Socialist Worker

Driving examiners set to teach bosses a lesson + rail and bus battles

by Paul Williams PCS DfT group president and NEC member (pc)
Issue No. 2775

DVSA strikers in 2019

DVSA strikers in 2019


Driving examiners in the PCS union are set to strike on 18 and 19 October over jobs, increased workloads, safety and pay.

In a ballot the 1,100 workers voted 92 percent for strikes on an 82 percent turnout.

As a result of the pandemic a backlog of some 400,000 driving tests has built up over 18 months.

Bosses’ response at first was to hire some 200 new examiners, whose terms and conditions are far worse than the existing terms and conditions. And they can be sacked when the backlog is cleared.

Test

They also introduced changes to the HGV driving test.

This included passing some of work to the private sector, and introducing more HGV tests per day. All of this puts the health safety and wellbeing of PCS members at risk.

Above all management at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and government ministers have continued with the same targets they had pre-COVID-19.

As a result of these, bosses want examiners to work eight car tests per day instead of seven.

Road safety is being completely ignored, and all of this is being introduced on top of announcing a pay freeze.

Further action is planned after the initial strikes.

Paul Williams PCS DfT group president and NEC member (pc)


Unions and environment groups reject railway cuts

A coalition of trade union and environmental organisations is demanding that Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon scraps proposed cuts to ScotRail services.

The public consultation over Abellio ScotRail’s timetable cuts closed over the weekend but campaigners are determined to save all services.

Abellio ScotRail’s timetable cuts mean 100,000 train services fewer a year compared to the pre-pandemic timetable.

An open letter says, “With Cop26 just weeks away, it is incomprehensible that ScotRail is proposing to slash services, despite rail being a sustainable and low-carbon form of transport.”

ScotRail workers continue their regular strikes.

Conductors, ticket Examiners and cleaners, who are members of the RMT union, are all involved in separate pay disputes.”


Stagecoach bus workers are set to strike over pay on Monday 18 October as part of a national campaign.

RMT union members want “professional wages”.

The strike will target depots in Mansfield, Worksop, Chesterfield and Exeter.

It will also hit local sub depots in Barnstaple, Matford, Newton Abbot, Torquay and Paignton.


East Midlands Railway workers in the RMT union are continuing to strike for workplace justice and safety.


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