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Parking rates to be salary-based

A new salary-based parking rate system will begin July 1. The new rate structure will be calculated on 0.7 percent of each permit holder’s annual base salary. The system also caps rates at a maximum of $40 per month for FY2009.

The new rate structure is in accordance with a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court that parking fees constitute terms and conditions of employment and therefore are subject to collective bargaining. Parking fees for represented employees whose union contracts have not come up for renegotiation since the court’s ruling will remain at the FY08 rate of $35.58 per month, as required by Illinois public sector labor law.

Rates for part-time employees will be based upon 0.7 percent of their full-time-equivalent base salary. The salary-based rates will not apply to evening permits and hangtags for the shuttle lot.

The new rate system will be extended to all non-represented employees – faculty members, academic professionals and open-range civil service employees – on campus as well in accordance with a decision by Chancellor Richard Herman and Provost Linda Katehi.

“It is a totally new way of structuring the way we charge for parking,” said Michelle Winters, director of parking, in an announcement about the change. “The positive thing to remember is that the new rate structure will result in a monthly cost decrease for many employees, and for those in the minority who will see an increase in payment, it will be a maximum of $4.42 per month.”

To implement the new rates, the parking department is modifying its parking-management software system, which has delayed the renewal process for FY09 and precludes the department from issuing new or existing permits.

“The new software is a Web-based format instead of a server-based format, and they’ve had a little trouble getting some of the Web applications up and running in the time frame they thought they would be able to,” said Pam Voitik, director of campus services. “The software vendor is working fast and furious with our staff (members) to get it up and going.”

The delay will not affect employees’ current parking assignments, renewal options or positions on wait lists.

Voitik said that campus parking will notify permit holders when they can go online and renew their permits. People who don’t have current permits but want to buy FY09 permits should check the parking department’s Web site regularly.

With the implementation of the new system, it is recommended that employees pay by payroll deduction rather than by cash in order to expedite the process.

“Pre-tax payroll deduction will allow faculty and staff members to purchase a permit or renew immediately,” Winters said. “All they will need to do is go online to sign up or come to the parking department and fill out a form.”

In addition to expediting the renewal process, the payroll-deduction option also offers permit buyers tax savings because the fees are deducted on a pre-tax basis, thereby lowering employees’ taxable income, Voitik said.

Even if the new software is not able to process renewals by July 1, drivers should not worry about being ticketed for displaying their FY08 permits until the new system is operational, Voitik said.

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