Up to 2000 PCS DVSA members are set to begin industrial action this month over changes to working time, travel time and safety concerns arising out of the new driving test
Driving examiners to strike on start date of new driving test
Up to 2,000 PCS members in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are to strike in a dispute over safety of the public and examiners in the new Satellite Navigation test.
A strike ballot in October returned overwhelming support– 84% for strike action on a 70% turnout with an overtime ban and work to rule beginning from 23 November, followed by strike action on 4 and 5 December. This may affect 14,500 driving tests, court cases relating to unsafe vehicles and motoring offences and roadside checks on HGV vehicles. The new driving test is due to be launched on 4 December.
DVSA management has refused to meet PCS, leaving members no option but to take action in opposition to the changes to their terms and conditions and to try to force management and ministers to reconsider.
The overtime ban and work to rule may lead to last minute cancellations of driving tests as examiners insist on appropriate breaks between tests.
Our members want to send a clear message to the DVSA and Department for Transport that they must think again about forcing people to work longer, harder and for no extra pay. The union believes it is not acceptable to send workers to roadside checks and driving test centres without including the journey in their working time and without allowing them to go to their contractual usual workplace first.
We have highlighted serious concerns about the new driving test from a health and safety point of view. Our union has called for the new test to be suspended pending a full safety review after incidents occurred on driving lessons which have been conducted to the new testing arrangements.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The actions of the Department for Transport in trying to force detrimental changes onto our members has backfired. Our members whose jobs are about ensuring our roads are safe for drivers and pedestrians have voted overwhelmingly to demonstrate that these changes are unacceptable. Ministers can avoid this strike action by instructing their officials in DVSA to scrap the plans and re-enter serious negotiations with PCS. If this strike goes ahead the blame lies squarely with the government.”