'It's demoralising': Driving examiners protest outside test centre in York
YORK driving examiners protested outside a driving test centre in disputes over pay, pensions and job security.
Examiners from York and Knaresborough picketed outside the York Driving Test Centre, in Monks Cross Drive, from 8am to 10am yesterday (Tuesday, December 20).
They are among 100,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, which include driving examiners, civil servants, border force officers, coastguards, and public transport staff, who are walking.
Across Yorkshire, driving examiners are striking from Monday, December 19, to Saturday, December 24.
PCS union will announce more strike dates next month.
Paul Humphreys, a PCS Union representative based in Scarborough, said: "We're asking for a pay rise of 10 per cent, because civil servants have not had a real terms pay rise in a decade, which is a loss of £2,800 - yet we were only offered an average pay award of two per cent.
"We are being made to pay too much into our pensions which we can't afford anymore, many of our members are struggling with cost of living.
"We have one colleague who can only afford her mortgage and gas and electricity bills out of her wage, and now has to rely on food banks.
"The Government have also slashed redundancy pay by a third.
"Civil servants keep the country running and worked all throughout Covid-19.
"It is demoralising, and the Government is not listening."
A Government spokesman said: "We greatly value the work of civil servants across the country, but the PCS union’s demands would cost an unaffordable £2.4 billion at a time when our focus must be on bringing down inflation to ease the pressure on households across the country, protect the vulnerable and rebuild our economy.
“The public sector pay awards are a careful balance between delivering value for money for the taxpayer and recognising the importance of public sector workers."
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) data revealed in November that learner drivers in Yorkshire were waiting an average of 19 weeks to take a test after booking it, almost three weeks longer than anywhere else in Britain.
Mr Humphreys added: "We had great support from the public at the picket line yesterday.
"However, we regret the disruption that this has caused to driving exams, and next week we will fit in as many as we can.
"We have had no comment from the Government, they just say they can't afford it but they seem to find the money for where they want to spend it, and they do not want to spend it on their front line staff."
Currently, public services ranging from postal deliveries to health services have planned industrial action going into February.