Socialist Worker

Striking driving examiners vent fury at new health risk at centre

Issue No. 2483

Driving Examiners picketing in Gillingham, Kent, last week

Driving Examiners picketing in Gillingham, Kent, last week (Pic: Steve Wilkins )

Driving examiners from the DVSA ended a week of rolling strikes with a national walkout on Friday of last week.

They have been fighting attempts by DVSA management to extend the working day to fit in more driving tests.

Members of the PCS union took part in rolling strikes beginning on Tuesday of last week.

Prospect union members, who plan to strike every Friday, struck alongside the PCS national strike on Friday.

Steve Wilkins visited pickets in Gillingham, Kent, to show solidarity.

He told Socialist Worker, “Strikers had a good picket as part of the national strike.

“They were also angry as the Test Centre had been closed the previous week due to water testing positive for Legionnaires Disease.

“They said they hadn’t been told about this straight away.

“And they said a manager had refused to phone a colleague who was off sick.”


Steve said strikers were “determined to continue the fight”.

Workers say plans to extend the working day effectively means a pay cut—and will endanger road safety.

Rules say that all tests have to be held in good daylight.

Ordinarily those taking a driving test have to be able to read a car number plate at a distance.

But photos have emerged appearing to show a number plate attached to a lamppost at a test centre in Aberdeen—in an apparent attempt to make it more visible.

The PCS union says it tried to initiate talks with the DVSA at conciliation service Acas during the action last week.

But senior figures in the Department for Transport are said to have overruled DVSA management.

They have demanded that the PCS agrees to the new contracts before talks begin.

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