Driving tests face strike action as PCS warns over road safety
11 November 2015
Driving tests face disruption from PCS strikes as we warn that a government agency could be flouting the law and putting road safety at risk.
We believe plans by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to increase the number of driving tests allowed in a day could breach the legal requirement for elements of the test to be conducted in “good daylight”.
In a ballot on the issue that closed today, 91.5% voted for strikes and 96.9% for non-strike industrial action on a 64.6% turnout, well above the thresholds that the government is attempting to impose through the trade union bill. We will now consider possible dates for industrial action.
Last year we agreed arrangements with DVSA for new working conditions to be negotiated, but the agency is now trying to impose detrimental terms, including lengthening the working day to accommodate more driving tests.
Our 1,600 members who work in 350 locations across the UK, predominantly as driving examiners but also including officers carrying out vehicle and traffic safety checks, have reported widespread intimidation by managers to accept new working patterns, including staff who have adjustments in place for caring responsibilities.
We’re accusing the agency of showing a “blatant disregard for road safety” as during winter months it will not be possible to conduct all the tests in daylight hours.
Before any changes are imposed, we are calling on DVSA to commission fresh research on test times, including their physical and psychological effects and impact on safety, and for a full staffing review after the agency admitted it was 350 posts short.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “These plans show a blatant disregard for road safety and we’re appalled that DVSA is pressing ahead instead of negotiating with us.”