Strike forces rescheduling of 300 driving tests

More than 100 driver-testers are to stage a half-day strike next week forcing the rescheduling of 300 tests.

The testers’ action will begin at 2pm on April 2. They have warned further stoppages will follow if the dispute is not resolved.

Impact, which represents the testers, said Road Safety Authority management is proposing to outsource testing in breach of a 2012 Labour Court ruling.

The union said the ruling recommended the hiring of a reserve body of testers to avert any possible backlog. It also said the ruling set out a process for that recruitment.

Impact’s Denis Rohan said management had ignored the court’s recommended process and instead sought to engage subcontractors.

He said that management had breached its agreement with staff and had since refused to talk to the union.

A subsequent Labour Court recommendation was rejected by testers because it made no provision for talks on outsourcing plans.

Mr Rohan said management’s outsourcing proposals could also breach the RSA’s safety standards, as it was not insisting that subcontractors hold the HETAC driver- tester qualification.

“We regret the inevitable inconvenience that will now follow management’s decision to ignore our concerns on outsourcing and the breach of agreement with staff,” he said.

The RSA said: “The RSA has, in accordance with numerous recommendations and rulings by the LRC, established a panel of five reserve driver testers to assist in reducing the impact of short-notice sick-leave absences on customers and to continue to deliver a high quality service.”

An RSA spokesman said that, “contrary to the statement issued by Impact, the Road Safety Authority’s actions are fully compliant with Labour Court findings”.

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