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'Since You Asked': Parking Rates

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Since You Asked has gone digital, and Pulse is now publishing answers to employee questions as a regular feature. Please email questions to sinceyouasked@cshs.org. This issue's questions deal with the upcoming parking rate changes.

Parking Rate Changes

Question: [From the editors of Since You Asked] We have received a number of questions and comments about the upcoming changes in employee parking rates. Employee comments have ranged from questioning the need for the increase, to the criteria used for the rate change and the perceived inequities in parking rates for long-term employees, per diem employees, and full-time versus part-time employees. We have asked Jeff Smith, MD, JD, executive vice president of Hospital Operations and chief operating officer for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Andy Ortiz, senior vice president of Human Resources, to respond to these concerns.

Answer: Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns about our decision to raise parking rates. We appreciate your feedback as well as the chance to further explain our decision.

We did not take the decision to raise parking rates lightly. We knew it would not be popular with employees, but we also know that stewardship of Cedars-Sinai's resources is an important part of leadership as we work to ensure our organization's future.

Let us share some of our thinking as well as the research behind the decision. We looked into policies on employee parking at other academic medical centers before determining rates. The rates we decided upon are in alignment with other institutions and are reasonable. In some cases, the rates are less than what employees at other institutions are asked to pay. We should also note that our rates have held steady for almost two decades.

We were determined not to cause financial hardship to any employee. That's why we developed the "tiered" approach to employee contributions, similar to what we use with our health benefits. Many of our lower-paid employees will actually pay less than they have previously paid. We have also greatly increased our ride-sharing incentive to help our employees offset the cost of parking.

While we regret any distress or concern this decision may cause, we are firm in our belief that we have taken the right path. We value our employees and the tremendous contributions they make, but we also have an obligation to our community and the patients we serve to be careful stewards of our resources.

Thank you again for your feedback. And, thank you for all you do not only to make Cedars-Sinai the remarkable institution that it is today, but also to help ensure that we have a bright future for our employees, our patients and our communities.