Morale was high on the picket line at the Cardiff test centre as driving examiners, members of the PCS civil service union, took action against the Drivers and Vehicles Standards Agency which have imposed new working extra working times for no extra pay. Very examiners were going into work in Cardiff, Newport and Merthyr forcing the cancellation of dozens of tests.
Today was the second day of strike action. The DVSA is claiming that 93% of tests went ahead yesterday but that is after cancelling over 10,000 tests. Many people have had to postpone their tests for nine weeks, but public support for the examiners is high, no doubt because they identify with a group of workers who are being forced to work harder for less pay in real terms.
And the new test puts examiners in a potentially dangerous situation. PCS said:
“After years of less than 1 percent pay rises, detrimental changes to our working practices and increased pension contributions, driving examiners, vehicle inspectors and enforcement officers are now being expected to work up to 7 hours a week more for no extra reward.
“In addition to this driving examiners are now expected to deliver a new driving test which contains elements which we consider to be a danger, not only to our members but to the general public as well.”