Industrial action by DVSA vehicle testing staff looks to have been averted after a positive meeting between the government agency and trade union Prospect last week.

The meeting covered union concerns about the new contracts vehicle testers are being asked to sign up to as part of the introduction of the Next Generation Testing (NGT) model. It came after strike action due in May was called off in favour of the talks.

Following the meeting on 8 June, which involved DVSA chief executive Alastair Peoples and was held to address concerns about staff availability and pay, the two sides agreed by way of a joint statement seen by to set up a working group.

The group will “explore ideas raised both in this meeting and previous meetings which potentially offer a way forward to resolve our difficulties”.

Prospect negotiations officer Helen Stevens said union members’ concerns about the new contracts they were being asked to sign were now “well on the way to being resolved”.

“It seems the intention from both sides is to resolve the matter between us and the threat of industrial action has receded,” she added.

The working group is due to meet twice during the current week to move matters on.

Stevens also confirmed that negotiations with the DVSA were unlikely to be affected by the announcement last week of the retirement of DVSA chief executive Alastair Peoples this autumn.

“We have been assured by the interim chief executive of their commitment to working together to resolve the problems,” she said.

Peoples has revealed that he will retire in October.

  •    An extraordinary meeting of the ATFOA will take place on Wednesday 24 June 2015 from 08:30 to 12:30 at Leicester City Football Club, King Stadium to dicuss NGT and a range of issues.