Examiners’ strike continues its impact on driving tests

05 Dec 2017

With over 1,000 driving examiners taking strike action across Britain, only a fraction of the usual number of tests took place.

The second day of strike action by driving examiners and operational staff in their dispute over safety and working hours saw the same high level of walk-outs as yesterday. 

Over 1,000 examiners took strike action today and with other operational staff were on the picket lines outside test centres throughout the United Kingdom.

Solid support for strike

At Bredbury in Stockport, Cheshire, no driving examiners reported for work and no driving tests took place.

At West Didsbury in Greater Manchester, one of the local driving instructors turned up at the picket line with chocolates for the pickets, explaining how much they were in support of the strike action and of the stand being made over the safety of the new tests.  At the same test centre only 30% of the normal amount of tests took place because of the strike. 

At Dorchester in Dorset, only 3 or 4 tests were reported as going ahead today instead of the usual 30.  Wessex FM radio station and the Dorset Echo came down to interview the PCS pickets and the picket line was visited by local PCS members from the DWP as well as members from Unite and the National Education Union in support and solidarity.

In Carmarthen, Wales, a manager who had crossed the picket line yesterday told pickets today that he had changed his mind and would not be going into work today.

At Musselborough near Edinburgh the local branch chair of the Fire Brigades Union joined the picket line as well as the local Labour party chair. No motorcycle tests took place.

Today saw pickets in Morden, Gillingham in Kent, Wednesbury, Redditch, Kings Heath in Birmingham, Halifax, Steeton, Wakefield, Doncaster, Cardiff, Worksop, Kingswood (Bristol), Leicester, Middlesborough, Greenford, Livingston, Preston, Hull, Bolton, Goodmayes (London), Aberdeen, Coventry and Kirkcaldy.

PCS industrial officer Paul Barnsley said, “We hope the employer has listened to the message staff are sending and get round the table for talks. In the meantime the action short of strike will continue and more action will be inevitable.”

Political support

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald has written to transport secretary Chris Grayling urging him to resolve the dispute through negotiation with the unions. He writes: “I believe the concerns about new manoeuvres and satellite navigation kit should be discussed and addressed.  In addition, any talks should consider scheduling, safety and work practices.”  And he said “I believe the current dispute could be settled…”

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