14 October 2021

DVSA staff to strike over safety concerns next week

Driving examiners will take 2 days strike action next week over a new unsafe testing regime being introduced by DVSA.

Up to 1000 PCS members will take to picket lines on Monday because bosses are pushing for new 8 test-a day regime.  

Staff at DVSA say the new approach to deal with the Covid backlog is unsafe and likely to lead to more failed tests. 

Fatigue levels are already high amongst staff, and they warn the new regime will increase the likelihood of accidents. 

DVSA bosses originally tried to impose the 8-test regime from the current 7 tests a day, in 2016.

An independent report has cited major problems with an extra test per day and says the proposals have led to a "breakdown in trust" with driving examiners. 

The report also says “moving to 8-tests without taking any steps towards implementing improvements would risk worsening the health and wellbeing of Examiners." 

Time engineers working with PCS have also said that 7 tests per day is the optimal in terms of efficiency and safety. 

DVSA wants to go from 7 tests a day to 8, reducing the time for each test, but it will mean extending the working day. 

PCS says that rather than tackle the backlog, adding an extra test a day with less time to complete it will lead to more failed tests, therefore increasing the Covid backlog.  

General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “DVSA need to listen to their staff and scrap their 8-test a day regime.  

“Driving examiners are already working flat out and showing signs of fatigue on 7 tests. It would be unsafe and from the evidence of pilot studies, is likely to lead to more failed tests.  

“Tackling the Covid backlog is important and recruiting more staff and offering voluntary overtime would help safely deal with the issue. 

“DVSA know they are taking short cuts and we will continue industrial action until we reach a just settlement.”