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Nottinghamshire driving examiners strike over pay offer

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

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

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

PCS members held a demonstration at a picket line near the test centre in Chilwell on Wednesday, December 28.

Steve Battlemuch, head of campaigns for the PCS, says workers are facing a real-term pay cut of nine per cent following a two per cent pay offer.

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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 two per cent when overall inflation is in double figures and energy cost inflation is running at 100 per cent, is a real insult.

“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 DWP.

“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.

Strike action by driving examiners, ADI examiners and local driving test managers began in Scotland and northern England on December 13 and has now reached the Midlands and Eastern England.

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

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

“We know our action will cause widespread disruption and inconvenience to people in Eastern England and the Midlands – hundreds of driving tests have already been cancelled in other parts of the country – but the government is to blame.

“These strikes could be called off tomorrow if Rishi Sunak and 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.

“DVSA is sorry for the inconvenience and thanks you for your patience”, the agency said.

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

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