*** This is a RSA press release. It is posted here for information purposes. It does not represent the views Allied Driving Instructors or any ADIs. ***
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) wishes to advise customers scheduled for a driving test next Wednesday afternoon, 2 April 2014 that their tests will need to be rescheduled. This is due to industrial action being taken by IMPACT, the Union that represents driver testers.
Customers who are due to take their test that day are being notified of the disruption and plans are in place to reschedule their tests, at no cost, as quickly as possible at times that are convenient for them.
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. This service will only be drawn down if required, in order to minimise any disruption that sick leave or absences causes to customers, and to ensure that waiting times of less than 10 weeks for a driving test continue to be met.
In 2012, 11,880 driving tests were not conducted due to sick leave taken by driver testers. 8,200 of these tests were not covered from spare capacity and as a result, the RSA had to reschedule the affected candidates’ tests, free of charge at a cost of €697,000 to the Authority. This is obviously in addition to the massive inconvenience caused to our customers as a result of having their tests cancelled, often at short notice.
The RSA is extremely disappointed with the stance taken by IMPACT as the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 states that the findings of the industrial relations dispute mechanism are binding. It also states that trade unions are precluded from taking industrial action when the employer is acting under the remit of the Public Service Agreement.
Furthermore, contrary to the statement issued by IMPACT the Road Safety Authority’s actions are fully compliant with Labour Court findings, specifically recommendation LCR 20309 (May 2012); and the Labour Court recommendation LCR20681 (Dec 2013) as subsequently clarified and reinforced in January 2014.
The RSA would like to make it absolutely clear that it is not replacing any substantive post with these reserve testers but supplementing the service to allow for sickness absence and training activities in order to deliver an improved level of service to the public.
The Authority hopes that common sense will prevail and staff will accept the Labour Court ruling and avoid disruption to the service provided to customers.
The RSA regrets that drivers waiting for a test will be affected and every effort will be made to facilitate them with a rescheduled test date at no cost, as quickly as possible.