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UK

31/01/2013

UPDATE

Tomorrow’s test strike called off

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has cancelled tomorrow’s (1 February) strike of driving test examiners. The Driving Standards Agency says that tests booked are now expected to go ahead as planned. The strike action had been scheduled to start at test centres in England, Scotland and Wales from 1.30 pm.

The PCS is still planning to take strike action on 15 February at test centres in England and Scotland, and on 1 March in Wales.
 

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The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has warned that driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union are to take strike action over three days in February and March.

Strike dates and areas affected are:
1 February from 1.30 pm (England, Scotland and Wales)
15 February from 1.30 pm (England and Scotland)
1 March from 1.30 pm (Wales)

DSA chief executive Rosemary Thew says that test candidates should still go to their test centre for their test. “Not all examiners are members of the PCS. Even if they are, we can’t be sure that they will support the strike so we are asking candidates to report for their test so it can go ahead, if possible,” said Thew.

The DSA says test candidates who report for their test will not have to contact them to rebook if they can’t take the test because of strike action. The agency says candidates will be advised of a new test date within five to ten working days.

The strike action does not affect Theory tests, but the DSA says its Customer Service Centre for practical tests might also be affected on 1 February from 2 pm and 22 February from 2 pm.

Test candidates can claim for out-of-pocket expenses if their test is cancelled, but they must have turned up for the test to make a claim. Test candidates who do not turn up for their test will have to rebook their test and won’t be able to claim expenses.
 

The PCS union represents around 1,600 DSA staff – around two-thirds of the workforce – of whom around 1,250 are examiners and the rest are admin workers.



The issues behind the strike are job cuts and the closure of test centres, privatisation and pay. The Department for Transport has so far refused to provide a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. It is also extending the use of testing from non-traditional sites to other areas – with the first tie-in with Halfords due to start soon – without any review of the original results and without the agreement of staff, says the union.