The plan, which has been in review since fall 2016, would put an end to free parking after 5 p.m.
This could cause problems for nighttime employees by forcing them to spend money to park for their jobs when they previously did not have to, said David Rogers, assistant director of outdoor education and delegate on the Employee Forum.
“It seems to me that the people who would be most affected by it are the lowest-paid staff around UNC,” Rogers said.
“(They) are already lower paid, so adding extra burden to them to have to pay to be able to park and to have to come work seems a little ridiculous, especially in the face of the budget crunch.”
Herb Richmond, director of housekeeping services, said he has not heard any problems with the new policy, but housekeeping will adhere to it when it is implemented.
Charles Streeter, chairperson of the Employee Forum, said nighttime parking fees had to happen, either now or later, and the University could not keep paying for parking.
“The infrastructure of parking on this campus and the number of people that use the system, it just cannot be maintained with the current parking plan in place,” Streeter said.
“Those costs have to be absorbed somewhere, so how do you distribute that equally across everyone that is using the parking facilities on campus, and the way to do that would be to implement a nighttime parking fee structure.”
Rogers said he thinks it is unfortunate the University cannot find more reasonable places to supplement the budget. He said he thinks the ordinance was not very thoughtful.
Streeter said the nighttime parking fee is the most fair and equitable thing to do because people with daytime parking permits have been paying all the costs of the parking structures.
“People are parking in the evening and using the facilities,” Streeter said.
“So you have to ask yourself, is it fair that people during the day pay for something when everyone, even people outside the University, use the facilities for free? You can’t maintain that with just one group of people paying for the parking structure.”
Rogers also expressed concern over the rising health care premiums on top of the new parking fees.
“No one’s been given any raises but they keep adding all these new and improved fees,” Rogers said. “It’s not related to parking, but at the same time they’re going to increase everybody’s health care premiums. The benefit of being a state employee isn’t so beneficial as it used to be.”