Thousands of civil servants across the West Midlands were today striking in protest over cuts.
In a move timed to coincide with George Osborne’s Budget, driving test centres, airports tax offices, courts and other public sector services all faced disruption.
Learner drivers whose tests were scheduled today were told to still attend as it was not possible to work out how many exams would be affected by the walkout.
Potentially more than 100 tests in the West Midlands could be scrapped if all the examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union joined their colleagues on the picket lines. The row is over job cuts, office closures, such as those announced for tax enquiry centres last week, pay restrictions and changes to contractual terms and conditions.
Another strike will also take place on April 5. Around 27,000 civil servants will take action across the Midlands.
There are 10 driving examiners who are PCS members in Wolverhampton, five in Lower Gornal, eight in Wednesbury, four in Cannock, four in Lichfield and five in Stafford.
Andrew Lloyd, PCS Midlands regional secretary, said: “The Government have left PCS members with no other option but to take this action, to persuade them to start talking to us. This
Government are treating these hard-working civil servants who care about the services they provide with contempt.
“We have lost 4,500 civil service jobs in the Midlands in the last two years. How can it be good for this region if we lose at least as many as that in the next two years, and those remaining have no disposable income because their wages are so poor? At the moment we cannot even get the Government to talk us about these cuts. If they won’t talk we have to take action.”