Driving examiners strike over new tests dispute

Driving examiners will strike today and tomorrow.
Driving examiners will strike today and tomorrow.

Hundreds of driving tests across Scotland today (Monday) and tomorrow have been cancelled due to strike action by examiners over the new test and working patterns.

Action is being taken by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union over the 48 hours after a ballot earlier in the autumn when DVSA workers voted overwhelmingly (84 per cent) for strike action on a majority turnout of 70 per cent.

The action is due in part to the new driving test which they say has raised significant concerns amongst the workforce.

The DVSA has withdrawn overtime from striking workers and imposed leave schedules which will exacerbate the existing backlog of thousands of tests.

Mark Serwotka PCS general secret wrote to minister Chris Grayling last week, but have rejected the last minute response.

He said: “PCS members in the DVSA have tried to negotiate around their concerns but the door has been slammed shut in their face. They now feel they have no alternative but to take industrial action to bring home to the public how damaging the DVSA proposals are.

“Learner drivers inconvenienced by this have our sympathy but the blame lies squarely with DVSA and the government.”

The union said examiners were being told to work longer for no extra pay when the new tests are introduced. Mr Grayling said in a letter to the union that most of the issues in the dispute had been resolved and negotiations could continue if industrial action was called off.

Commenting on the Minister’s response, Mr Serwotka said: “This completely inadequate, last minute reply from the Minister to me is so disappointing. It fails to address the causes of this dispute in the DVSA.

“He repeats the misinformation of DVSA management that travelling time was settled 3 years ago. This is completely wrong. Some issues were resolved in 2015 but travelling time was left to further negotiations. These talks have failed as DVSA insisted on imposing new rosters.”