Driving examiners and Ofsted staff will stage fresh strikes next month as the PCS union escalates its industrial action over pay and conditions in the civil service.
More than 1,600 staff employed by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency will stage a series of walkouts across England, Scotland and Wales between 6 and 28 March, overlapping with strikes at Ofsted between 6 and 19 March.
DVSA staff were among the first officials to take action in the PCS’s national campaign for a pay rise and better conditions for civil servants, with their month-long series of strikes starting on 13 December.
The action caused significant disruption and cost an estimated £2.8m in lost driving test revenue, according to the union.
Ofsted staff will meanwhile stage 12 days of strikes in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham. Union members working in the applications, regulatory and contact team and Inspection Support Centre will not turn up to work from Monday to Wednesday every week in March.
Staff in the two teams are responsible for, among other things, processing applications from new providers and handling calls and emails about the four areas Ofsted covers: education, early years, social care and further education. The strike will delay responses to queries and complaints from the public, schools and other education providers, as well as limiting support to schools inspectors, PCS said.
This week PCS members are staging strikes at the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Bristol and Carlisle, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea and Birmingham and at the Department for Work and Pensions in Liverpool and Toxteth.
Action by Border Force officials in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk caused six-hour delays for travellers last weekend.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The government must put forward concrete proposals to resolve this dispute. The more ministers choose to ignore members’ concerns over low pay, the more angry our members become.
“Our members cannot choose to ignore the cost-of-living crisis. Ministers can choose to resolve this dispute by putting money on the table.”