The Public and Commercial Services Union have released more information on the strike action which was voted for in November. The union have planned a programme of strikes designed to cause prolonged disruption to government services whilst minimising the impact on individual members.

The plan involves six weeks of strike action affecting the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. The strikes are set to begin on 13th December 2022 and run through to 16th January 2023 . Not all locations will be on strike at any one time.

Full details of the planned industrial action are available on the PCS website here.

Locally the majority of the disruption comes in the week running up to Christmas. DVSA Driving Test Centres at Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster Shaw Wood Way, Doncaster Sprotborough, Sheffield Handsworth and Sheffield Middlewood will all have potential strike action beginning on Monday 19th December and running for 6 days. There will be no testing on Christmas day regardless of strike action.

Chesterfield and Worksop driving test centres are then set to strike for the following week. They will be joined by DVSA Traffic Examiners and Vehicle Examiners striking at the same time. Highways Agency Traffic Officers will also take strike action on 16th and 17th December.

Strike Action Not a Certainty.

While a programme of strikes has been confirmed by the PCS Union, that strike action is not currently a certainty. There is still time for negotiations between the union and the Cabinet Office to bear fruit. This means that the strikes may be called off.

More likely is that some examiners will strike while others will not. Not all DVSA Examiners are members of the union so may not be involved in the action. The union does have plans to ensure all striking examiners receive full pay for the time they are not working which reduces the chances that PCS member examiners may opt to not participate in the strike.

Learner drivers with tests booked that are scheduled with a striking examiner will have their tests cancelled. The DVSA is not allowed to ask in advance which examiners are striking and which are not. This means that they will not be able to communicate cancellations ahead of time. Learners and instructors may find out their test has been cancelled only when they arrive at the Driving Test Centre.

Some learners may be able to take their test if their examiner isn’t involved in the action. It is up to individual instructors and learners if they want to cross a picket line in order to take a test.

Nicholas Smith

Nicholas Smith is an approved driving instructor and a member of the SDDIA committee responsible for the build and maintenance of the association website and content production. Nick draws on his experience of over a decade as a motorsport journalist alongside his driving and instructing roles.