Employees demand Car Park at shopping centre

But Sylvia Park Management says a good system is in place  

Venkat Raman – 

Employees of retail outlets in Auckland’s Sylvia Park are demanding trouble-free, low-fee and assured space for parking their cars, which the management says is already in place.

Parking is a serious problem in many parts of this sprawling city and those employed in the Central Business District (CBD) have to make their own arrangements to park their cars, the charges for which ranges from $260 to $620 per week.

Those employed in showrooms in Sylvia Park are offered parking facility at lower rates but either they are not aware of this concession or the system is not working.

Staff Petition

Following are some of the concerns of the employees: (1) the Management and Secure Parking are constantly reducing Staff Parking areas (2) Due to insufficient parking, employees are forced to park in customer parking area and are fined $85 (3) Staff are forced to walk to Carbine Road in search of staff carparking. This is not safe at nights (4) Staff Parking fee should be reduced (5) Car Parks 4 and 12 are empty most of the time and hence should be made available for staff to park their cars.

Many employees have told Indian Newslink that while they understand the problem of parking in CBD and other busy areas, Sylvia Park has ample parking space to accommodate all employees.

“We had the facility of car park anywhere in the complex until last year. There was chaos and confusion when the new system was introduced. We were fined $85 even if we visited the shopping centre with our families and friends on our days off since our car numbers were registered with the company. We are here to serve customers, thereby contributing to the growth of the Shopping Centre. If everyone is happy, everyone will be prosperous. We need a just treatment,” they said.

Sylvia Park Management Response

In response to our questions, Sylvia Park Centre Manager Lauren Riley sent us the following note which clarifies all the questions raised by the petitioners.

We have made a few changes to the parking system at Sylvia Park since last year and continue to educate Sylvia Park retailers and staff on these changes.

We believe that a majority of staff are getting used to the new locations and new system.

Sylvia Park has three designated paid car parking areas for staff and retailers.

There is a total of 4000 car parks and approximately 330 of these are designated for staff; this reflects the ratio of staff to visitors which run at over 12 million a year.

Facility for staff

Staff can book a park in these car spots via the Secure Parking online system.

The charges differ based on which carpark is being booked, either $3 or $5 per day.

There is also the option for staff members to book on a monthly basis, which then reduces the daily rate.

Just like all other Secure Car Parking locations across New Zealand, fees are the same for all users and there are no discounted rates for people with physical or health difficulties.

Secure Parking also provides the monitoring of the customer carparks to ensure they are kept available for customers.

Scope for review

Staff have been informed that they will receive an $85 fine if they use the customer car parks instead of the designated staff parking areas.

If staff are using the car park on days that they are not working, because they are visiting the centre, they are able to advise customer service and they will not be charged a fine.

Any staff member that believes they were fined incorrectly, can also contact Secure Parking and they will review.

We were concerned when informed by Indian Newslink that a man was beaten while walking to the Carbine Road car park.

As a result, we have been in contact with Mount Wellington Police and are still awaiting further information. We would encourage the person involved to contact us to provide more details.

Security introduced

We take the safety of Sylvia Park staff very seriously.

At the end of last year, we understood there were staff concerns so we introduced security to walk people from the Centre to the Carbine Road car park.

From 930 pm Thursday/Friday, staff can meet security at the security office and they will walk groups of people to the car park. We encourage concerned staff to use this service that we have made available.

Neither Sylvia Park nor Secure Parking has received a copy of the petition so we are unable to provide direct feedback on the complaints that are outlined in the petition.

We would welcome receiving a copy of the petition and having the opportunity to communicate to the concerned parties. We would also encourage staff to speak to their employees and raise any concerns direct with their retailer.

Photo: Sylvia Park is the pride of Auckland

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