Prospect condemns DVSA intimidation

Prospect condemns DVSA's intimidation of members on eve of strike action

Prospect has condemned last-minute attempts by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to intimidate its frontline staff who voted overwhelmingly to take strike action tomorrow, Friday, 20 November.

The union has learnt that line managers are writing to members threatening to stop their pay if they start a work to rule action. Others have been told that they are not required to report for work.

Helen Stevens, Prospect negotiator, said: "Prospect has rarely experienced an employer behaving in such an inflammatory way. They are doing everything possible to bully, intimidate and harass their own staff into compliance, a shameful way of doing business."

DVSA was informed last week that members had voted for industrial action following a breakdown in talks with management over pay, terms and conditions.

On Friday, as scheduled, frontline staff will hold a short strike from 8am to 11am, which will make clear their anger but also minimise any impact on road safety. This will be followed by an indefinite work to rule.

The action will disrupt the following frontline activities:

  • driving tests
  • annual (MOT) testing for heavy goods vehicles and passenger service vehicles, such as buses and coaches
  • specialist schemes, such as individual vehicle approvals
  • roadside enforcement activities.

Prospect has warned DVSA that its conduct is only likely to provoke further strike action – something that members were hoping to avoid, again, for road safety reasons.

In a strongly-worded letter to DVSA’s HR chief, Stevens wrote:

“This marks a low point in industrial relations between DVSA and your staff. Once again, DVSA is threatening and bullying people in an attempt to impose disputed contractual changes. This is extremely inflammatory and does nothing to aid a resolution.”

Stevens added that this 'toxic state of affairs' cannot continue and called on DVSA to agree to seek assistance from the conciliation service ACAS as a way of resolving the dispute.