Thousands of driving tests cancelled over examiners’ strike, union claims
The PCS union said more than 1,000 examiners took industrial action.
A 48-hour strike by driving test examiners has led to thousands of tests being cancelled, union leaders claimed.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union mounted picket lines outside test centres across the country for a second day on Tuesday amid claims that examiners are being told to work longer, harder and for no extra pay because of the new tests.
The union said more than 1,000 examiners took industrial action, claiming that only a “tiny proportion” of the usual number of tests have been held.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said the union’s figures were incorrect.
Officials also warned that when the strike ends, there will be a backlog of tests, worsened by an ongoing ban on overtime.
The DVSA said Monday’s launch of the new driving test marked a “significant milestone” in its history, helping prepare new drivers for a lifetime of safe driving.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Ministers need to listen to the concerns of DVSA staff who have shown that they won’t be bullied and intimidated by tactics of misinformation.
“Now is the time for Chris Grayling (Transport Secretary) to get a grip of this dispute and insist that DVSA management acts in the interests of both learner drivers and its own staff.”
From today, learner drivers will be asked to carry out a basic safety task (sometimes known as the 'show me' question) while driving.— Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (@DVSAgovuk) December 4, 2017
Watch this video to see a couple of examples: https://t.co/jrwuXc7mMW#drivingtestchanges pic.twitter.com/nB0AkgnXgp
DVSA Director of People, Communications and Engagement, Adrian Long said: “PCS’s shameful industrial action shows utter contempt for candidates taking their driving tests.
“Their attempt to continue to misinform the public is unacceptable. More than 90% of driving tests went ahead on both strike days – with three-quarters of driving examiners coming into work. No more than 530 examiners took action on either day, half the number that PCS claim.
“This action has forced learner drivers to rebook their tests, stopping them from getting on in life.”