DVLA strike causes widespread disruption

29 August 2008

Today's one day strike by PCS members working for the Department for Transport (DfT) in the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has caused significant disruption leading to the closure of local offices and a restricted service in those remaining open.

The contact centre has also been severely disrupted with the public being advised to contact the DVLA another day.

The stoppage over pay inequality and below inflation pay also hit the registration of cars under the new ‘58’ plate which comes out on Monday.

Picket lines across England, Scotland and Wales were well supported, with the Swansea headquarters seeing approximately 80% of staff stay away from work and local politicians including Bethan Jenkins AM visiting the picket line.

In Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow, 90% of staff stayed away from work, whilst elsewhere local offices closed due to strike action included:

  • Nottingham
  • Shrewsbury
  • Bangor
  • Chester
  • Birmingham
  • Leeds
  • Stockton
  • Truro
  • Bournemouth
  • Portsmouth
  • Brighton
  • Boreham Wood

The strongly supported action follows below inflation pay offers and widening pay gaps between the predominantly female staffed DVLA and the predominantly male DfT and related agencies.

With pay gaps of £2,524 existing between DVLA and the DfT, the union is pursuing equal pay cases.

A 10 day preliminary Employment Tribunal hearing starts on 8 September where the union will claim that women executive officers in DVLA are underpaid in comparison with male driving examiners in DSA.

The DfT are defending this unequal pay by arguing that women in DVLA cannot compare their pay with driving examiners, despite the fact that they are all crown civil servants employed by the DfT.

Low pay and pay inequality has been further entrenched across the DfT and DVLA by below inflation pay offers where starting salaries can be as little as £12,528.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “The people on strike today have sent a clear message that they want to see an end to pay inequality and low pay.

"It is completely unacceptable that the DfT should go the lengths it has to avoid its gender duty obligations and that the government should add insult to injury with below inflation pay.

“With pay gaps of over £2,500 and starting salaries just over £12,500, the department and the government need to face up to the culture of pay inequality and low pay that they have created and pay a fair and just wage to its own workforce.”

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