PCS members working for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) began a programme of industrial action today (23 November).
A ballot in October saw an 84% vote for strike action on a 70% turnout in the dispute over the new driving test and working patterns.
Members have been advised to work precisely to their contracts of employment and strictly observe safety rules as the start of a campaign to try to lever new negotiations with DVSA and its parent department the Department of Transport (DfT).
The action could lead to the cancellation of driving tests as the examiners closely follow all appropriate procedures in respect of work breaks and safety checks.
Strike action is planned for 4 and 5 December, when large scale cancellations of tests are expected.
DVSA management issued a memo to all staff which made references to staff being disciplined or losing pay due to their work to rule. However, as the work to rule simply involves members working to the contracts they have, but not doing above that, PCS has responded to management in strong terms and reassured members that they have the full backing of the union should management attempt to dock their pay or discipline them as a result of this action.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said, “Rather than engage with PCS in a serious manner the DVSA and DfT have resorted to half-truths and inaccuracies in their attempt to deflect blame for this dispute. I call upon Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to get a grip of this issue and instruct his officials to get around the table with PCS.
“There is still time to avoid the strike action that is planned for 4 and 5 of December. The Minister must intervene if these strikes are to be avoided.”