Members of the Prospect union at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have given formal notice of their intention to take industrial action,following new terms and conditions.
The DVSA’s frontline staff are being given new employment contracts as part of the employer’s New Generation Testing (NGT) strategy.
The union said NGT itself, which shifts the testing of vehicles to third-party sites rather than on DVSA property, is not an issue for members – testing has been carried out at customer sites for many years. However, the union claims that the strategy is being used to force staff to swallow new contracts with different terms and conditions without any negotiation.
The union stated that Alastair Peoples, CEO of the DVSA, had told union reps that he could ‘see no value in a meeting with Prospect.’
In her letter to the CEO, Helen Stevens, Prospect negotiator, wrote: “It is apparent that the roll out of NGT isn’t working. Not enough people are attracted by the new contract and DVSA is having to recruit, while at the same time putting people at risk of redundancy.
“We fail to understand how it could be acceptable for DVSA to contemplate wasting money on severances, when there is testing work to do and being done by existing staff, and why DVSA does not want to retain its experienced specialist staff.”
A DVSA spokesperson told CBW: “We are disappointed that the Prospect union has announced its intention to take industrial action. We have already agreed to meet with Prospect for talks, and we hope to resolve any issues through discussions rather than industrial action.
“We will do everything we can to minimise any disruption to customers.”