News : DVLA Union Members to Strike Over Pay on Bank Holiday Weekend
Swansea, Wales, Aug 26, 2015 -- DVLA workers who are members of the public and commercial services union will strike for three days this weekend, in a dispute over pay.
The strike, which will start on Friday, is said to be likely to cause major disruption to public enquiries about driving licences.
The decision to take industrial action has come as staff recruited to the Swansea contact centre since the start of 2015 have only been given basic pay for weekend working, while others will see their allowance cut by half from September 1.
Despite ongoing talks between the union and the DVLA, the strike will now take place on Friday August 28, Saturday 29 and Tuesday 31.
PCS industrial officer Keith Johnston said: "This dispute is vitally important to everyone in DVLA: if the employer is able to cut the pay of our members in the contact centre then it will inevitably seek to reduce the terms and conditions for the rest of DVLA staff.
"We have a shared interest in protecting our pay, terms and conditions and resisting the race to the bottom where our conditions are constantly compared to the worst paying bosses. Workers elsewhere in the civil service get extra weekend pay. There seems to be the idea that south Wales is a low wage economy and DVLA can get away with exploiting its staff there. This is completely unacceptable."
Representatives have said they expect the strike to be strongly supported after 93% of union members voted in favour of action.
A DVLA spokesman said: "We are extremely disappointed PCS members at the contact centre are taking industrial action. Staff had already agreed to the changes to terms and conditions which offered a competitive and generous package.
"Our priority is to maintain a service to our customers and we have well established contingency plans to minimise disruption. Motorists are still able apply online to renew their vehicle tax, declare their vehicle off road or apply for a new, updated or replacement driving licence."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is the organisation of the UK government responsible for maintaining a database of drivers in Great Britain and a database of vehicles for the entire United Kingdom. Its counterpart for drivers in Northern Ireland is the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA). The agency issues driving licences, organises collection of vehicle excise duty (also known as road tax and road fund licence) and sells personalised registrations.
Published: Thursday, August 27, 2015