Source: Intelligent Instructor
Further strike action by driving examiners has been announced as dispute escalates.
The PCS union undertook a strike ballot in November last year with a 52% turnout and a majority of 86% of members voting for action.
The strikes by driving examiners and test centre staff will see large numbers of driving tests cancelled or postponed.
Rolling rolling rolling
- 6 and 7 March: London and south east
- 9 and 10 March: South west and Wales
- 20 and 21 March: East Midlands, West Midlands & Eastern
- 23 and 24 March: North west and Yorkshire & Humber
- 27 and 28 March: Northern and Scotland
Previous strike action across the DVSA took place in December last year. Workers at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, including driving examiners, staff in the call centre, driving instructor examiners and local driving test managers, all took action.
Strike action come as part of demands for over a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms.
In December, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The government, which has spent years turning a blind eye to our pay demands, will no longer be able to ignore us.
“Our members are proud of their work, so it’s not easy for them to take action they know will affect the very people they came into the job to serve.
“But the government has given them no option. Their pay has fallen far below inflation and many of our members – the government’s own workforce – are forced to use foodbanks because they can’t afford to eat.
“The government is in the position to stop these strikes by putting money on the table. Ministers must know we will not stop until our demands are met and our members receive the decent pay rise they need to get them through the cost-of-living crisis and beyond.”
Faltering public services
With strong support from members, it is estimated £2.8million was lost in driving test revenue.
While people on strike do not receive their normal pay over the periods, the PCS union are covering those losses by members.
This is part of a modern ‘winter of discontent’ that has seen NHS workers and Teachers take action. Since 2010, the programme of austerity put in place by consecutive Conservative governments after the banking crisis has seen most public bodies and workers see real term pay ad budget cuts. Combined with inflation at over 10% in the last 12 months as a result of the Russia Ukraine war, most public workers are now struggling to make ends meet. On top of this, reductions in resources and lower staffing levels, unions state there have also been huge increases in workload.
The government has until now largely refused to negotiate. However, this week it has called for constructive talks with both NHS and teaching unions. At present no real progress has been achieved and various strike actions are pending across public services.
PCS will be announcing strike dates in other departments, including the Home Office and Department for Work and Pensions, over the course of the next few weeks.