least do it equitably. Instead of charging us all an extra $480 dollars a year, they could charge me a mere $120 extra by giving me a 50% pass, and I would feel it was almost reasonable.
I would like the university to provide an explanation as to why they think it’s fair that part-time workers should subsidize everyone else’s parking costs.
Jon M. Watts, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, WCVM
Editorís Note: With the permission of Jon Watts, On Campus News contacted university officials requesting a response to his letter.