Over the past week, PCS has been in intensive talks with the DVLA to try to reach agreement to address our members’ health and safety concerns and remove the necessity for taking industrial action.
Though we welcome the progress made to date, the lack of immediate moves from the employer to reduce numbers on site means we must now progress to industrial action, in the form of a strike among operational staff required on site from 6 April.
Our ballot period and our intensive negotiations have seen movement on the following issues towards our ultimate goal of making the site safer:
- A reduction in the capacity of the site by removing over 300 desks
- A revision of risk assessments which has led to a further 300 staff being sent home. This is in part due to a further consideration given to pregnant women and those who live with vulnerable people
- A commitment on how to proceed in the talks over the coming months, in terms of extending home working, safety on site and any potential increase in the numbers of staff on site when it is safe to do so.
Back the strike
We are asking members who are in operational grades and required to work on site to take strike action from Tuesday to Friday next week (6-9 April). We are asking these members not to attend work for these days.
We are convinced that the DVLA is able to give more than it is willing to at this stage and we believe that a strong show of strike action next week will help tip the balance to getting management to reduce numbers in the medium term and make the site safe.
Well supported strike action next week will demonstrate the depth of feeling amongst members and strengthen the union in further negotiations with the employer. The bigger the action, the better the deal we will be able to achieve when talks resume after the strike.
We will issue strike guidance to staff this afternoon, detailing the action and how members can access strike pay.
Owing to the pandemic, we will not be having physical picket lines. We will instead be hosting virtual rallies and events next week. We will publicise these to members ahead of next week.
How you can show support
Join our online public strike rally at noon on Tuesday. Register in advance through the Eventbrite website.
Chaired by Fran Heathcote (PCS national president), the rally will hear from DVLA strikers as well as PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, PCS DVLA branch chair Sarah Evans, MPs Caroline Harris and Tonia Antoniazzi, plus other speakers to be confirmed.
Members and supporters can support the strikers by donating to the strike fund. The details are:
Account Name: Fighting Fund Levy, A/C No: 20331490, sort code: 60-83-01, use reference: DVLA
You can set up a direct debit. All money collected in that way will come to the strike fund.
Messages of solidarity
If you would like to write in support of striking DVLA workers, email email@example.com