DVSA workers begin four-week strike

PCS members working in IT support across the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency today begin a four-week strike over working practices and restructures.

Those taking strike action include workers in IT, including front line user services impacting on IT systems and incident management and members who deliver the processes for those who wish to become driving instructors. They work in Nottingham and Swansea, where picket lines will be in operation from 7 – 9.30am Monday to Friday.

PCS will be looking to call out further groups of workers on a similar basis, as the union aims to hit the employer hard with a rolling programme of action. As Brexit approaches the action will intensify further, should talks fail to deliver a resolution to a long and protracted dispute.

A statement from PCS said: “There has been a long-running dispute between the union and DVSA over changes to working hours for staff relating to the Modern Employment Contract (MEC). These changes mean in effect that operations staff are expected to work for up to 30 minutes each way more (45 minutes in London) without pay when
they travel to work outside of their normal workplace.

“On top of this, Corporate Connectivity Hours (CCHs) have been introduced that mean start and finish times are imposed at earlier or later times once a week. Although MEC changed staff working hours from 35 to 37 hours a week, this had been worked in what was their hourly lunch break to avoid changing start and finish
times.

“Staff are being made to stay at work longer than necessary and it is having a detrimental impact on staff, particularly on those with caring responsibilities. In a bid to solve this aspect of the dispute, PCS had written to the employer suggesting a compromise of two CCHs per month, which has been rejected outright by the
employer.

“There are also issues over workforce planning where deputising, contingent labour remains rife within DVSA whilst at the same time restructures are placing our members ‘at risk of redundancy’ and where leading union reps and our members continue to be targeted and victimised by DVSA.

“Poor industrial relations in DVSA are highlighted by the high numbers of bullying and harassment being experienced with 20% saying they’ve experienced it in the last 12 months.”
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