National Associations Strategic Partnership

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By carly, Nov 15 2017 01:09PM

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), one of the main unions representing Driving Examiners, has issued formal notice of industrial action to the DVSA involving all operational grades

The action they are calling for is as follows:

• Indefinite action short of a strike commencing (work to rule) on Thursday 23rd November.

• Two days of strike action, which will take place on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th December.

They are asking every member to support the action following a successful ballot of their members in favour of industrial action. It is important to note not all Driving Examiners are members of PCS.

Amongst their grievances, PCS claim that for over two years they have sought to achieve 4 outcomes for members:

1. The removal of the current travel time proposals and a better way forward to be found on this issue.

2. The safety of our members and the public to be assured – and an agreement on rostering to be concluded - in respect of the new test due to commence on 4th December.

3. A fair work life balance for our members, and an agreement that provides respect and fairness by their employer

4. An end to the victimisation of PCS and our members which has gone unchecked for too long.

In response to the strike ballot announcement in September DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:

“PCS members agreed to a new contract in April 2014 in return for a one-off payment and a three year pay agreement, so it is surprising that PCS are now objecting to the contract they had previously recommended to their members.

“We hope PCS members will accept our best and final offer, so we can start new negotiations on options for flexible working which will bring financial benefits for many of them.

“In the event of any industrial action, I know the vast majority of DVSA employees will continue to deliver excellent services for the customers who pay for our work.”

ADIs have already expressed concern over the planned action, highlighting the distress and inconvenience cancelled tests will cause to pupils and trainers alike.

Advice to driving test candidates and ADIs

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is doing all it can to make sure that tests go ahead as planned.Not all examiners are union members, and DVSA expects most driving test centres to operate as normal. You should turn up for your test as planned.

Changing your driving test date

You can change your test to another date if you want to.

You must give at least 3 clear working days’ notice to change your test date or you’ll have to pay again.

If your driving test is cancelled

DVSA will book a new test appointment for you automatically if there’s no examiner available for your test.

You’ll be rebooked for the earliest available date, and DVSA will send you the details of the new appointment.

Out-of-pocket expenses

You can claim out-of-pocket expenses if your test is cancelled, but you must have turned up for your test to be able to do this. If you don’t turn up, you’ll have to rebook your own test and won’t be able to claim expenses.

Theory tests

Theory tests aren’t affected by the strike action and will be taking place as planned.

By carly, Oct 11 2017 10:43AM

DVSA have warned that there may be further delays to the implementation of the new Part 3. The original target date (for the introduction of the new assessment) was October 2nd, but challenges achieving the required legal sign off of the change within that timescale meant the launch was delayed to (at that time) late October.

Now the agency has cautioned that due to a new approach to legislative process, whereby secondary legislation will in future be subject to the same process as primary legislation (and will therefore have to pass through more layers of scrutiny and more gatekeepers than those needed previously for legislative change of this nature), the implementation of the new Part 3 test may be further delayed - possibly to late November.

The agency is currently seeking clarity as to whether the Part 3 change falls under a new government directive which requires a ministerial triage process for all secondary legislation from October. The purpose of the triage is to maintain central oversight of the secondary legislation programme in a similar way to the primary legislation programme. No Statutory Instruments can now be laid in Parliament until cleared through this process.

With the possibility of the Part 3 changes being caught in this new process and therefore with possibly more hurdles to jump - coupled with the already delayed legal sign off (which will only be exacerbated if the Part 3 changes are deemed to be part of the new triaging process for secondary legislation, as legal sign off cannot occur until the triage process is completed) - NASP is concerned that even a newly estimated November implementation could be challenging for the agency to achieve.

DVSA are currently contacting contacting all PDIs with Part 3 tests booked between 30 October and 10 November to advise them that the test they take between these dates will not have changed to the new one . They are also contacting all trainers on ORDIT.