Driving examiners to strike over road safety fears

18 November 2015

Driving tests face being cancelled on Thursday (19) and Friday (20) as PCS members strike over road safety fears.

The union confirms the planned 48-hour strike is going ahead after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency failed to give assurances over working hours following talks earlier this week.

The union wants the agency to scrap plans to extend the working day and increase the number of driving tests examiners would be expected to carry out.

The move could breach legislation on conducting elements of the test in "good daylight", the union says, as it would be impossible to conduct all tests in daylight hours during the winter.

The union has called on the agency to conduct thorough research before making any changes, including into the physical and psychological effects of more tests and their likely impact on safety. DVSA should also fully review staffing given it has admitted it is 350 posts short.

Last year the union agreed arrangements with DVSA for new working conditions to be negotiated, but the agency is now trying to impose detrimental terms.

The union says its members have reported widespread intimidation by managers to accept new working patterns, including staff who have adjustments in place for caring responsibilities.

The union represents 1,600 operational staff working in 350 locations across the UK, the vast majority of whom are driving examiners, but also including officers carrying out vehicle and traffic safety checks.

In the ballot, 91% voted for strikes and 97% for non-strike industrial action on a 65% turnout.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This is about road safety and examiners are furious that the DVSA is pressing ahead without properly negotiating with us or fully understanding the likely consequences of its actions."


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