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UF Health backs off employee parking decal price increase

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UF Health is backing off a controversial parking fee for its employees.

UF Health Shands employees received an email earlier this week claiming a steep increase in employee parking costs.

The hospital announced Friday they are reversing their decision.

“The worst part of coming to work is trying to find a parking spot,” said one disgruntled UF Health Shands employee from the new heart and neuro hospital.

The new heart and neuro hospital has increased traffic - and decreased the number of parking spaces.

UF Health parking and transportation manager George Richardson wrote that patient and visitor parking is top priority, therefor employee garages would be reassigned and parking costs would rise.

“Whenever they were making this decision, they should have thought about, we do have employees, they are dedicated, they come to work, but without these employees, we don’t have a hospital,” another employee said. “We just have an empty building.”

The south employee parking garage decal would have increased in price from $378, to over $600, with parking space availability not even guaranteed.

The steepest increase would have been at the heart and neuro hospital garage and the 1329 building garage. Originally a $378 blue decal would now be a gated decal, more than $1,200 dollars a year.

“I thought the $300 decal was expensive, but now you need to pay over one thousand to park here? That’s ridiculous,” an employee said.

These numbers are a scary thought to many employees, but the news today is, uf health is backing off.

UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez stateed in today’s email, “With this week’s announcement, it wasn’t our intention for anyone to feel under appreciated.”

He then said, “We feel these recently announced parking changes were the best of all available options, but we will work diligently to gather more information and assess alternative plans.”

UF Health would not tell us the reason for this decision, and they tell CBS 4 no one is available for comment.

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