News story

Driving examiner strike: December 2017

Some driving examiners are planning to take strike action on 4 December and 5 December 2017, and action short of a strike from 23 November 2017.

Driving examiner and learner driver in a car

Some driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union are planning to take strike action on Monday 4 December and Tuesday 5 December 2017.

You can either:

  • change your test appointment to a later date
  • turn up for your test as planned, but your examiner might be unavailable

Starting from Thursday 23 November 2017, some driving tests could be affected by driving examiners taking action short of a strike, for example, not working overtime. The PCS union hasn’t given an end date for this action.

Not all driving examiners are union members, and even if they are, they might choose not to take industrial action.

The way the car driving test works is changing on Monday 4 December 2017. These changes will still go ahead as planned.

If your driving test is cancelled

You won’t have to contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to rebook your appointment if you can’t take your test because of strike action.

DVSA will contact you with a new test appointment within 5 to 10 working days.

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.

 What the strike is about

The strike action is about a new standard employment contract that DVSA staff signed up to in 2014. In return for changes to their terms and conditions, they received a buy-out and a 3-year pay deal.

This contract was negotiated with the unions and agreed by staff in a ballot. Since then, PCS has opposed some aspects of the contract

PCS is now trying to link the dispute with health and safety risks of changes to the driving test. The new driving test has been designed to make sure drivers are better prepared for a lifetime of safe driving.

The changes have been developed and trialled extensively with input from DVSA staff, learner drivers, their instructors and other road safety professionals.

DVSA carried out risk assessments and commissioned the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to carry out an independent assessment. These show that the new test manoeuvres were low risk.

Helping you through a lifetime of safe driving

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said:

PCS’s pointless industrial action - over an employment contract they convinced their members to overwhelmingly accept 3 years ago - will not be understood by our customers.

We have made PCS an improved offer to the one they accepted, but the union is deliberately misleading its members by claiming the better offer we have put to them requires staff to work longer for less, when it does precisely the opposite.

PCS’s shameful efforts to link the dispute to the new driving test in an attempt to broaden support for its unreasonable position shows a total disregard for learner drivers, who have worked so hard to be ready to take their test.

Published 15 November 2017
Last updated 23 November 2017 + full page history
  1. Updated the statement from Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive.
  2. Added information about some driving examiners taking action short of a strike from Thursday 23 November 2017.
  3. First published.