Nottinghamshire driving examiners strike over ‘insulting’ pay rise offer

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Driving examiners are holding strikes across Nottinghamshire as public service workers from Government departments walk out over pay and working conditions.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is one of a number of departments that voted to strike over December and January.

The Public and Commercial Services union, which represents workers employed by government, is calling for a 10 per cent pay rise, in line with inflation, as well as improved pensions and redundancy terms.

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Steve Battlemuch, PCS head of campaigns, said workers are facing a real-term pay cut of 9 per cent following a 2 per cent pay offer.

PCS members on a picket line.PCS members on a picket line.
PCS members on a picket line.

He said: “PCS members have been hammered on pay for 12 years.

“Pay freezes and below inflation increases have meant members are now considerably worse off than they were a decade ago.

“Combined with job cuts and pension increases it’s a triple-whammy. This year’s offer of 2 per cent, when overall inflation is in double figures and energy cost inflation is running at 100 per cent, is a real insult.

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“This action is part of a wider campaign from PCS Union which has already included workers in the Rural Payments Agency, Border Force, Highways Agency and Department for Work and Pensions.

“More action will follow unless the government enter serious talks on pay.”

The industrial action comes as part of another wave of strikes across the country alongside paramedics and technicians, nurses, Royal Mail workers, border force staff and rail workers.

The PCS union said “it is expected many driving tests will be cancelled”.

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Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Our members have been offered a pay rise of just 2 per cent at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is above 10 per cent.

“We know our action will cause widespread disruption and inconvenience to people, but the government is to blame.

“These strikes could be called off tomorrow, if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt put some money on the table.”

The DVSA says the strikes will not impact theory tests and tests will automatically be re-booked if they are cancelled.

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It said: “DVSA is sorry for the inconvenience and thanks you for your patience.”

The Government described the demands of the PCS union as “unaffordable”, saying they would cost in the region of £2.4 billion.