Union members back DVSA de-escalation deal after test dispute

Members have "spoken loudly and clearly" after row over plans to intensify testing schedules
Photo: tz1_1zt/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Union members have overwhelmingly backed a deal to de-escalate a dispute with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency over proposed changes to test schedules.

Last month, the DVSA promised to “rebuild trust” with staff after it backed down over plans to increase the number of tests examiners had to do each day from seven to eight.

PCS members were due to begin a two-day walkout before reaching an eleventh-hour agreement that the trade union reps represented a “significant and substantial change in position”.

As well as guaranteeing not to add an eighth test to examiners’ schedules in the next 12 months – a move that the agency had previously said would help it to clear a backlog that had built up during the Covid crisis – DVSA management agreed to conduct a full timing study with PCS reps that will support future discussions.

PCS members have now voted overwhelmingly in favour of the agreement, with 90% backing the deal on a 69% turnout.

Members have “spoken loudly and clearly with their mandate”, the union’s Department for Transport group president, Paul Williams, said. 

He said PCS, which is the civil service’s biggest trade union, will hold the DVSA to both the letter and the spirit of the agreement. It will hold meetings with members this week to determine their priorities for working with the agency.

CSW  has approached the DVSA for a comment.

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