Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) workers across Scotland, England and Wales have voted to strike after “huge” ballot result.
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) confirmed that more than 1,900 members have voted in favour of industrial action in response to a dispute with management over the “driver services recovery programme”.
The programme, which has been supported Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper, aims to reduce the backlog of tests but to a national average of seven weeks by March 31, 2024.
PCS confirmed that their members, who carry out driving tests and approve people to be driving instructors, voted for action by a margin of 90.5% on a turnout of 59.21%.
The union states that the controversial programmes poses “significant safety risks” to test candidates and examiners, as well as an erosion of staff’s terms and conditions.
PCS also warns that the programme completely fails to address the “root causes” of the backlog and requires staff to cover 150,000 tests above capacity.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “To recover a backlog of tests that was their own making, Mark Harper and management in the DVSA have demonstrated that they are willing not only to jeopardise our members’ safety and attack their terms and conditions.
“They are also showing scant regard for safety standards for driving test candidates.
“But this huge ballot result for PCS members at the DVSA indicates that that they are prepared to take highly disruptive strike action across England, Wales and Scotland to protect the integrity of the driving test and their existing terms and conditions.
“Although they desperately want to see a reduction in waiting times, our members will not tolerate paying the price for political stunts and managerial failings that threaten to further undermine this vital public service.”
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